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Re: [hockhist] Digest Number 4280

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  • Sebastien Tremblay
    ... Then can you explain to me how a franchise with empty seats, that loses money hand over fist, and as done so ever since it moved there from Winnipeg,
    Message 1 of 3 , May 9, 2009
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      > Gary Bettman is not concerned with, or even interested in,
      > the
      > population, rink, or transit system in Hamilton. It is
      > not a
      > question of whether the Hamilton area is large enough to
      > support an
      > NHL team, it is a question of whether that franchise would
      > improve
      > the NHL's overall status as a commercial attraction in
      > North
      > America. Clearly, Bettman believes that it would not do
      > so.

      Then can you explain to me how a franchise with empty seats, that loses money hand over fist, and as done so ever since it moved there from Winnipeg, improves the commercial attraction of the league on a continental basis?

      > dividing Canadian TV rights in seven shares instead of six,
      > so the
      > Leafs would also lose in that regard, and probably by more
      > than the
      > amount to be gained if the addition of a team in Hamilton
      > resulted in
      > a higher total contract with a Canadian network.

      At least there is money to be divided there, and remember the biggest impact of removing Phoenix for Hamilton, you stop pumping money into a black hole via the revenue sharing program and replace it with a team that most likely would be cutting a cheque, I think the Leafs could go for that.

      > Adding a franchise anywhere in Canada also does nothing to
      > improve
      > the league's American TV ratings, since Canadian
      > viewers aren't
      > counted in those ratings even if they are watching a game
      > on an
      > American channel.

      Again the pipe dream, there will never be a big national television contract in the US, its a regional sports at best and the Phoenix region does not care about hockey so cut losses and drop the place. That's what good businessman would do.

      > Moving a franchise from Phoenix, one of the ten largest
      > cities in the
      > United States, to Hamilton would be a terrible blow to the
      > league's
      > image, something that Bettman has spent his tenure trying
      > to
      > improve.

      You've identified the real issue here. Bettman's pride and unwillingness to admit to any mistakes.

      I sincerely hope that Balsillie succeeds in his move, there has been enough stupidity in the management of the league and it needs to go into markets it has a chance to succeed in.

      Sebastien


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    • Rob
      From a business perspective, Bettman is kind of interesting. Imagine a CEO of a corporation who was ushered in with fanfare, had the generated momentum of big
      Message 2 of 3 , May 9, 2009
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        From a business perspective, Bettman is kind of interesting.

        Imagine a CEO of a corporation who was ushered in with fanfare, had the generated momentum of big names Disney and Blockbuster climbing aboard to help his introduction, and ultimately has failed to deliver on his business model ... for 16 years.

        How does this happen?

        (a) the lack of a strong challenger to the position
        Not to say one does not exist; if one has surfaced, he/she has been adequately suppressed or muzzled;

        (b) the ability to dissuade a majority of the shareholders from seeking a replacement
        Bettman does not necessarily need 16/30 for a simple majority; he just needs the majority of the loud and powerful voices on his side.

        That being said, he has had 16 years to deliver on his business plan, and has not. I believe it was on this list (Bill or Lloyd perhaps) where it was pointed out that in the late 1980's and early 1990's, the NBA had still not crystallized its support and the NHL was in a position to vault past it in pre-eminence. How did it turn out? The proof is in the ratings.

        So how does a CEO whose business plan just didn't pan out (after many excuses and years), keep from being executed? If you've survived for 16 years, obviously you are slick enough internally to divert attention away from the failure, and point to other tangible and palpable features of the business, such as, "is your asset [franchise] worth more than it was four years ago? Ten years ago? Sixteen years ago?"

        Most owners are going to say yes. So the minority of shareholders who had the bad business acumen to invest in non-traditional markets, they bleed a little red ink, but for the original 6 (or 12, or 17), you've done pretty good with ol' Gary in the driver's seat.

        Of course, he doesn't want you to contemplate just how much richer you could have been if a more dynamic individual, with more common sense for the *game*, had been in charge. Just remember that most of you rich boys are even richer since I've been in charge, and remember only that.

        Rob in 905


        --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, Sebastien Tremblay <trespass53@...> wrote:
        > I sincerely hope that Balsillie succeeds in his move, there has been enough stupidity in the management of the league and it needs to go into markets it has a chance to succeed in.
        >
        > Sebastien
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