Why do some folks still consider NYC a big hockey market?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by NYIsles1*, Dec 30, 2004.

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  1. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    I'm asking why do some folks see the NY city market as important to the NHL?

    Pittsburgh and St.Louis had the highest television ratings for hockey back in 2000.

    Let's just say for a moment there was a season and the Rangers made the playoffs, why would anything they do in a market where there is one demographic of fans attending or watching games receive any attention over the following in april:

    Yankees-Red Sox
    Mets
    Knicks-Nets playoffs
    NFL draft.

    The Rangers have a payroll over 80 million, only drew a television rating equal to 60,000 homes on a network that televises all their games (Msg) (which is what the Isles had missing the playoffs seven years in a row hidden on Fox and Metro) play in front of thousands of empty seats for a lot of week night games despite the big name players constantly being added and are completely invisible in this sports market with the media.

    Markets like Pittsburgh and Florida have better hockey coverage on a daily basis and many of these so-called small market teams do not have all
    their games televised. Hockey may not be the most important sports story in these market but it's a lot higher on the list than where hockey places here. In the tri-state area each team get's one article per paper and even a.p coverage for some road trips.

    The Ranger are a team that as far back as 1999 draw a 0.3 on Fox for games against Detroit, marketing New York on television was a complete failure. Marketing the Nets over the Knicks worked for NBA. Arena Football scored higher in NYC than hockey.

    The Rangers are a team that plays pre-season games at home and draws 5,000 fans because they schedule games on Sunday afternoon during football season. The Islanders only bother scheduling one game for season ticket holders.

    All three teams are also losing tens of millions and have for years. Msg has a rich company as ownership so they keep spending, while Wang talks about buying the Nets but cannot add a high-profile and some feel he does not make enough of an effort to win. Is this the only parameter for what defines a big market?

    Is it because media in other markets see the Yankees when they look at NYC or have not noticed the hockey here since 1994 and that's the only reference? Hockey almost never see's a back page here regardless of what happens. In 1997
    NYC-Philadelphia, Detroit-Colorado were the four semi-final markets, where was the jump for hockey? Leetch got traded, Joe Torre got the back page in Feb.

    The difference between Colorado being a market that moved vs a being called a large market today is because of the payroll and success. Considering how invisible NYC is with all the big names all these years why is anyone going to pay attention without the big names? Even the Knicks had only 12-13,000 season tickets sold this year and last year. Why would hockey come even close to those numbers when only one demographic of fans attend hockey games?

    Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, those places have never play to open seats. Those markets do not have the 24/7/365 Yankees, Mets which have changed the sports landscape here forever. Or the Giants, Jets, Knicks and Nets ahead of them plus whatever other huge stories are happening. Other markets talk hockey on the radio and television programs, here they do not bother because there are more important things for editors and programmers to cover for the general public.

    Journalists here will not make any effort to bother learning about hockey, regardless of what happens during the regular season.

    So why does the NHL need the New York City market over all these markets I read must be contracted. What is NYC doing that they are not doing. Why is it Columbus and Minnesota play to sellout crowds and the three buildings in New York/NJ look like the smaller markets yet expansion was the problem?

    What's the Carolina Hurricanes television rating? If they had 82 games on a network like Msg instead of infrequent television coverage could they attract the same 60,000 the Rangers are currently getting. Could Nashville?
     
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  2. NJD Jester

    NJD Jester Registered User

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    Most of your post is based on television ratings, which really should be any measure when it comes to hockey. It's obvious that the sport, as it stands now, doesn't translate well on TV, let along on local TV, which runs games with about two cameras. Besides, when it comes to the Rangers, there's been no reason to watch them for nearly a decade.

    Yankees/Red Sox is basically the biggest story in baseball, perhaps in all of sports, when these teams play. Nothing could trump it.

    The Mets get play when they're good, but we're talking the first three months of the baseball season here.

    A Nets/Knicks playoff? Meh. And besides, what would get more coverage: Nets/Knicks or Devils/Rangers or Rangers/Isles?

    The NFL Draft is a one-day event, and really will only be of interest to Giants fans this season ;)

    I'd love to know where you get the notion that Florida gets better hockey "coverage" than New York. Look at the Post, the News, Newsday, the Jersey papers. Not only are there beat writers, there are columnists. Hockey might get the shaft in some markets (living in D.C., I know what that looks like.) But to question New York as a hockey town is really off base.

    <JESTER>
     
  3. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    No NYC isn't a big (read: critically important) market for the NHL.

