5 biggest strategic issues NHL faces in next 5 years?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by TheKiller93, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. TheKiller93

    TheKiller93 Registered User

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    What do you guys think are the five most critical strategic issues facing the NHL in the near future (and your stance from the leagues perspective on each).

    1. New CBA (maintaining hard-cap, perhaps considering luxury tax, avoiding lockout)
    2. New U.S. TV Contract (Stronger partnership w/ Vs. or better access to non-trad viewers w/ ESPN?)
    3. Unlocking opportunities in Europe (Premier games and other options)
    4. Growing game/viewership in non-traditional hockey markets
    5. Sochai, yay or nay? (leaning towards nay)

    These are my thoughts but would love to hear yours. This may or may not relate to an interview.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Finlandia WOAT

    Finlandia WOAT Bench Constance Garnett

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    1. Marketing
    2. Phoenix
    3. Taking advantage of other sports Lockouts
    4. CBA
    5. ???
     
  3. MountainHawk

    MountainHawk Registered User

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    1. Saving the Phoenix and Atlanta markets, either with current teams or expansion
    2. Getting teams in Winnipeg and Quebec, either via relocation or expansion
    3. US TV contract - maximizing exposure
    4. No labor strife -- get CBA done well ahead of time (it would be awesome if they got it done this summer to allow for the bonus cushion to be in effect next season, but that about as likely as Phoenix being done by tonight)
    5. Better online presence. It's pretty good right now, but MLBAM is the king at this, and the NHL needs to catch up.
     
  4. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    I'm guessing start of the season is a better chance for discussions to statt on next CBA based on Fehr's comments of trying to get up to speed as the new ED.

    NHL has one of the largest online presences of the major sports. But there's always room for improvement.
    Can you clarify why you think MLBAM is "king"?
     
  5. wjhl2009fan

    wjhl2009fan Registered User

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    As much as i like atlanta and phoenix at some point we have to cut the cord and no i can't see expanson happening in those markets.
     
  6. MountainHawk

    MountainHawk Registered User

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    MLB At Bat app is incredible. Games are easily to watch on Smartphones, I think the NHL is limited to iPad right now. (Maybe the iPhone screen is too small for hockey, not sure). MLB has condensed games out within hours, and it's available to anyone that bought the Apps.


    Now, it might be that baseball's pace makes the experience better online. Also, I actually haven't used the NHL online stuff nearly as much, so maybe I have a bad impression of how far it is behind.
     
  7. MountainHawk

    MountainHawk Registered User

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    I'm not going to get into this argument in this thread. There are other threads for that discussion.
     
  8. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    nhl has an android app out for verizon (and maybe bell, im not sure if bell's put theirs on the market yet).

    Great live streaming, choice of video or radio streams, live scoring, highlights up for goals at the end of each period, and a condensed game up usually within 45 minutes of the end.






    as for this thread:
    1. Franchise/Ownership stability. Make a decision on the problem markets, and fix the ones you keep. The NHL has to be proactive in growing the fanbase in these markets, not just the teams themselves. Every instable franchise lowers the value of every other franchise, and eventually will end up costing the owners money.

    2. TV contract. Not just about the money, but about choosing the right partner. The NHL needs to be given the opportunity to grow their presence in the USA. You have 4 options b/w NBC/Comcast, Fox, Turner, and ABC/ESPN. Make the right choice for the future of the league, dont just go for the highest bidder.

    3. Fix center ice. The Blackout policies are ridiculous.

    4. Headshots/concussions/equipment/arena design/etc. We've reached a tipping point on the player safety issue. This has to be solved. We shouldnt be talking about negatives in the NHL every day on every sports network.

    5. Growing hockey. This doesnt just mean in nhl markets, but the nhl has to be proactive at a grassroots level everywhere in the USA.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  9. MountainHawk

    MountainHawk Registered User

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    Clearly, I am behind the times. I guess I just don't have the need with the NHL, I'm home more in the winter. :)
     
  10. Retail1LO*

    Retail1LO* Guest

    I have a Slingbox and stream games from the Center Ice package on Comcast to my iPhone all the time, and the clarity is remarkable. It's even better on the iPad. I can't speak for the streams that are out there online...but streaming from your home to your phone or iPad is nearly as good as watching it on TV itself.
     
  11. Grumpz

    Grumpz Registered User

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    1) Clean up their back yard - Too many teams losing money
    2) Clean up their back yard - Too many teams changing hands
    3) Clean up their back yard - Too many teams currently for sale
    4) Clean up their back yard - Too many teams on the brink of relocation
    5) Clean up their back yard - Too many head shots, lose the instigator rule
     
  12. Street Hawk

    Street Hawk Registered User

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    Good points.

