Centre Ice Package Free of Charge?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by BChockeyfan, Jun 8, 2005.

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  1. BChockeyfan

    BChockeyfan Registered User

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    Has anyone else heard or read the NHL is considering offering the Center Ice Package free for 05-06? Assuming there's a season, this would be a great move to bring back the fans along with ESPN being out of the picture.
     
  2. sveiglar

    sveiglar Registered User

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    Haven't heard it, but that would be awesometacular.
     
  3. Slats432

    Slats432 Registered User

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    Could you provide some idea of how year heard of this?
     
  4. nomorekids

    nomorekids The original, baby

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    That'd be a neat idea, but I think it's probably just a rumor. Cable companies probably wouldn't be too keen on losing their 150 bucks per person.
     
  5. Drury_Sakic

    Drury_Sakic Registered User

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    I suggested this awhile back...

    its unrealistic though...

    What would be somewhat plausable would be to give the first month of the season away for free.....
     
  6. HeShootseyScores

    HeShootseyScores Registered User

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    I'd pay triple what I pay for it now, but free is a good idea too.
     
  7. Levitate

    Levitate Registered User

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    it might not be a bad idea for cable companies to give away some free part of it at least...they're likely to get fewer subscriptions in the upcoming year, and giving away some months or so for free could actually help boost the subscriptions, get them back on track
     
  8. missK

    missK Registered User

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    If your cable or satelite provide offers Center Ice, the first week of the season is always free, it's called a free preview and most people just don't know it's there unless you stumble upon the channels while channel surfing. During the free preview week, you get to see free games and the Jeremy Roenick/Anson Carter Center Ice 15 minute commerical played over and over and over and over again. As much as I like the commercial, after seeing it played for three years now, it's time to add a new commercial to the mix.

    P.S. Center Ice will never be free for the whole season, especially now since the NHL is not getting ANY upfront money for broadcasting any games on national TV. The least I have every paid for Center Ice was $99, the most was $149 and my cable company will even break up the payments on 4 monthly bills.
     
  9. Jester

    Jester Registered User

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    it might be when one is attempting to get fans back to the sport...
     
  10. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Im with ya.
     
  11. missK

    missK Registered User

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    I don't watch Center Ice to watch my home team because those game are blacked out due to broadcast rights. I purchase Center Ice to watch other teams because I am a hockey fan and I enjoy watching hockey games and I follow players other than the ones that are currently on the Lightning team. How many fans care about teams other than their home team? If only 60,000 people in NY watch the Rangers how many people do you think in rest of the US want to watch them?

    And how is giving away Center Ice for free going to bring people back to the NHL? And how are the local cable & satelite providers going to be compensated for supplying the 10 channels to their customers? Let's be serious, if the providers aren't getting their cut they won't provide the channels to everyone.

    I would love for it to be free, but realistically it's a dream.
     
  12. BigE

    BigE Registered User

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    I'll be renewing my subscription either way but I think it's a safe bet that their annual "Week for Free" deal will likely be extended for a month if not more. If the game is going to be new and revived as some are claiming, they'll want to expose this as much as possible.
     
  13. SENSfreak_03

    SENSfreak_03 Registered User

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    i finally have expressvu here in canada, so i can get it. had some other dish before that didnt offer it. cant wait to get it.
     
  14. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Great for fans ..

    No sure the NHLPA would be all that happy since their livelihood and earning potential is tied to 54% and a Hard Cap .. How do they gain if the NHL runs around offering things like this for free ??


    Guess you just help explain why the PA is so much against tying themselves to the business decisions of owners ..
     
  15. Volcanologist

    Volcanologist Used Register

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    If they want to do it, great. I don't know if "free" is realistic, but maybe a discount to attract viewers might work.
     
  16. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    I don't think the NHL sets the market for Center Ice though, that would be the cable/dish companies.
     
  17. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    Isn't the price the same everywhere? That would lead me to believe the price is set by the contract between the NHL and those companies.
     
  18. Larionov

    Larionov Registered User

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    Are you kidding me? This is a nice fantasy, but the reality is that the cost for things like Center Ice is going to go up, not down. The powers that be realize that while the NHL's fan base isn't as big as the big three in the U.S., it is cult-like in its loyalty. The league needs that revenue, and will need it even more absent larger deals like ESPN. As other posters have suggested, you might see the free preview for a big longer, but that's it.
     
  19. Tuggy

    Tuggy Registered User

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    I would like to think it would be free because quite frankly that would be awesome, but I doubt that it will be.

    But cost more? How can the NHL/cable providers/etc... justify raising the price? Do they want to drive away more fans? Personally I think it will just remain the same price, and if anything maybe a little cheaper.

    But hey, for me it doesn't cost that much anyway. With Rogers digital cable you get Centre Ice, Sunday Ticket, Extra Innings, NCAA...etc for 24.95 a month and with 3 other roommates it won't cost that much ;)
     
  20. CBJ goalie

    CBJ goalie Registered User

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    :( Me too - I'm a Canucks fan, but Centre Ice is useless to me 'cause their games get blacked out for me in Ontario.
    Question: when the NHL does come back with whoever chooses to show them, will the blackout still be in effect?
     
  21. missK

    missK Registered User

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    The companies that broadcast their local team games pay $ to that NHL team for the rights (i.e Lightning broadcasts on Sun Sports TV). Why give those broadcast rights in their local "Exclusive" area to NHL Center Ice for free? Then it's not exclusive.

    EDIT : Now I'm all for the following happening - If the local broadcast provider who owns the rights to a team say the Lightning decides not to broadcast a specific game (say a game in Edmonton), then they should give up the rights JUST for that game and then NHL Center Ice can show the opposing games feed if available to the local team's area.

    Separate note: Vancouver games blacked out in Ontario on Center Ice? That I think is a totally different situation. Ontario is not Vancouver's "local area" so I don't know why that happens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2005
  22. Thats just strange period. Lucky for me I live ( 5 days a week) about 25 miles south of the US border..Center Ice does not black out any game for me, then the weekends its all HNIC...for now
     
  23. Devils Advocate

    Devils Advocate Don't be a Hayter

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    I think they are only planning on doing this assuming there wouldn't be a season.
     
  24. Peter

    Peter Registered User

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    Really?? You live in Ontario and all Canuck games are blacked out for you?? I use to live in Ontario and got Center Ice and saw all the Canuck games (except when playing against Toronto and Ottawa). If you really are getting your Canuck games blacked out and you get to watch Toronto and Ottawa there is something wrong with Express Vu. Simply call them and they will sort it out.
     
  25. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    The NHL always determines the price of the package. They pay the providers a 'bounty' per subscriber, I believe. If the NHL wanted to offer it free of charge, they would negotiate the service fees up front with the carriers and instruct them to turn it on for all of their customers.

    That may not fly, but the NHL could cut the fee down to what they would normally pay the providers and we could get NHLCI for around $30-$40 US. I'm probably willing to pay the same as I did for the 2003-04 season, but if they ask for an increase I will cancel out and may never come back.
     
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