    Nashville, Miami, Atlanta and Uniondale Long Island are "big". ;)

    If interest in the local NYC team has waned in recent years, it's because the product is not worthy. And any decrease in interest is a microcosm of what is wrong with the entire league. Namely, people in the US, generally speaking, are less likely to invest $$$ in an NHL product these days unless it is worthy of their dollar. Which is understandable.

    Regardless, it is without question vital to the future of the NHL that the league flourish (is at least "representative" on the ice) in the #1 market, media-, population- and otherwi$e, in the US.

    Hopefully even the most myopic fan of another team can see that very obviou$ point.

    Of course, on the otherhand, we can dissolve NYR, make the players pay to play and run a garage league based south of the Mason-Dixon line.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2004
  4. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Michael Russo on a bad week usually prouduces more hockey information than all the city papers combined. Outside of Larry Brooks on Sunday no paper does any special coverage on hockey as other markets do. Rick Carpinello stopped doing hockey features for the Ganette-Westcheter papers, many hockey writers moved on to teams with more coverage. Marc Berman (Islanders-Knicks)

    No columinist in the metro NY area cover hockey during the regular season with any kind of frequency. Jay Greenberg stopped covering hockey long ago for the Post and only Larry Brooks does anything resembling columnists work with his job as beatwriter. Sherry Ross coverage is rare at best. John Dellapina and Jason Diamos just do the game stories most days for the News and Times. Newsday has Arthur Staple doing the daily beat work for the Rangers and at best he may write a second article or double with Alan Hahn to add content to the Isles in the playoffs.
     
  5. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    In this market it has become religion, the season never ends. Those teams open the season vs one another. Randy Johnson has been on more backpages in NYC over a week than three hockey teams have seen in three years. This is a market with Broduer, Stevens, Niedermayer, Yashin, Peca, DiPietro, Jagr and Holik and no one writes about these players. The Rangers have eight prospects at the WJC and I have not read anything about them in a local paper.

    Were also talking Mets-Yankees. Pedro going to Yankee Stadium in June. The competition among baseball writers, and journalists here comparing both teams win or lose. Losing is also a big Mets story because of the competition with the Yankees, even late in the season. Those teams have three beatwriters and columnists following them.

    Not even close. The Nets have become a New York story the last three years. Even the Nets get two articles per day in the NYC papers during the regular season, it's rare during the hockey regular season that any team get's that level of coverage because the one beatwriter is only alloted so much space and is traveling.

    It's also held here and the Manning coverage was major headlines for a week around the time of his drafting.


    Hockey moved from Landover to inside the D.C city limits, moved into a new building and even going to the finals regressed badly in that market, IMHO. What happened there reflects what has happened here to some extent. David Fay of the Washington Times (?) broke the story on the NYC Market teams losing revenue.
     
  6. TonySCV

    TonySCV Golden

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    "Big market" is a subjective term.

    NY and LA are "big markets" in terms of the population potential with TV's that they can reach. Vancouver is a "big market" in terms of hockey fans per capita. Detroit is a "big market" because it's a large city and hockey gets a proportionate level of the city's viewing audience. Chicago is a "big market" that's sleeping right now because of an under-achieving team and an owner that could care less.
     
  7. RangerBoy

    RangerBoy TRUST THE PROCESS

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    Did you see the ESPN2 ratings for the US-Swiss game?They were .2 which is half the audience the World's Strongest Man competition received on ESPN2.

    Baseball has become huge in New York.WFAN had Suzyn Waldman,Howie Rose and Ed Coleman hosting 4-5 hour shows which dealt strictly with baseball.It was a major sport but the Hot Stove coverage dwarfs everything including the NFL

    I may sound like an arrogant and conceited Ranger fan but the NY metro area does not care about the Islanders,Devils and Nets.The Rangers drive the hockey bus in New York.When the Rangers won the Cup ten years ago,they were a bigger story than the Knicks who were also in the finals.Unfortunately,the Rangers have been brutal and pathetic for 7 years and interest in hockey has waned.The Devils have won 3 Cups in the last 10 years and if you live east of the Hudson River,you would not realize it.If Marty Brodeur were a Ranger,they would have a shrine built for him in Times Square

    The Rangers seem to get their fair share of print coverage.The NYT(Diamos),Daily News(Dellapina),Post(Larry),Newday(Staple),Star Ledger(Bridget) and Journal News(Gross)all have beat writers covering the Rangers.The Bergen Record is the only paper which does not cover the Rangers.Joe LaPointe is a hockey columnist for the NYT.Sherry Ross is a hockey columnist for the Daily News.Rick Carpinello is now a columnist for the Journal News but he still does a good amount of hockey stuff.How many other NHL teams have six beat writers and 3 hockey columnists following one team?

