Gary Bettman answering questions for the media.
Photo credit: CBC

Gary Bettman and NHL make clueless decision about Oilers and Leafs game tonight

Published January 16, 2024 at 2:21 PM
Despite only playing against each other twice per season, the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs have developed quite a rivalry both on the ice and among the fanbase. As two elite teams from the West and the East, any matchup between these two is a battle for being the best team in Canada. Of course as well, it's a matchup between McDavid and Matthews in their primes.

For all these reasons, the media across the country are hyping this game up, and plenty of fans will want to watch. Unfortunately, many fans will be blacked out of this game because of the atrocious broadcasting deals the NHL has made.

Since the game is only a regional game, not a national broadcast, only paying customers of the major telecom in Alberta and Ontario will be able to watch the game, instead of it being marketed to as many people as possible. Being such a marquee matchup, it doesn't make any sense for the NHL to reduce itself to only a regional broadcast.

At the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, Rogers' deal to be the NHL rights holder in Canada will finally expire. If Gary Bettman and the NHL is actually interested in growing the game and the marketing of hockey, they have to at least consider moving on from Sportsnet and finding a different provider for the NHL who can market the league more successfully. Over the course of their broadcasting deal, Rogers and Sportsnet has been a nightmare for the league and its fans.
January 16   |   551 answers
Gary Bettman and NHL make clueless decision about Oilers and Leafs game tonight

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