    For any new perspective owner, the NHL really needs to make sure that they get the right new person, especially in the non-traditional markets. No more of these Koules/Barrie groups that own the team for 2 years and bail. That's not the way to build up the sport in these areas. Take the necessary time to get the right owner in there.

    Head injuries. Those will always occur in a contact sport, but want to see the NHL take steps to drastically reduce the concussions that result from illegal hits/plays.

    Growing the game, yes, would be good to see the NHL work on that.

    For myself, want to see a new CBA signed that addresses the issues that were missed on the last CBA.
     
  13. Grudy0

    Grudy0 Registered User

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    1. New TV Contract. If NBC is to win, there must be either a larger presence for Versus, or another Comcast/NBC property, such as USA.

    2. The Phoenix/Atlanta/insert your Canadian city here saga must end. There will be much goodwill if one or both of these money losers are moved to Canada.

    3. The New CBA. More than likely, in order to insulate the teams that just don't have the revenue streams, I suspect the owners won't want to move much away from the current CBA. Yes, there could be some changes such as waiver rules, but I suspect the league is only interested in minor changes. There must be harmony if the game is to grow, as it appears two other pro sports are heading to the nuclear option.

    4. Clean up the "butchery". As much as I like a physical game, there is a certain amount of overkill with some hits this year. It must be cleaned up.

    5. Sochi. It is a must for the same reason as number 3.
     
  14. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    Verizon is the US cellular provider NHL sponsor. VCast (exclusive to Verizon) has special video feed.

    There's also a GameCenter app (Android) -- which may be what is being discussed above.

    (Now that Verizon has the iPhone, I'd expect similar features available.)

    Haven't heard status of app for Android table. Also don't know the status of apps for WinOS nor Blackberry devices.
     
  15. Jeffrey93

    Jeffrey93 Registered User

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    Do you work for a mobile phone company? Just curious....
     
  16. Jeffrey93

    Jeffrey93 Registered User

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    If the NHL truly wants to "grow the game" and allow piss-poor markets to be a member of their league....they need a salary cap and a luxury tax. In theory it could work. However, no current NHL owner would go for it.
    Tough to get these. Yeah....the NHL had a GREAT playoffs this past year.....but major networks realize that flukes happen. Broadcasting games where there are 7,400 people in the arena probably isn't a huge interest to major networks. So markets like Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, etc. are negated from network negotiations. Nobody goes to games there and nobody watches games there. Plus....games broadcasted from there look like dog-BM on TV. So.....big markets.....negate from what the big Philly vs. Chi-town cup final created. Bummer.
    They already do this. Regular season games by a few teams is MORE than enough.
    There is absolutely nothing the NHL can do to help this. Pre-season games will give a bump.....but only a bump. It will die. What is needed is minor leagues and junior development programs. Start at the very lowest league....and work up. No successful business starts from being huge and tries to get smaller. Start small....minuscule...and try to get bigger.
    Umm......I'm assuming you mean going to the Olympics in Sochi.

    I say go.....but only because the NHL needs to save face from going to Olympics in times when it obviously benefited them.....that now it is their turn to go to the Olympics when it actually benefits "growing the game" and not just the NHL.

    Either way....I don't think the NHL will notice much of a difference if they go to the Olympics or not. So I figure they will want big bucks for TV rights or they won't go. It will come down to dollars. And I hope Ovechkin gets his chance to defy the NHL and go AWOL to the Olympics. Then I hope the NHL bans him from the league because of it.
     
  17. Fish on The Sand

    Fish on The Sand Untouchable

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    The NHL doesn't make a dime off of the olympics. I wouldn't be surprised if the NHL actually loses money.
     
  18. Fish on The Sand

    Fish on The Sand Untouchable

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    The NHL hasn't cherrypicked the olympics. There was no benefit to going in 1998 at Nagano or 2006 to Turin. This is a load of crap.
     
  19. Grudy0

    Grudy0 Registered User

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    My comment was more in relation to growing the game, not the fiscal aspect of it. It wouldn't surprise me if the NHL loses money, either, but there appears to be more and more of an upswing to NHL viewership in the States after the Olympic ice hockey tournament is complete.

    I know of quite a few people that thought the gold medal game in Vancouver was one of the best showcases ever.
     
  20. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    "Growing the Game" and not participating in the Olympics strikes me as being rather incompatible.
     