    Have the Nets become a NY story?They will be moving to Brooklyn in the future to a location which is a 5 minute drive from the Manhattan Bridge.The Nets have been to two finals in 3 years with Jason Kidd,Richard Jefferson and KMart.They just acquired Vince Carter but you don't hear a buzz on the Nets.The Knicks are still top dog.

    Hockey is the fourth sport in NY.The Yankees,Giants,Mets,Jets and Knicks are just higher on the food chain followed by the Rangers

    In the U.S.,hockey is a cult sport.The people who love it and it's their favorite sport :handclap: but there are not that many who feel that way.
     
  8. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    Corporate support is what makes a big hockey market. A market with a large corporate base that's willing to buy suites, season tickets, and advertising at high prices is a big market. If a corporate sponsor drops the Rangers, Red Wings or Leafs, another one will be lined up in 30 seconds to take their place and they can set the price. If one drops the Sabres or Islanders, it might take 30 days to find a replacement, and the price is negotiable. Supply and demand determines how much revenue teams can realize from corporate sponsors. The true large markets have both market forces working for them.
     
  9. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Just cause the seats are empty doesnt mean that the ticket went unsold. If you check the attendence records MSG pretty much sells about 18,000 tickets on average..which is almost sold out...people just dont show up for the games and thats usually the coporates that dont show which have the seats that show up on TV.(lower level seats). But if the Rangers ever make the Playoffs again that alone will spark much interest back into the Rangers and you can bet your buck the arena will be pretty much sold out next season with people in the seats.
     
  10. Local television revenues.
    Local corporate sponsorships.
    Luxury suite prices.
     
  11. It Kills Me

    It Kills Me Registered User

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    MSG also, when people goto NY they want to check out MSG and seeing a hockey game isn't too expensive.
     
  12. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    You don't know what you are talking about. TV ratings are based on *percentage* of TV's tuned to a station, not the absolute number. New york is 5-6 times the size of Pittaburgh. Even if NY ratings were half that of Pittsburgh, it would still be a much bigger audience. Plus New York is the US media center.
     
  13. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    The hockey bus in New York? Respectfully, right now that's like saying the SI Yankees are more popular than the Brooklyn Cyclones or Metrostars when comparing the Rangers, Islanders and Devils today. Kind of like anyone who claims NY is hockey's most important market while no one pays attention to early season or late season hockey here because of baseball.

    If it's such a critical market for hockey how come the sport get's no attention here outside of it's die-hard audiance and can only offer proof based on a decade ago in a different time for sports in this region regardless of the parade of stars that come to Msg to entertain?

    No attention=no advertising/no revenue. In this market hockey has no chance vs other sports or the demographics that spend money on sports-related products or sponsored products advertised at hockey games. The crowds that attend baseball, basketball and football only make up one demographic for hockey.

    Nets get far more coverage than hockey here, in fact they get almost double the daily coverage all three teams get on a game day. Even the Red Sox get coverage here above the hockey teams. Vince Carter's debut produced the largest crowd for basketball in the teams history on a weeknight. Immediately Carter got a billboard next to Msg.

    I have never seen a hockey player marketed by Madison Ave in this region.

    It's not ten years ago nor is it twenty years ago when the Islanders got the backpages in NYC during the regular season or when an Islander-Ranger game got three days worth of hype beforehand. This is not the same era where the 1980 Islanders were offered the Canyon of Hero's by the city because they were so popular within the tri-state area on free local television and declined. This is also not the same era where the Islanders were so successful the league decided to expand into a third market here.

    When the Rangers won the Cup, Steve Howe was closing games for the Yankees, the Mets had the highest payroll in baseball history at 39 million and there was an actual baseball off-season here. There was no inter-league baseball in NYC and there was no Red-Sox rivalry. Both teams were terrible for a long time and free agents did not want to come here.

    That 80's and early 90's era of sports is over here for good. Now when hockey reaches the important part of it's schedule (Feb-March) all the major media leave town for spring training. There is so much competition among writers and journalists for baseball headlines they cannot be bothered with hockey and the other sports scramble for whatever else they can get.

    Mike Lupica wrote last spring " The Rangers could fold tomorrow and 18,200 fans would care and that's it". Mike Viccaro of the Post wrote the same thing word for word last June. Lupica was the man who nicknamed
    the Nassau Coliseum " Fort Neverlose " in the 80's...

    Things have changed.

    Sixty thousand televisions is what was reported and that's what a regular season Ranger game drew last season according to Newsday's numbers reported only a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how writing " New York is the US media center" changes those numbers unless your saying ean more people are sitting at the television here than elsewhere?

