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XM Signs The NHL


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#1 of 21 Joe McCabe

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Posted September 12 2005 - 03:18 PM

From Orbitcast:

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The glove has been thrown. Think the programming wars are over? Think again. XM Satellite Radio today announced a 10-year, $100 million dollar, exclusive, agreement with the NHL. XM will begin broadcasting NHL games in the 2005-2006 season, and in 2007 (when NASCAR jumps to Sirius) XM will be the National Hockey League’s exclusive satellite radio provider. Touche!

XM will provide live play-by-play broadcasts of every game from every team (covering over 1,000 games per season), as well as the NHL All-Star Game, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final. XM Satellite Radio will also produce a dedicated NHL radio channel featuring pretty everything about the sport (think MLB Homeplate for hockey). And of course, Canucks can rest assured that this will all be covered on CSR (ya hosers).

#2 of 21 MatS

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Posted September 12 2005 - 05:20 PM

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#3 of 21 Joe Fisher

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Posted September 13 2005 - 09:28 AM

XM radio just got better. Awesome. Simply awesome.

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#4 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 03 2005 - 02:52 PM

One gets left turns which has millions apon millons of fans the other gets a sport that got worse ratings then the WNBA.

I wonder who will get the World Championship of Poker ?

#5 of 21 MatS

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Posted October 03 2005 - 05:10 PM

Quote:
the other gets a sport that got worse ratings then the WNBA.

numbers can say anything you want them to
so since you had your say I'll add mine

hardcore NHL viewers (the majority of the fanbase) have alternatives to ESPN such as Center Ice
NHL fans fill most of the stadiums therefore they don't need to tune in to ESPN
NHL fans can watch their local team on regional cable/satellite sports networks therefore they don't need ESPN

hate all you want but most of us NHL fans aren't looking for 'mainstream' acceptance

now to add something constructive to the topic
XM stations 204-209 will be used for NHL

#6 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 04 2005 - 03:51 AM

Ummm I am a huge fan of the NHL (got my fantasty draft tonight and I hope Gonchar falls to me) but I also know facts are facts. So I really do not understand "hate all you want but most of us NHL fans aren't looking for 'mainstream' acceptance "

But the truth is, the WNBA had more viewers then the NHL two years ago. The problem with the NHL on XM is who is going to listen to it ? The NHL can hardly get viewers let alone listeners.

And you said it best "hardcore NHL viewers (the majority of the fanbase) have alternatives to ESPN such as Center Ice
NHL fans fill most of the stadiums therefore they don't need to tune in to ESPN NHL fans can watch their local team on regional cable/satellite sports networks therefore they don't need ESPN."


There is a reason the NHL is on OLN and lets be honest about it. Hockey is a niche sport with die hard fans. Problem is there isnt many of us out there.

Go Flyers !

#7 of 21 MatS

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Posted October 04 2005 - 06:38 AM

Brent
knowing where you are coming from I agree with you, well other than the Go Flyers part

but look at what I said
the WNBA fans didn't have the kind of options (that I know of) that NHL fans had to view their sport so of course their options on one provider would be greater than the options of NHL fans who's options are spread out amongst many providers

Quote:
The problem with the NHL on XM is who is going to listen to it ?

the hardcore fanbase...sure it is a small segment of the overall population but there is nothing wrong with that considering the small price XM paid and they amount of exposure they will get in Canada for the deal.

Quote:
Hockey is a niche sport with die hard fans. Problem is there isnt many of us out there.

back to what I said originally, I don't view this as a problem
have you seen OLN's "We Believe In Hockey" campaign yet
a great example of showing the strong sense of community amongst those who 'get it'

#8 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 06 2005 - 09:36 AM

I know this is off the XM topic but...

After watching last nights game on OLN I along with everyone one of my friends who did were disgusted with almost everything about OLN's broadcast last night.

#9 of 21 MatS

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Posted October 06 2005 - 04:31 PM

my email last night to OLN feedback@olntv.com

Quote:
To whom it may concern,

I tuned in tonight to view your coverage of the NHL via your broadcast of the Flyers/Ranger opening night game. I had read the following quote prior to tonights game and was left with some concern......

“Our philosophy is going to be back to the future, so to speak,” said Mike Baker, OLN’s coordinating producer. “With the way graphics and wider scoreboards have evolved over the past year, you get anywhere from four to 12 rows of stands and fans in your picture. I have measured TV screens and nearly 40 percent of screens was fans. We’re going to reduce that and focus our cameras closer to the ice. If the puck is 40 percent bigger because we have zoomed in, that means it’s 40 percent easier to see and 40 percent better.”

Needless to say that concern was realized with tonight's coverage.
As a diehard hockey fan of 30+ years I must tell you the decision of your production team to zoom in on the puck/players to the extent a viewer cannot see the action and play develop around the puck is a tragic mistake. The beauty of the game lies in not only the action with the puck but the activity around the puck. Hockey was not meant to be played in a phonebooth. If this method of broadcast is intended to cater to new fans of the game I would advise you that you are likely to loose more existing fans than gain new ones.

I would hope that tonight was just a trial and some adjustments can be made. If not you have lost this hockey fan's viewership for the forseeable future.

"I believe in seeing the larger picture in my hockey"

I didn't even go into how poor their broadcast team was or how their set and graphics looked like they came from Tom Mees era ESPN or how the picture and audio quality was less than to be desired.

OLN's coverage last night was the best advertising Center Ice could have not asked for.

#10 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 07 2005 - 03:40 AM

I couldnt agree with you more. After watching HDnets games the past two nights I see almost no reason to turn on OLN. As you said, the set (from being able to see the pant legs and chairs of the hosts to the most amature graphics..ughhh), the team in the booth, the horrid camera angles and ZOOM were so bad that I didnt even want to watch the 3rd period of the game.

I had my father come over to watch it (I had believed the flyers game would be in HD) and all he could say was he was that the NHL/OLN would have had to try real hard to have a worse opening night broadcast.

Mats please let me know if or when you hear anything. I am dying to know their response.

#11 of 21 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 07 2005 - 09:27 AM

Comparing the WNBA and NHL fanbases are a total joke. The WNBA doesnt' even come close. You cannot compare ratings between ESPN and NBC. The only reason the WNBA was on NBC 2 years ago is because they were forced to take it as part of the NBA TV deal. Believe me, NBC would rather show the NHL over the WNBA.

Almost every NHL arena was near 20,000 on Wednesday night. The WNBA couldn't do that even on its best day. The NHL averaged about 15,000 attendance per game during its last season, the WNBA about 8,000. A large portion of those 8,000 are on freebie tickets. There are 2 for 1 deals at convenience stores on a regular basis. NHL tickets aren't cheap in most markets.

Just to expand a little about what MatS said about Canada. Both XM and Sirius just recently got approved to start selling service into Canada. I'm not sure when the start date is, but its soon. The NHL pulls ratings in Canada bigger than the NFL does in the U.S., so whichever of the 2 services offers the NHL is going to be a big influence on Canadian consumers.

Overall, a great aquisition by XM, in my opinion.

#12 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 07 2005 - 02:32 PM

Jeff the only problem with your statement is that TV ratings are about the only thing that matters in sports. TV ratings = revenue. There is a reason the NFL is the most dominate sport of the current generation.

Teams can not survive in todays market on gate alone. Its that simple.

#13 of 21 MatS

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Posted October 07 2005 - 04:10 PM

Quote:
There is a reason the NFL is the most dominate sport of the current generation.

LOL
of course there is (a reason)
it's called gambling
remove that element from the NFL and see how many people care
If it is about the sport I'd much rather watch college pigskin.

#14 of 21 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 07 2005 - 04:54 PM

Quote:
Jeff the only problem with your statement is that TV ratings are about the only thing that matters in sports. TV ratings = revenue. There is a reason the NFL is the most dominate sport of the current generation.

Quote:
But the truth is, the WNBA had more viewers then the NHL two years ago.

The 2003 Stanley Cup Finals got a 2.9

The 2003 WNBA Finals got a .81

Source on 2003 NHL Stanley Cup Ratings

Source on 2003 WNBA Finals Ratings

Let's not forget that Canadian TV Ratings should be taken into consideration as well since XM and Sirius are now both licensed in Canada.

#15 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 08 2005 - 01:22 AM

Those are the finals (4-7 broadcasts) look at the regular season numbers where the NHL pulled in a .24 and the WNBA was pulling in a constant .40

Lets not forget that ESPN...

Had better ratings in the same time slots for Poker
Had very similiar ratings for Bowling
Didnt exercise their 60 million dollar right for this season
Gave NBC the right to broad cast the Stanely Cup finals FOR FREE !!

My point once again is that the NHL will never be a mainstream sport for the simple reason that they can not generate TV ratings which = Revenue

MLB - ESPN just paid an estimated $2.5 Billion for an 8 year deal, Fox is currently paying $417 Million per year

NFL - Fox will pay $712 Million per year, CBS $622.5 Million per year, Directv pays $700 Million a year, ESPN will pay $1.1 BILLION a year, and NBC will pay $600 Million per year

NHL - OLN will pay $69.2 Million per year

World Series of Poker - Gets $12 Million per year


I love hockey as much as the next guy, but lets be realistic, its a niche sport and I doubt it will ever be anything more then that. The NHL doesnt bring many people to the TV let alone to a Satelite Radio service.

We as hockey fans do not have to defend the sport we enjoy (there isnt much to defend), but what we should be doing is taking someone to a live game. Thats how you make a hockey fan, not by watching it on TV.

#16 of 21 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 09 2005 - 12:51 PM

Quote:
Those are the finals (4-7 broadcasts) look at the regular season numbers where the NHL pulled in a .24 and the WNBA was pulling in a constant .40
The articles I posted above show that the NHL was pulling an average of a 1.2 during the regular season, but it doesn't even matter. We all know that the NHL is the weakest of the "big 4" sporting leagues in terms of TV ratings in the U.S. I don't think that really makes a difference here as I think XM's goal was to capture Canadian market share. If your goal was to gain an edge over your competitor in Canada, what better way than by getting the rights to the NHL? Especially doing it just 3 days after getting approval from the Canadian government.