  21. 1. TV contract - This is a no-brainer with viewership on the rise. Attendance might be down but viewership and markets are UP.

    2. International expansion. This was one of the things the NFL did correctly - Games in Europe and outdoor games, love 'em or hate 'em, get us more viewers nationally and internationally. Why stop at Europe? Let's play hockey around the world.

    3. Maintaining the balance of the CBA and/or cap issues. Right now we have the most balanced teams in any pro sport in terms of salary caps, etc. This is a strength. MLB is losing viewers because there are only two main options (Yankees and Red Sox). NBA has poor league balance because of their caps, and the NFL outright shutdown because of their failings. Keep the NHL and the NHLPA working hand-in-hand, it's WORKING.

    4. Concussions/Headshots/Actual game mechanics/Injuries/Equipment. While this stuff is important, they're handling it pretty well. Within a few years the problems should be almost completely gone (idealistic opinion) or at the very least, contained/managed (realistic opinion).

    5. Teams/Expansion Teams. There are places that want a hockey team that don't have one, and places that have one but don't need it. Manitoba Moose is a great example of that...
     
  22. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Present once again

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    1. The CBA. With the NFL and NBA in or headed for lockouts – both of which could be protracted – there will never be a better time for the NHL to capitalize with a new labor deal that provides a seamless transition from the prior CBA to the new one.

    2. Franchise stability. Parts of the CBA will have to be amended to handle this, but the NHL needs to get all 30 teams on relatively solid footing to have a base to grow from.

    3. Player safety. If you don’t take care of the players, you damage the quality of the on-ice product. The NHL and NHLPA need to take the steps now to protect the players and help give the game a chance to be highly marketable and attract new fans.

    4. TV contract. This next deal will probably span the entire next CBA; it’s not as important to chase dollars or names as it’s going to be to strike the deal that gives the league the most exposure across all available channels.

    5. Marketing. The NHL is finally taking steps to market the game, after ignoring this avenue for years; it needs to dramatically expand efforts here to help attract fans and push interest into markets across the league.

    For a few of the other comments offered here:

    -- where to locate teams: I put that in #2. The NHLPA will [for obvious reasons] want to put teams in locations that maximize revenues now, but in the end the league needs all teams to be financially stable regardless of location. That means "strong even if the economy goes south in _______."

    -- expansion: I don't want to see it happen any time soon, certainly not until the existing franchises have been shored up.

    -- Sochi: it'll happen, it's a question of what the two sides give up in the process. I can see the owners requiring the players take out insurance to cover injuries / amending SPC's to not cover injuries in international games in exchange for a variable Players Share that holds the owners accountable for some of their spending.

    -- physical play / headshots: I put that in #4 above.

    -- luxury tax: I won't say it won't be in the next CBA, but I don't think it'll solve problems. What I can see is a modified method to calculating the cap, perhaps by capping revenues of the 10 highest teams in order to hold down increases in the cap and help out low-revenue teams. I think that would help with escrow, but I haven't finished sketching out my idea on this and putting it through a spreadsheet with numbers to see what the impact would be.
     
  23. JuniorNelson

    JuniorNelson Registered User

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    I think the number one issue is that the NHL has set in motion all the pieces needed to seal its own demise.

    When, not if, a forensic audit cannot be made to fit the reported figures there will be a walk out. The player's union isn't very formidible, but they won't ignore issues with reported income.

    During this lengthy period a new league will emerge. Teams will play in two divisions, NA and Europe. Only fanatical cities will get franchises. I expect it to resemble the original six, plus Canadian teams in NA. Europe will amalgamate existing teams into a super league.

    The reasoning behind this assertion is that they have turned away billionaires and ignored fans and sponsors. This is called a disconnect and shows the league is unable to appreciate thier position in the marketplace. Nature and Economics abhor a vacuum!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  24. maroon 6

    maroon 6 Live and let live

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  25. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    ooh, i forgot about this, but maybe the payroll range needs to be increased.

    2005-06: Floor = 21.5M, Ceiling = 39M. Floor is 55% of ceiling.
    2010-11: Floor = 43.4M , Ceiling = 59.4M. Floor is 73% of ceiling.

    edit: yes, IB is right. The midpoint would stay the same, only the floor and ceiling would change.

    so in order to make the payroll range closer to 05/06 levels by percentage, the ceiling would be closer to 63M while the floor would be closer to 39M. Lower revenue teams would still be able to get maximum revenue sharing up to 51M. So widening the payroll range does nothing except lower parity and allow certain teams to act like the florida marlins if they choose.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

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