A report out today from the Globe and Mail mentions that the Dallas Stars may be closing in on a new television deal with Fox Sports Southwest. The current deal is set to expire at the end of this season.
Through the ownership of 40 different banks and a five-year playoff drought we've worried that the next television deal would more closely resemble that of other Sun Belt teams than to what we've been accustomed in the past - All 82 games. Take a look at the Nashville Predators schedule for an example.
But the Stars have made this a priority and we've gotten the sense lately that they are working on it and that they've been working on it for quite a while, likely as one of Jim Lites' top priorities. The Globe says the Stars are in for a substantial increase in revenue...
A richer television deal is near-ready, and would kick in next season. The Stars make some $12-million a year from their current Fox Sports contract, a figure that is set eclipse $20-million, similar to an increase the network handed the Los Angeles Kings.
The success of such efforts will be a bellwether for the business of the NHL in the southern United States. After bailing out of Atlanta, and finally finding new owners for clubs in Florida and Phoenix, the league needs success in a city such as Dallas, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and, early last decade, one of the NHL's best markets. [Globe and Mail]
We anxiously await a report with the phrase "all 82."
The situation regarding the current Stars deal became public, if you'll recall, around the sale of the Texas Rangers in the summer of 2010. Reports came out that Fox was working on a deal for both, a deal for neither, a potential Mark Cuban-run sports network if he bought that team, and then ultimately the truth was a massive deal for the Rangers that changed their financial landscape forever.
One report that was confusing and ultimately disproved, or otherwise changed by an ever-twisting legal reality was that the "future buyers of the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers are obligated to pursue a joint media venture after the expiration of their current TV deals, according to terms of the Texas Rangers sale agreement that was made public recently as part of the club's bankruptcy proceedings."
That obviously didn't happen.
When Chuck Greenberg was kicking the tires on the Stars he was reportedly trying to get a long term television deal in place to justify the investment, but it didn't happen and he publicly said that was the reason he would not be making a bid on the team.
Two years later it would appear that it is the Stars' turn, and if this Globe report is somewhere in the ballpark (see what I did there?) then Jim Lites and the Stars will have made out alright when some bad timing a couple of years ago seemed to threaten the situation.
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