National broadcast ratings were up, attendance numbers were strong, and there were a few announcements to boot. With St. Louis celebrating its Stanley Cup victory, the local market tuned in with an 8. Louis was the No.
ESPN and ESPN2 have carried as many as games under the five-year deal that soon expires, but they have reduced the number in recent years.
Commissioner Gary Bettman made the best out of getting less. This is a realistic deal for what we're doing and what we're being compensated for.
It also acquired high-definition, Spanish-language, video-on-demand and wireless rights, assets that Bodenheimer said were increasingly important in a multimedia environment dominated by ESPN. The N.
NBC will carry seven regular-season games and six playoff games, all on Saturdays, as well as Games 3 to 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Rather than pay a rights fee, NBC will take enough advertising off the top to pay for its production and distribution expenses as well as for the costs of pre-empting prime-time programs for the Stanley Cup finals.
After that amount is reached, the N.
Both television deals have protection against a strike or lockout. Bettman was faced with little demand for the league's television rights. The NBC deal, albeit without guaranteed money, appealed to Bettman because it will put games on the top-ranked broadcast network for reaching young viewers between ages 18 and 49, compared with ABC, which is ranked fourth.
He said that NBC ''will have a more singular focus on us because they have the ability to work with us more directly than'' ABC did.
NBC will focus its marketing of the N. He added that ABC wasn't ''jumping up and down to take care of the N.
Bettman played down the absence of upfront money, and said, ''If this works as well as we hope, we'll be more than fairly compensated to my expectations and beyond, and NBC can make a lot of money. Out of today's million homes, 1.