NHL TV deal is big stuff
And R.I.P. Joe Tait
Good morning, all! It's Friiiiiddddaaayyyy!!
Since our last newsletter, the NHL and ESPN have announced a new seven-year television deal worth $400M per year to the league. This is a big deal in so many ways:
The NHL returns to ESPN for the first time since 2004
Some games will be telecast across the entire spectrum on Disney-owned entities ESPN, ABC, and ESPN+, the streaming app that appeals to the younger demos.
Four Stanley Cup Finals will be broadcast by ABC
It gives the league even greater exposure
That last point is significant, because, unlike the NFL, MLB and NBA, the NHL was only on one national over-the-air network in the USA, NBC. The league is expected to cut a second deal with another major network, either NBC (whose current contract with the NHL expires after this season) or FOX. My bet is on FOX, nevertheless, the NHL needed a presence on more than one network and with this new deal it will be.
From this seat, the NHL's future appears to be bright.
I thought Bill Russell was in the Hall of Fame?
So there was the headline on one of the sports websites: "Bill Russell nominated for Springfield Basketball Hall of Fame." Whoa! Had my memory failed me? Wasn't Bill Russell already in the Hall of Fame. If he wasn't, there should be a national investigation.
Turns out, Russell is up for nomination as a coach in the 2021 class in Springfield. He is already in the hall as a player. He should also be elected, as a coach. And while they are at it, put him in the hall's Curt Gowdy broadcast wing too.
How many people remember he provided commentary on ABC's NBA Game of the Week back in the 70s? And did a great job. Bottom line is Russell deserves another trip to Springfield.
PGA Tour ratings soar
Ratings for the PGA Tour are on the rise. Sunday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational snagged a 2.4 rating and 3.86M viewers for NBC. For the record, eight of the last 10 PGA Tour events have witnessed a hike in viewers and ratings. Six of those events have garnered double figure hikes.
Such cannot be said about NASCAR. Although Sunday's race in Las Vegas outpolled golf, the NASCAR Cup series delivered a 2.6 rating and 4.36M viewers, the lowest rated race at Vegas since 1998. Ouch!
R.I.P. Joe Tait
The former "Voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers" Joe Tait passed away this week at 83. Tait broadcast Cavs games from the team's inception in 1970 through 2011, interrupted for two seasons, when he broadcast games for the New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls.
Many of those Cavs' games were broadcast on 50-thousand watt WWWE-AM. Those were the days; listening to NBA games on a cold, winter's night with Tait's dulcet tones providing the voice track. For a time, Tait also broadcast games for the Cleveland Indians on radio and later television.
Tait is in the broadcasters' wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a throwback to another era, when broadcasters were as legendary as the players they covered. R.I.P. Joe Tait.
Well that is it for this week. As always, thank you for your support and have a terrific weekend.