Sunday, December 18, 2005

NHL Propaganda

One of the biggest claims of the NHL is that they are obtaining a record attendance. This makes for great propaganda. The NHL must be doing very well if they are obtaining a record attendance. Viewers of NHL games either in person or on TV watch the games and notice a lot of empty seats in many of the stadiums. How can this be?

The NHL attendance is reported as the number of tickets distributed. Larry Brooks reports that many teams are giving away free tickets to raise their attendance. Florida gives away as many as 4000 seats a night, Chicago gives away 3,100, Boston and Dallas give away 2,700 tickets. That is likely enough to explain the increase in attendance.

The further NHL good news report is that the salary cap will rise next year to somewhere between $40 and $45 million. That says things are going well right? Not necessarily. In 2003-04, the NHL made $2.2 billion. They were initially projecting a $1.8 billion revenue this year (which makes for a loss of $400,000,000) and telling everyone how great it is that their revenue has dropped that much. Now if they succeed at acheiving the $1.8 billion in revenue, that alone is enough raise the cap to the reported level. The CBA assumes that revenue will rise by 5% in revenue from year to year. That alone is enough to raise the salary cap to reported levels. It would give a $40.95 million cap.

So all told, the NHL can be meeting their milestones that their propoganda spins into successes by distributing free tickets and losing $400 million a year over what they made prior to the lockout. And all this is reported as good news. And for the most part, the NHL's media is complicit in this propaganda.

NOTE: The Larry Brooks NY Post article requires registration. Try bugmenot to solve this problem.

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