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NHL Loses Key Decision in TV Rights Lawsuit


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#21 Daniel

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:41 PM

Yeah I know, but I'm just curious. A ruling like this would make a huge difference to a few teams with some very noticeable "territory" issues; just curious who's involved.

You'll see a lot of lucrative TV deals down South being made related to teams/broadcasts like New York, Toronto, and Montreal. It'd especially benefit an area like New Jersey and Buffalo/Toronto, where I believe there is a big overlap in fanbase allegiances. I'm curious how Anaheim/LA/San Jose are set up too, and especially Detroit/Chicago/Minnesota.


It'll also be interesting to see what effect it would have on small market teams like Arizona or Florida, and perhaps places that are looking for an expansion team like Seattle. The regional exclusivity probably does help those teams maximize their followings. I mean, how appealing would it be for a group that wants to spend hundreds of millions to put a team in Seattle, if it turns out that locals will also get to choose to watch Canucks games? It's especially the case when you consider that it usually takes expansion teams a few years to be competitive on the ice. While it used to be that an expansion team could weather the storm by being the only game in town, it might be less so in the future.

I quickly perused the decision, and am not an expert on antitrust laws, so I can't really speak to the merits. It is important to note though that this judge is notoriously inclined to side with plaintiffs in these kinds if cases and does have a tendency to be overturned on appeal. I believe she was the one that held that the NFL's age limit on draft eligibility in the Maurice Clarett case was illegal, which was overturned on appeal,
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#22 Triumph

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:47 PM

The biggest thing this affects is something like Center Ice and especially GameCenter.  It'd be insane to put any regional sports networks on existing cable tiers out of market unless they charged practically nothing for it, and why would they do that?   But for people who want to stop getting cable because it's an absurdly priced monopoly and would only get GameCenter, it's huge.  Out of market stuff is really immaterial imo.


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#23 Daniel

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:13 PM

The biggest thing this affects is something like Center Ice and especially GameCenter. It'd be insane to put any regional sports networks on existing cable tiers out of market unless they charged practically nothing for it, and why would they do that? But for people who want to stop getting cable because it's an absurdly priced monopoly and would only get GameCenter, it's huge. Out of market stuff is really immaterial imo.


There was a time when out of market regional sports networks were on regular cable tiers. I remember when I could watch Cubs games on Comcast from my parents' house. You used to also get Braves games on TBS. (MLB is also a defendant in the suit). FWIW, the cable companies tried to dismiss themselves from the suit on the grounds that they didn't really have any choice in the matter, since the NHL and MLB requires all of their teams to include regional restrictions in their TV deals. So, there is something to the idea that regional cable companies, or Direct TV would allow out of territory teams onto their cable packages if they were allowed to.

Some cable companies could also probably make a decent chunk of change on the ruling if it holds up, even if it cannibalizes Center Ice or Game Center. I could easily see a cable company in Florida charging a few extra bucks a month to have a tier that includes MSG, YES and NESN.
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#24 Triumph

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:36 PM

There was a time when out of market regional sports networks were on regular cable tiers. I remember when I could watch Cubs games on Comcast from my parents' house. You used to also get Braves games on TBS. (MLB is also a defendant in the suit). FWIW, the cable companies tried to dismiss themselves from the suit on the grounds that they didn't really have any choice in the matter, since the NHL and MLB requires all of their teams to include regional restrictions in their TV deals. So, there is something to the idea that regional cable companies, or Direct TV would allow out of territory teams onto their cable packages if they were allowed to.

Some cable companies could also probably make a decent chunk of change on the ruling if it holds up, even if it cannibalizes Center Ice or Game Center. I could easily see a cable company in Florida charging a few extra bucks a month to have a tier that includes MSG, YES and NESN.

 

Cubs and White Sox games still appear on WGN.  The reason why more stations don't do this isn't because of blackout restrictions, it's because it's not profitable to show random baseball to a nationwide audience.  TBS dumped baseball when they got better content.  I also imagine that WGN doesn't charge 'sports prices' to be included on Verizon - sports are the most expensive thing going on TV these days.

 

I agree that Florida is one place where cable companies would be affected, but Philly?  Or anywhere else, really?  I don't see it.


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#25 Daniel

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:01 PM

Cubs and White Sox games still appear on WGN. The reason why more stations don't do this isn't because of blackout restrictions, it's because it's not profitable to show random baseball to a nationwide audience. TBS dumped baseball when they got better content. I also imagine that WGN doesn't charge 'sports prices' to be included on Verizon - sports are the most expensive thing going on TV these days.

