As An NHL Deal Gets Close, TSN’s Coverage Steps Up

Apparently 5am on a Saturday night 112 days into the NHL lockout is a better time to meet than regular daytime hours of any of the past five months. Or the months before that. TSN and Sportsnet have both covered the NHL lockout day after day since the first cancelled game in October. And let’s be honest, most of those 112 were meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The big moves have come within the past 24 hours. Pierre Leburn reported that the NHL moved up to a $62.5 million cap last night. Apparently the players got what they wanted as the final cap number $64.3 million (the players wanted $65 million, the owners wanted $60 million).

With most of the big issues agreed upon Saturday night and Sunday morning, it was the coverage these past 24 hours that mattered most. And TSN had a decisive edge over Sportsnet. Both networks had live coverage from New York City throughout the day. However as breaking news emerged during the overnight hours, TSN was the only network with live coverage. SportsCentre went live throughout the night and was still live when a deal was agreed on at 5:00am ET. Meanwhile the same taped edition of Connected, with the same taped segments of HockeyCentral’s lockout analysis, aired on Sportsnet. As a result, TSN was the first to go live to New York after a deal had been reached.

More on this later…


12 thoughts on “As An NHL Deal Gets Close, TSN’s Coverage Steps Up

  1. And now we have to endure 24/7 coverage of this until the first puck is dropped.

    Meanwhile, not a single US-network has been parked on the streets of NYC during this whole gong show. Either it shows how stupidly obsessed Canadians are, or how little of a shit hockey matters in the US.

    • Agreed. I was listening to sports radio in a medium US market with an NHL team, and the host was making the same point. He said that if this were the NBA or NFL or MLB then you would have tons of media staking out the negotiations. He was evidently unaware that the Canadian media was doing exactly that.

      This is why the owners will win every negotiation. The business model is built around selling to the die-hards, and those people will always come back. There is simply little risk to the owners in losing games. The profitable teams will make money when the season resumes, and the other teams are saving money by not playing. Pathetic.

      • I agree. I think most die-hard supporters will be back and the Canadian NHL buildings will likely be full. But what remains to be seen is the overall damage the league has done to itself in markets where there aren’t as many die-hards. Especially in tough economic times in the US where people may have limited money for entertainment spending and where there are many other entertainment options.

        And unlike in 2005 when I think many people understood the reasons for that lockout as the system needed a fundamental overhaul, this lockout was ridiculous. The NHL got exactly what it wanted in 2005 and now 7 years later felt it couldn’t continue under the system they created that was supposed to provide “cost certainty” (remember that term?). I wonder if owners and sponsors finally started to pressure to get a deal done. I don’t think NBC Sports Network has been too pleased as they’ve lost a lot of programming and their deal has like 9 years to run so they would be especially worried about long term damage to the league.

      • I don’t know that the owners always “win” the lockout. I think the players faired pretty well from 2005-2012. And I think this could have been a lot worse for them too.

    • I find it funny that TSN went LIVE through the night. Who the hell was actually up at 5am watching it when the news broke that a deal was reached. Now I’ll admit, I’m not much of a hockey fan anymore (used to love it, but lost interest in it the past 5 years or so) but even If you were diehard, would you have stayed up all night because there was a chance the lockout might end?

      As for your closing comment, i think it’s a bit of both, Canada is obsessed with hockey no doubt, it is THE sport in this country, but it also shows how outside of a few traditional markets, americans don’t care about it at all.

  2. I think the lockout could have ended much earlier.

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