    What shocked me was this was the Islander television number (55,000 homes) on FSN and Metro when Howard Milstein put a 15 million dollar product on the ice and fans stayed away so he would not get the fans money. The Isles number is almost half that now and they now have a far better team but are hidden on networks that do not reach the public like Msg so those ratings are kind of watered down but still horrible and disappointing.

    Only reference on the Islanders in the recent years I know for sure is Msg put game four of the 2002 playoff series against Toronto on Msg and it drew a rating equal to 200,000 homes, the next game was put right back on Metro. Msg is never going to put it's competition on their primary network for very long, for the money they pay the Isles and Devils television rights it's a tradeoff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2004
  14. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Agree with every word in your post. As an NYI fan, recognized long ago that the "suburban" professional hockey and bball teams in the Tri-State area are, media-wise, secondary. Always has been that way, always will be. So your comments do not read as arrogance to this NYI fan. The arrogance (or frankly, immature ignorance) comes in when an NYR fan tries to equate lack of media interest with lack of accomplishment. You know, the old "no ones cares, so those Cups really don't matter"," BS. Devils fans are subjected to it these days, Isles fans back in the day. (It is likewise weird after all these years to read a few remaining "persecuted" NYI fans refuse to acknowledge the critical importance of the Manhattan-based team to the NHL, especially after all these years. Petty, really.)

    That is, we used to say the EXACT same thing about Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin as you correctly state about Marty Brodeur: if they played in MSG, they would have their own statues outside the arena! Instead, those Isles had to settle for an annual two-bit parade down Hempstead Turnpike each spring in the early 80s. These days, the Devils raise the Cup every couple of years in a parking lot in the middle of a swamp, get one day of coverage and go home for the summer. Go figure. :joker:

    Ultimately, however, as least to this fan, the lack of celebrity and and popularity of my team means nothing. For a relative lack of interest by the hacks in the fishwraps, etc., cannot diminish accomplishment in any way.

    All that said, NYR today remains a critically important (big) market for the NHL, for a variety of obvious reasons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004
  15. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Interesting point but in Detroit and Toronto a sponsor knows the Wings and Leafs are the top (or among) the top teams in those areas. If a sponsor drops the Rangers, they can likely do better $$ wise going to baseball, basketball, football and even the soccer market which has a multi-demographic to reach advertisers and will sellout Giants Stadium when soccer tournaments come to the area.

    In the Buffalo market if a sponsor drops the Bills they have the Sabres and that works both ways, here they have a much larger choice of places to go and no one is lining up for hockey.

    Wfan dropped the Knicks and the Rangers. Espn radio picked up their rights but are not in the same league and a new network. Espn 1050 dropped the Isles and ironically Bloomberg (that's Mayor Mike Bloomberg who is in a p.r war with James Dolan and who's deputy mayor Dan Doctoff was a minority Islander owner)
    picked up the Islander radio rights. In NYC baseball teams want their own network and advertisers are dropping Msg because they have a very poor relationship with the baseball owners and especially the Jets owners.
     
  16. RangerBoy

    RangerBoy TRUST THE PROCESS

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    Only the Yankees have won more championships than the Devils in the past ten years in the NY metro area and nobody cares.Besides the Yankees and Devils,no other NY metro team has won a championship

    The NHL needs to have their three teams in the biggest media markets in the U.S. to become strong,winning franchises.New York,LA and Chicago.The Rangers and Hawks have been pathetic.The Kings are not far behind them.Throw in Boston also.
    Major U.S. cities with big populations and more viewers which leads to more advertising dollars which leads to a bigger TV contract
     
  17. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    What's the difference if the ratings are terrible win or lose? Detroit-Colorado, New York-Philadelphia went to the semi-finals in 1997, what changed having larger markets win?

    Why would anyone in advertising choose a successful Ranger team or player over the incredible pull the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks and Nets have with their endless stream of marquee talent that appeal to all demographics that spend money on products.

    Vince Carter already got a billboard outside Msg.

    When have the Hawks or Kings been a top level draw in their sports markets, even without a Yankee-like team to compete with? Gretzky vs Magic Johnson, Ziggy Palffy vs Shaq and Kobe? Roenick, Hull or Amonte vs the Jordan Bulls?

    The only US market where it can be argued hockey is the marquee team is Detroit, that's because the Tigers and Lions have been horrible for a generation. Look at Detroit as a baseball market, you could almost argue it would be better if the Tigers contracted instead of building Comerica Park.

    The Wings and Tigers have the same owner, Mike Illitch almost did not make payroll on the baseball team in 2003.
     