I agree that Florida is one place where cable companies would be affected, but Philly? Or anywhere else, really? I don't see it.

I honestly think in a lot more places than you would think. I could see, for example, Verizon in NYC allowing customers to pay a little extra for NESN to get Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins games. I do think that a cable company in Southern Jersey, i.e. Philly territory, would do the same with MSG, SNY and YES.

EDIT: or you can perhaps do a simple eye test whenever you watch a random game. If you see a lot of the opposing teams fans in the stands at any particular away game, especially one that is far away from the geographic market, it's probably a good indication that there are enough people in that area that would pay something to watch a particular away team's games.

Edited by Daniel, 11 August 2014 - 06:04 PM.

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#26 Daniel

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:10 PM

FYI, you can read the decision here if interested

http://docs.justia.c...1817/393220/257
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#27 thecoffeecake

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:10 PM

Depends on which parts of South Jersey you are referring.  For the towns that are closer to Philly, it won't.  For the towns that are basically equidistant, it could.

That's not true. The New Jersey name means something to people all over the state, and if the games were to get picked up down there, things could change in many communities. There will always be Flyers fans down there, and in many places, the Flyers will always hold a heavy majority, but the Devils will cultivate fan bases in many places that aren't "basically equidistant" if that was to happen. We've all met diehards from all over the state. Many kids growing up in South Jersey will identify with the Devils if they're able to watch the games.


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#28 ATLL765

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:42 PM

The biggest thing this affects is something like Center Ice and especially GameCenter.  It'd be insane to put any regional sports networks on existing cable tiers out of market unless they charged practically nothing for it, and why would they do that?   But for people who want to stop getting cable because it's an absurdly priced monopoly and would only get GameCenter, it's huge.  Out of market stuff is really immaterial imo.

If I could watch Devils games on GameCenter, I'd have no reason to pay for cable. Live sports is the only reason I need cable at all. Everything else I like to watch I can easily get for free on the internet.


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#29 CarterforPresident

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:12 AM

I can't even get the Devil games on Center Ice in HD, all the money and you can't get the best. Onlr reason I'll watch Flyers games, down here is because it's HD and no extra charge for it. All Center Ice games should be HD with the money it costs!!
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#30 Daniel

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:40 AM

I can't even get the Devil games on Center Ice in HD, all the money and you can't get the best. Onlr reason I'll watch Flyers games, down here is because it's HD and no extra charge for it. All Center Ice games should be HD with the money it costs!!

The one thing I would try out if you have an apple device is to subscribe to NHL game center and drop $100 on Apple TV. You can connect to your tV in HD wirelessly, although you should check if it's supported by AirPlay

Edit: actually it's it's own app on apple tv so you don't even need another apple device

Edited by Daniel, 12 August 2014 - 07:44 AM.

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#31 DJ Eco

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:28 AM

That's not true. The New Jersey name means something to people all over the state, and if the games were to get picked up down there, things could change in many communities. There will always be Flyers fans down there, and in many places, the Flyers will always hold a heavy majority, but the Devils will cultivate fan bases in many places that aren't "basically equidistant" if that was to happen. We've all met diehards from all over the state. Many kids growing up in South Jersey will identify with the Devils if they're able to watch the games.

 

Exactly. There are plenty of areas that are just as far from The Rock as they are from Philly, but they are de facto Flyers fans by cirumcstance, because of tradition or simply just what they get on TV. A decision like this, coupled with a good season or two and emergence of a superstar figure or two (Henrique? Cammalleri? etc..) would do nothing but good for future of the fanbase throughout the state. Jersey Pride is just as strong down there, and the Flyers haven't done much to hold onto their fans the last 30 years.


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#32 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:52 AM

If Devils games were to be broadcast down in South Jersey, it would help for sure.  However, it would be minimal and I doubt you will be converting and/or cultivating those who live within an hour of Philly but a solid 2+ hours from the Rock.

 

The Devils just are in a crowded space and it is what it is.


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#33 Matteau#32

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:57 AM

I believe a lot of our local stations are available on the special sports tiers across the country on cable.  YES definitely is, and I believe you can get MSG in different parts of the country.  Would all come down to negotiations.  If live games become part of the deal, the station is going to want more $.  The question becomes how much more and how much more will the cable/satellite company be willing to pay.  Logic says the cable company in South Jersey would be willing to pay more for Devils/Rangers games through MSG than the cable company in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Likewise, the company in Southern Connecticut would pay more for Bruins than a company in Raleigh, NC.  (of course, I am assuming that not all of a Connecticut can get Bruins games, but I have no idea if that is true, or if it is true where is the cut-off). 


