For anyone who was staunchly against the NHL lockout that lasted into January and killed half a season won't like reading what Larry Brooks of the New York Post has to say in this morning's weekly Slap Shots column.
Slap Shots has learned the NHL recently informed the NHLPA the projected hockey-related revenue (HRR) for this truncated season will reach $2.4 billion, a staggering number with implications far beyond the obvious that the league essentially suffered no damage by locking out the players for more than three months.
This $2.4 billion projection is for a 720-game regular season plus the playoffs. Thus, the NHL expects to generate 72.7 percent of last year’s revenue in 58.5 percent of the season — and without the benefits reaped from the money-printing outdoor game.
Most clamored the sport would suffer irrevocable damage to the tune of millions of lost revenue from games not played, including the Winter Classic, and fans who were fed up with another work stoppage and wouldn't come back.
Not the case. Fans are back in droves, ratings are up locally and nationally and all is well in the hockey world.
Brooks also calls for the NHL to reduce the number of its regular season games to 70 to enhance the product:
The lesson here for the NHL (and NHLPA) is reducing the schedule to 70 games in a season that begins in the final week of October — it would be important to get a jump on the NBA — very well could and almost certainly would not only produce better hockey but generate more interest and thus more revenue.
This morning's revelation solidifies an ugly truth: the NHL knew exactly what it was doing by locking out the players and benefited quite nicely from doing so. This is why Gary Bettman, vilified by fans, is loved by his owners and will not be dispatched from his post anytime soon.
- If it doesn't anger you that the NHL's lockout antics actually made their pockets deeper, I'd question your love for the game. Sickening, but that's how big business operates. Hate Bettman all you want, but he's a shrewd business man. He's the Emperor Palpatine of sports commissioners.
- I'm with Brooks on reducing the amount of games. The season can start late October/early November and not miss a beat (apparently). I'm all for whatever makes the on-ice product better. Except, of course, work stoppages that make money-hungry owners richer.
I have not and will not go to a game or buy anything for a long while... I watch every game thou... guess i'm not doing much damage... oh well... I still feel anger towards all the owners and will continue to feel this way...
“@TheWrage According to @NYP_Brooksie NHL suffered little damage from lockoutPisses me off. Should piss you off too: http://t.co/9Yu60aHHW6”
@TheWrage @nyp_brooksie as a #NYR fan I don't like less games since less games would = higher ticket prices per game. Can't afford this.
Well Im still doing my part, no merch and Ive cancelled Centre Ice. Theres not much more I can do since I dont live in NY
@craig_atherton The question is, will you be back at some point?
@TheNYRBlog I think I'm still the only one who won't buy official NHL apparel which sucks because I really want to get a Nash jersey
@TheWrage I live in the UK so obviously I wont be at games. As far as Centre Ice I doubt it-a friend who has the package tells me that there are 15 blackouts per week this year where previously there were none, thats a pretty steep price increase per game and if it means playoff games will be missing too then they can whistle.
@JMK8363 @craig_atherton @TheWrage You guys don't even know the half of it, I'm in Florida and don't have cable so I have to use NHL Gamecenter, but 60% (actual number) of the Ranger games are blacked out for this shortened season. Anytime it's broadcasted on NBC/NBCSN it is blacked out (which isn't bad because that's fairly rare) but also anytime it is broadcasted on NHL Network (which is literally about one out of every three games) it is also blacked out. So all those put together makes for over 50% of the games blacked out. #stillfullprice
@craig_atherton @TheWrage I do have center ice and the coverage sucks! Rangers are rarely available in HD and often have only the opponents coverage even when at home. It's infuriating to have to listen to the other teams announcers watch in SD even when the games are at MSG!!! Yes it is nice to see the games but the offer of Home and Away announcers and to watch in HD would be really nice especially since they seem to offer it for all the other games. Oh and yes I still HATE Bettman - he is the anti-Christ!!!!