  18. Broadway Brett

    Broadway Brett Registered User

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    I've noticed that only Ranger haters (Read: Islander fans) say that NYC isn't a big hockey market. Even though the Rangers suck, they still have a tremendous crowd and still have a waiting list. That's more than most teams *CoughIslandersCough* can say.
     
  19. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    I find the 55,000 number hard to believe. Even if true, it is meaningless because it is one game. It would say nothing if it were the last game of last year after the Rangers dumped most of their talent and ended in complete disarray. We all know New Yorkers. They love a winner. If the Rangers were back on top, then the place would be buzzing hockey like it did in 1995.

    As far as being in New York is concerned, it's hard to believe that you can't grasp the importance of the New York press in providing publicity. Virtually every new league that has started up in the any sport over the last 20 years has considered a NY team critical for this reason.
     
  20. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    I absolutely grasp the importance in the New York press providing publicity, unfortunately they have moved on to more important sports years ago in this market. Editors, programmers and producers do not send their people out to cover hockey here so they do not know the product to promote it the way they used to.

    The 55,000 number for the Isles were their ratings points to homes for about half that season in 1998. I would not mention the numbers if it were only one game. The 60,000 rating figure for the Rangers was the full seasons numbers and were reported by Newsday when they had an article about why Cablevision does not refund hockey subscribers refunds for games not being played. This is the thread that had the article.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=118540
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2005
  21. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    I do not hate the Rangers. I just see this hockey market for what it is today based on numbers, results and competition. You see Crosby as a major star in New York while I see him as another star who would play in obscurity here because he plays the wrong sport in the wrong town. I respectfully disagree.

    Frankly the Rangers-Islanders-Devils and Flyers cannot play enough games vs one another. That's how badly they all need one another and why the league seems willing to eliminate non-conference games. I'm not sure we can afford to hate the teams we need to make revenue from at home games when the work stoppage ends.

    If the Knicks only have 13,000 season ticket holders and they have no waiting list why would you think the Rangers have one or even come close to the numbers they have?
     
  22. Broadway Brett

    Broadway Brett Registered User

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    How doesn't an Islander fan not hate the Rangers? I hate the Islanders with all my heart.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2005
  23. OlTimeHockey

    OlTimeHockey Registered User

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    I wish I knew.....it's the new NHL.

    I despise MSG llc.'s enterprise, the Cablevision Knights (known better as the NYR) and their little heliport to get Holik his laserderm hair removal treatments.

    seriously, I see a lot less bitter hatred, and it scares me. It seems like a sign of the state of the game.

    The game got watered down with a trap and we were subjugated and passed off as important to the game by the league. Now talking to hairy Joe Ranger fan is almost pleasant, where in years prior, some of the single best wittcisms and rude trash talking would linger.

    The romance of the game is gone, I feel, and the new plastic vanilla pc trap happy no fighting NHL is to blame.

    I miss hating you guys moreso than I have recently. I miss trivial animosity. I relish the thought of bashing Jagr's contract and Holik's and Kaspar's "value" and your "strong committment" to defense. Just like you'll miss beating us and our minor league goaltender 6 times a year.

    The rate we're going, we'll be shaking hands and singing kum-ba-f*^&%king-ya before games.

    Good post, B'way Crosby. Your team bites. REALLY bites. I hope more friggen people realize that sooner or later. Or the sport might as well be MLS. Maybe NY City and the region needs something to cheer and bash and talk about again. 3/30ths of the trap system can't be too conducive of conversation.

    "How 'bout them Rangers/Isles/Devs" has been replaced with "how was your nap."

    Easy to get passionate about a neutral zone, dump spurring trap scheme that makes it hard to score on rediculously over-padded goalies.

    -end of rant-
     
  24. Son of Steinbrenner

    Son of Steinbrenner Registered User

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    rangers win the stanley cup in 1994 the league was never more popular in the united states. every major event that year had a rangers (belmont stakes, mtv music awards, etc)


    rangers go down hill and not so coincidentally the league goes down hill too.

    NYIsles1 the rangers could be the most important franchise to the health of the nhl. new york is the capital of the world and people that would buy into the league sponsers and broadcast networks are in new york. you can't compare the islanders and devils to the rangers. the rangers haven't made the playoffs in 7 years yet they were very close to averaging a sellout crowd for the year.
     
  25. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    It's not 1994. It's not 1980 when the Islanders were offered the Canyon of Hero's, when they won, things have changed.

    I discussed everything you wrote in prior posts at length. All three teams are invisible in an enormous baseball market. Nothing they do can change that.
     
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