Breaking Down The NHL Broadcast Rights PossibilitiesS

The NHL's broadcasting deal with NBC and Versus expires at the end of the upcoming season. Sports Business Journal took a look at the likely contenders to sign up the league. Let's break 'em down.

NBC
Pros: Weekend games with exciting match-ups would continue!
Cons: Possibility of justifying grown men crying remains.

Fox Sports
Pros: Return of the Laser Puck!
Cons: Matt Millen no longer in the network's employ; chance to say "Matt Millen doesn't know shit about two sports" reduced significantly.

NHL Network
Pros: Could further develop into excellent niche network like MLB and NFL Networks; Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts.
Cons: Pain of US viewers knowing they only had limited access to Don Cherry would lead to depression.

Versus
Pros: Sterger near ice and other cold stuff; owned by Comcast which is buying NBC, so more games on NBC or some super-awesome Comcast-NBC super network.
Cons: This channel is always really hard to find. Or you forget that you have it, and then all of a sudden your friend calls you and is like, "Are you watching this?" and you're like, "No, it's not on here" and they're like, "It's on Versus" and you're like, "Oh, right. Versus." Just a hard to find channel.*

*Fake Versus conversation was originally set to appear in The Boring Bag but was cut for several reasons.

ESPN
Pros: More Barry Melrose.
Cons: More Barry Melrose.

CBS Sports
Pros: GUS JOHNSON CALLING A HOCKEY GAME!
Cons: There is no way that this will ever happen because it is too perfect a fit.

Turner Sports
Pros: Hockey games before Conan!
Cons: Studio analysts would be bland; Dick Stockton saying Wojtek Wolski makes one oddly uncomfortable.

Those are just the networks that SBJ looked at for the purpose of their article. I for one would like to see a game on Discovery if only to get a Planet Earth-type documentary out of the deal.

Photo via Center Ice Mag

How the next NHL rights deal could shake out [Sports Business Journal]