If Devils games were to be broadcast down in South Jersey, it would help for sure.  However, it would be minimal and I doubt you will be converting and/or cultivating those who live within an hour of Philly but a solid 2+ hours from the Rock.

 

The Devils just are in a crowded space and it is what it is.

I agree.  


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#34 volchenkov28

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:04 AM

I just hope it won't affect me here In the Lehigh Valley. Cuz idk what I would do if I can't watch devils anymore hahaha
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#35 Triumph

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:08 AM

I believe a lot of our local stations are available on the special sports tiers across the country on cable.  YES definitely is, and I believe you can get MSG in different parts of the country.  Would all come down to negotiations.  If live games become part of the deal, the station is going to want more $.  The question becomes how much more and how much more will the cable/satellite company be willing to pay.  Logic says the cable company in South Jersey would be willing to pay more for Devils/Rangers games through MSG than the cable company in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Likewise, the company in Southern Connecticut would pay more for Bruins than a company in Raleigh, NC.  (of course, I am assuming that not all of a Connecticut can get Bruins games, but I have no idea if that is true, or if it is true where is the cut-off). 


I agree.  

 

I imagine if this happened that the cable companies would put these channels on special tiers that they charge extra for and they would make them regional tiers.  So let's say you want to see Boston sports, well you have to pay for New York and Philadelphia too.  And if you want Chicago, you have to pay for Detroit and Minnesota also.


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#36 Onddeck

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:01 PM

as long as i can get games through gamecenter or center ice than i'm happy.  i understand the future implications of a slightly increased fan base though if it goes the way we think it does


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#37 Matteau#32

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

I imagine if this happened that the cable companies would put these channels on special tiers that they charge extra for and they would make them regional tiers.  So let's say you want to see Boston sports, well you have to pay for New York and Philadelphia too.  And if you want Chicago, you have to pay for Detroit and Minnesota also.

Probably.  Other thing to consider is teams who share a station and the extra station.  For example, If South Jersey bought the MSG package, would they also get MSG 2 and MSG 2 plus, for when one of the teams gets bumped.  Would they want to dedicate a channel slot for something that is seldom used?  

 

BTW, if anyone is interested, I found a site that streams all hockey games (NHL, AHL, OHL, Q, and WHL,  It is a pay site, but the rates are better than Center Ice or Game Center.  NO local blackouts, and you can choose the feed you want.  I discovered it in July and ordered for a month to test it out.  They have every game going back to last season's play-offs archived.  They do have dvr capabilities and you can watch through roku, internet, etc.  Wife and I are selling our apartment and buying a house.  One thing we are doing is dumping cable.  Going to get an antenna to watch football.  If anyone wants the site, pm me.


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#38 Matteau#32

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:10 PM

I'm curious how Anaheim/LA/San Jose are set up too, and especially Detroit/Chicago/Minnesota.

If you are referring to tv deals, I would think LA/Anaheim is the same as we have here where the providers carry all the teams.  Is there anyone here in NJ who can't get Isles games?  When I lived on LI, we got Devils games, as far as I know you get Devils games all the way out to Montauk.  


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#39 ATLL765

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:54 PM

The one thing I would try out if you have an apple device is to subscribe to NHL game center and drop $100 on Apple TV. You can connect to your tV in HD wirelessly, although you should check if it's supported by AirPlay

Edit: actually it's it's own app on apple tv so you don't even need another apple device

You could just hook your PC up to your TV as the monitor, but then the audio will still be playing through your PC. I know some Android phones allow their micro USB port to be used as an video/audio output via an HDMI adapter so then you could just hook your phone straight to your TV with a cable. I know the PS3 had a GameCenter app so I imagine the PS4 has one too and maybe the Xbox does as well, which would be another option for watching GameCenter on your TV.


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#40 CarterforPresident

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 05:07 AM

I have the Audio on my phone, so I can listen while I'm at work ( I work 4pm-1am ). I also still get the Center Ice every year, but the NHL doesn't give half the games in HD just SD. IMHO, with how much it costs, every game should be HD no matter what. Premium Price for a Standard Quality. :((((((((((
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