Quote:
I love hockey as much as the next guy, but lets be realistic, its a niche sport and I doubt it will ever be anything more then that. The NHL doesnt bring many people to the TV let alone to a Satelite Radio service.
I'm not sure why, but you seem to pretend Canada doesn't exist. The NHL will bring many Canadians to XM.

#17 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 14 2005 - 01:06 AM

Hockey on XM will bring many Canadians to XM ? Canadians didnt even support the few teams they had. There's a reason why the NHL moves teams out of Canada and would like to do so even more and its not just the exchange rate Posted Image

The only team that has a large following up there are the Leafs, if the Leafs arent on Hockey Night the ratings have a drastic drop. Canada cares about two teams, the Leafs and Team Canada. Thats it.

I gotta believe that the NHL will bring as many listeners of Hockey to XM as Richard Simmons is bringing to Sirius.

As for your links, sorry I just strictly go by what ESPN reported their ratings were, not the Mercury News. Even a 1.4 across the season are horrible ratings for a sport that wants to be considered a major sport. Poker pulls about the same ratings.

#18 of 21 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 15 2005 - 04:27 AM

Quote:
Canadians didnt even support the few teams they had. There's a reason why the NHL moves teams out of Canada and would like to do so even more and its not just the exchange rate

So far this season:

Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver have sold out every game.

Edmonton has been at 98.5% of capacity.

Source: ESPN

In 2003-2004:

Toronto & Vancouver sold out every game.

Montreal was at 96.6% of capacity
Calgary was at 96.8% of capacity
Ottawa was at 96.0% of capacity
Edmonton was at 95.2% of capacity


Yeah, I'll be they're really dying to move all those teams out of Canada except the Leafs with attendance numbers like that.

By comparison, let's look at some NBA teams attendance statistics for the same season (2003-2004)

Only 24% of the NBA teams (7 of 29) had attendace of 95% or higher (which was the lowest number of any of the Canadian NHL teams). By your rationale, 76% of the NBA teams have no support.


Quote:
There's a reason why the NHL moves teams out of Canada and would like to do so even more and its not just the exchange rate.

I can't recall any Canadian team moving since 1996 when the Jets left Winnipeg. That was almost 10 years ago! Don't make statements like "There's a reason why the NHL moves teams out of Canada" when it's not relevant to today's marketplace whatsoever.

So which teams are the NHL dying to move from Canada to the U.S.? And for what reasons......I've gotta hear this.

#19 of 21 Brent T

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Posted October 17 2005 - 02:48 PM

I did not say Candian cities do not support their local teams. I said Canadians did not support the teams they had. 25% of the teams in Canada relocated. Why ? The Montreal Candians have been on sale for as long as I can remember, Imagine if it were the Cowboys, RedSox or NY Rangers. Why would that be ? Oh and the reason the NHL and its owners want to move teams out of Canada are because of a major tax disadvantage those teams have (which the people of Canada were not in favor of changing). Thats the reason you had to hear, which I thought was pretty common knowledge. Look at how local government and its tax payers in the states poney up cash for their sports teams.

The point is this simple and I am not sure what isnt clear about it. Hockey will bring very few people to purchase and pay a monthly fee for XM Radio.

The Toronto Globe said it best:

"The biggest myth in this country is that Canadians are dyed-in-the-wool hockey fans," an anonymous network exec tells Globe columnist William Houston. "That's a lie. They don't watch juniors. They don't attend junior games to a great degree. They don't watch the [American Hockey League], andthey don't watch NHL games involving U.S. teams . Just ask TSN about their numbers when the Leafs aren't playing. The Leafs, the playoffs and Team Canada are the biggest TV draws for Canadian sports fans. Is this news to anyone? Other NHL teams, minor pro teams and junior hockey draw mostly regional audiences. Any surprises there?"

Sounds like something I said in an earlier post.

But back to the point of this thread... Jeff what do you think the NHL will bring to XM as far as number of new subscribers ?

I hope its over 833,333 new subscribers to pay 12 bucks a month for the next 10 years (and this doesnt even include actual cost for the programming of the NHL Channels) because thats what the NHL needs to see happen for it to even be mildly cost effective for XM.


Well thats the last I am gonna say on this. Dont see how I could say much else.

Go Flyers and may Simone Gagne and late round pick Steve Sullivan carry me the rest of my fantasy season !!

#20 of 21 Carl Walker

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Posted October 21 2005 - 12:54 PM

THANK GOD!!! As a Sirius subscriber, I can happily say that I don't have access to the gawd-awful NHL and baseball. To XM, I say: "KEEP EM, SUCKAS!" I'll just keep on listening to the NFL on my SIRIUS.
"I am the senate!"

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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


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