Bettman: VERSUS Option for Three Additional Years Not Formally Picked Up Yet

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by GSC2k2*, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    This is another nugget from the Bettman interview last night on the FAN590. He confirmed that the option for next year has been picked up, but definitively stated that the further options were not picked up at this time (contrary to the report that came from Multichannel News).

    He stated:

    1. The way the contract is structured, the options are staggered.

    2. As such, the further options are not able to be picked up at this time; it is not "timely".

    3. When asked if Multichannel News had misstated it, he said he suspected that Versus had said that they had every expectation of picking up the options (which would not surprise him that they would hold that view).
     
  2. Greschner4

    Greschner4 Registered User

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    Gary's best trait is his ability to backpedal.
     
  3. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    "backpedal"?? Where do you get that?
     
  4. nyranger61494

    nyranger61494 YNWA

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    does this mean everybody's favorite, ESPN, can come in after this year and carry games?
     
  5. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    No, he confirmed that the option for next year was picked up (see the first above post).
     
  6. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    It was nice of OLN/VS to pick the NHL up coming off the lockout, but the NHL really needs to get back on ESPN asap. Hopefully next year is the last on VS.
     
  7. Drewr15

    Drewr15 Registered User

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    Or both even. Couple games of the week on versus with a big national game on ESPN on sunday or monday night after the NFL has ended.
     
  8. Kenadyan

    Kenadyan Registered User

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    One problem with everyone wanting to put the NHL back on ESPN.

    Does ESPN even want the NHL back???? It takes two to tango.

    I know that everyone states the the NHL "needs" to go back to ESPN (for larger exposure), but would it really help the league grow?? It didn't in the past.

    I think those who really want the NHL back on ESPN are those hockey fans who can't get VS (not that I blame them).

    Also, ESPN doesn't seem to have any problem filling their current schedule with NFL, NBA, college football and basketball, NASCAR, and the World Series of Poker (yes, I'm tired of watching Johnny Chan and Phil Helmuth win braclets no. 10 over and over and over and over again).

    So it's not like ESPN is desperate for more programming.
     
  9. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    Nope. Versus still has the option to excercise a 3 year extension. They can't technically excercise it yet, but seemingly have expressed their intention to do so.

    This is really a non-story and just a matter of semantics - unless (for some inexplicable reason) Versus decides against exercising their three year extension next year.
     
  10. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    My clear impression from Bettman's interview is that the extension is not a three year extension but rather a continuing series of extensions. that is what he was referring to when he referred to the "staggering" of the options. I would also have to think that it is not a unilateral option. I recall reading somewhere that this recent extension was not completely unilateral, in that VS needed to reach certain objectives in terms of household reach before the option would vest. I think it is safe to assume that similar objectives would be in place before VS's entitlement to extend would be triggered. {Also an exercise in semantics, perhaps, but the point is that the NHL seems to have structured their deal such that they are not penned in to a deal that would commit them to an non-growing entity}

    That being said, the clear impression was that the NHL was not displeased with that prospect. I would expect that, if the requirements for vesting are met, the NHL would feel it is in a good position.
     
  11. EatSleepJeep

    EatSleepJeep Registered User

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    Versus was supposed to become some sort of hockey channel in terms of programming, commentary, and news. It just hasn’t happened. At least ESPN is in every home of anyone that might be interested in watching a game. If they made their coverage on par with TSN they might be able to drum up some more interest in the sport. I get to catch the opening 5-15 minutes of TSN’s Sportscentre after Center Ice games conclude early and it’s amazing. They show highlights, fight footage, easy to decipher statistical comparisons…WHAT A CONCEPT!
     
  12. CHRDANHUTCH

    CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    Name how many markets have both ESPN AND Versus while no US Viewer even has TSN :shakehead

    Versus has other events besides the NHL WHY should Versus need to create a Versus2 or VersusNews if ESPN HAS that covered:shakehead
     
  13. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    It was not supposed to become a hockey channel - it is a channel for sport in general. It is, the cable sports channel which broadcasts hockey. The commentary and news, well, I've expressed my opinion on that.

    I don't think that would be the case. They need the support before they increase their programming.
     
  14. nyranger61494

    nyranger61494 YNWA

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    Thanks for clarifying guys...was being a bit facetious there in calling ESPN everyone's favorite. I some people are unreasonable with their expectations. I understand that ESPN is a known brand and that these precious (and seemingly non-existent) casual fans are more likely to flip to ESPN when channel surfing. I think it is wrong to think that because ESPN broadcasts games, ratings will be through the roof. And most of all, despite its lack of size when comparing to ESPN, Versus has had much better coverage than ESPN did before the lockout...
     

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