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53460Re: [hockhist] Future History?

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  • Lloyd Davis
    Dec 1, 2010
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      One wild card is that Kilmer Sports, Larry Tanenbaum's firm, has a
      right of first refusal on any interest in the team that is put up for

      It has been reported that Tanenbaum and the late Ted Rogers used to
      blue-sky it about cornering the pro sports business in Toronto. That
      opens up the possibility of any number of scenarios, such as Tanenbaum
      electing to let Rogers take a majority position, while adding to his
      own stake in MLS&E, or the formation of a new company to own MLS&E and
      the Blue Jays and give Tanenbaum a minority share of the whole works.

      Tanenbaum used to be in the broadcasting business himself, back when
      the landscape was a lot different. His company was an investor in
      Trillium cable, the YTV cable channel, radio stations such as CKLW in
      Windsor/Detroit. That company was sold to Shaw.

      Shaw has been in an expansive mood lately. They acquired CanWest's
      television assets, including the over-the-air Global TV system and a
      raft of cable channels. They're also going into the wireless and
      cellular businesses on a national level. Now, they may not be in a
      position to make another big acquisition, but an outfit like MLS&E
      would certainly help establish them as a national rival to Rogers.

      Bell Canada might even get into the game. Just recently, Bell
      purchased the CTV television network, which owns TSN and Réseau des
      Sports. CTV has been an investor in MLS&E -- it bought out Steve
      Stavro in 2003, and sold part of its holding to Tanenbaum a couple of
      years ago and the rest to Teachers' in 2009.

      Which leads to my larger point, in case you haven't noticed the common
      thread: MLS&E is more than a hockey team, it's a sports conglomerate
      with multiple teams in multiple sports, a facility it owns outright
      and several others that it manages under contract, with a couple of TV
      stations of its own. There's a lot of underlying value in the teams as
      a source of broadcasting content (not just on television, but on the
      internet and over wireless devices) and a means of selling advertising
      across different platforms (on TV stations, on handheld devices, on
      the team website, in the arena). Everything that Rogers has tried,
      with some success, to exploit with the Blue Jays.

      Balsillie owns a technology company that makes wireless devices, but
      doesn't have much apparent interest in being a content producer or
      distributor. HIs interest to date has been to own a hockey team, plain
      and simple. So I don't think MLS&E is a company that would interest
      him at all.

      On 1-Dec-10, at 1:35 PM, craigw@... wrote:

      > During the talks about this on the radio I heard a business
      > professor from
      > McMaster University in Hamilton suggest that legally speaking there is
      > nothing stopping Jim Ballsillie from also trying to buy these shares.
      > According to this professor if Ballsillie came up with more money than
      > Rogers there is nothing the NHL can do under Canadian law to prevent
      > him
      > from purchasing these shares. If he did so he would be the majority
      > owner
      > of the Leafs and have his NHL team.
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