Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yet More OLN Problems

The OLN NHL deal has so far been problematic. There is yet another problem. The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) which is an alliance of many different small cable companies and cable providers is suing Comcast for the way they they have handled their hockey broadcasts on OLN.

Comcast is demanding that cable providers have their OLN channel distributed to at least 40% of their subscribers. Basically, this forces them to put OLN in a basic package (such as the one with ESPN) and not a premium package. If cable companies do not provide this, OLN has blocked hockey games.

The NCTC claims this violates the longterm agreement their members have with OLN that set rates and carriage requirements for the channel.

So far, the OLN broadcast problems have been bad for the NHL. I believe that even if ESPN did not promote hockey games much and relegated them to ESPN2, there would be higher quality broadcasts and less problems with them. This would have been better for the NHL.

Thanks to Kukla's Korner for the pointer.

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