There’s quite a bit of news that’s leaking out this morning. We’ll start with a story from Ad Age. They are reporting that NBC Universal will be taking over some advertising sales for the NHL when it comes to their digital properties and the NHL Network. The deal is unique since NBC and Versus won’t be taking over the management or day to day operations of any of the NHL owned properties. While Turner Sports handles some duties for the NBA, Turner also manages and operates NBA.com and NBA TV for the league. The NBC/NHL sales deal allows companies to buy ads for the NHL on the NBC Sports Group, NHL.com and the NHL Network all from one place. It’s one stop shopping for media buyers which should lead to a boost in ads especially for the NHL Net which has struggled in selling any ads outside of from official league partners. The NHL will continue to control all league wide marketing deals which leads us to our next story.
NHL APPEALING MOLSON RULING
The NHL made big news when it signed a record breaking marketing deal with MolsonCoors. The $375 million dollar deal hit a snag when Labatt claimed that they had a deal in place with the NHL already for Canadian marketing rights. Labatt then sued and later won in a Toronto courtroom. As expected, the league is appealing the ruling and is hoping for a ruling by the time that training camps open. A ruling against the NHL would be a major blow to the league and NHL COO John Collins which gained a ton of publicity from the big deal including from The New York Times. It is imperative that the league get this situation under control. Without a firm marketing plan in place for the upcoming season, the league will suffer and it’s likely that broadcast rights holders will feel some pain with a lack of ad buys.
HNIC RADIO JOB OPENING
For those wondering about the fate of CBC/Sirius Canada’s Hockey Night in Canada Radio, wonder no more. The CBC is actively looking for Jeff Marek’s replacement as they have posted an ad on a radio job posting site. However, the posting doesn’t help solve the mystery of whether the i-DESK will continue. The posting is vague in that while it does mention television, it doesn’t specifically mention HNIC or for that matter, the social media duties that Marek handled so well for CBC.