This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Reasons This Is the Year to Watch the NHL

The TV deal

When was the last time the NHL had anything resembling visibility? Try 2004.

Just before the lockout cost it a full season, the NHL and Disney (DIS) had a deal that allowed ESPN to show games during the week and to give folks such as Barry Melrose and John Buccigross actual jobs instead of just trucking them out for the occasional SportsCenter segment. Disney broadcast playoff games and the Stanley Cup Finals on ABC and all was right with the world.

Until it wasn't. After the lockout, the folks at ESPN began forming their position that hockey wasn't a "real" sport that merited coverage. The Worldwide Sports Leader was getting money and interest from more lucrative sports and couldn't be bothered to expend airtime on a league that just scotched its whole season and failed to award a Stanley Cup for the first time since 1919. With few other options, the league jumped to the Outdoor Life Network in a move roundly criticized as a trip to sports purgatory.

For a league with a knack for bumbling itself into terrible positions more often than not, the NHL accidentally made the best decision of its post-lockout life. Outdoor Life became Comcast-owned Versus. After Comcast> (CMCSA) merged with NBC, Versus was rebranded as the NBC Sports Network and folded into the network's expanding sports coverage. Last year, NBC paid $2 billion for 10 years of NHL coverage. That's couch change compared with the $1.9 billion ESPN is paying per year to broadcast Monday Night Football alone, but it's triple what the league was getting in rights fees before.

Fans, meanwhile, can catch games on an easy-to-find network and have access to every game of the NHL playoffs through NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC. While ratings are still a fraction of those posted by other sports, the 392,000 viewers per game that the NHL averaged last season was its highest viewership since the 1993-94 season, when the New York Rangers were on their way to the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 54 years and games were broadcast on ESPN and ESPN 2.

The NHL hasn't done a whole lot right in the past 20 years, but that one post-lockout move to an unpopular network may have saved the league from being flung to some far corner of the ESPN spectrum.
2 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $118.44 0.00%
FB $94.14 0.00%
GOOG $631.21 0.00%
TSLA $259.99 0.00%
YHOO $36.69 0.00%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,598.20 -91.66 -0.52%
S&P 500 2,098.04 -5.80 -0.28%
NASDAQ 5,115.3820 -12.8990 -0.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs