I updated the other post as well - but thought I would start a new post too.
Here's an interesting tidbit from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal on the ESPN bid to the NHL and just how far NBC had to go to compete with it.
Though the two (Gary Bettman and Comcast's Brian Roberts) are friends, Bettman had a tough message to deliver: Days earlier, ESPN told the league that it would make an aggressive bid on the NHL's media package. Bettman told Roberts that ESPN's planned bid of $160 million to $170 million per year would test NBC's and Versus' right-to-match clause, which several media executives described as the tightest such clause they had ever seen. The clause gave NBC the right to match any deal the NHL signed with another network.
But it would be hard for NBC to match ESPN's planned offer. ESPN told the NHL that it would televise every Stanley Cup playoff game nationally. ESPN said that it would stream the games to authenticated broadband and mobile users. And ESPN guaranteed an international component as part of its planned offer. ESPN's deal would include a regular-season Game of the Week, but it was not making the broadcast network ABC available. The details were new for Roberts, who did not want to lose the NHL. In early discussions with the league, the NBC Sports Group had resisted the idea of televising every Stanley Cup playoff game nationally. And Comcast could not match ESPN's streaming plans or international offerings.
Here's the link to the Yahoo story:
Interesting - it certainly sounds like the NHL comes out pretty well on this deal....exposure, $$, and some pretty nice deals all around. Now if NBC can manage something along the lines of the streaming that ESPN was offering, and if Versus continues to do even halfway decently, the NHL will be just fine thanks.
Like so many of us were worried.