Comment The Tampa Bay Lightning will have 11 games broadcast tampa bay hockey game on tv national television during the upcoming season. The season is right around the corner and everyone here in the Bolts Nation is gearing up to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice. There are just 55 days between now and the Lightning Home Opener and things are really starting to heat up.
Your local NHL team is playing a nationally-televised game. Another scenario. You live in Philadelphia and have purchased NHL.
On this night, the Lightning are in town to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. You open NHL. In both situations, the ability to watch hockey was hindered by the same thing: a blackout.
This type of blackout has to do with communication, specifically television and radio broadcasts and who is allowed to receive them.
What Are TV Blackouts? A blackout of the communication variety is intentionally preventing certain audience members from receiving television or radio broadcasts.
In sports, this manifests itself with games not airing due to regional sports networks or local channels having exclusive broadcasting rights. For the NHL specifically, blackouts are present to allow regional sports networks to broadcast as many games as possible.
Blackouts are not based on arena sell-outs.
Keep in mind that blackout policies and restrictions are different for every sports package that your system may carry. So if a game is on the NHL Network, it is being simulcast with the local broadcast. And, if that game involves the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild, as long as you live outside those markets, you can watch it.
However, if you live within those markets, you are unable to watch it on the NHL Network and have to rely on the regional network for viewing.
Although in , Rogers reached an agreement that allows them to broadcast any game involving Canadian teams on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday nationwide and without blackouts. There will be no further regional games or local blackouts. Only a few years ago, regional networks and NBC, along with its properties, shared broadcasting rights in the first round.
This led to blackouts similar to those in the regular season. However, starting with the Playoffs, NBC and regional networks shared rights and fans were able to watch the first round on either the local or national broadcast.
Regional Sports Networks? In general, a team is given a designated television market. Then there are the teams whose markets intersect, either because their fanbases stretch that far or because of multiple teams in one region.
Who or What Is to Blame for Blackouts? Getting to the bottom of who or what is to blame for television blackouts is a tricky proposition. There are several potential culprits.
Is it the league or the teams? Is it national or regional networks? Could it be one of them, several of them, none of them, or all of them? League vs.
Specifically, Steve Hatze Petros, who determines the schedule. He takes into account arena availability, team preferences, and travel, while working within scheduling rules to build an game regular season schedule for each team, totaling 1, games.
And as we know, when games are broadcast nationally, blackouts occur. The league is also at fault because it negotiated the contracts that gave national broadcasting rights to networks.
For the season, Rogers will broadcast more than regular season games while NBC and its properties will air regular season games. Team blame for tv blackouts is based on which regional sports network the team signs with to broadcast their games. While these contracts pale in comparison to other leagues, NHL franchises earn a substantial amount of money from local TV deals, a much larger amount than ticket or merchandise revenue.
As is expected, the teams with the most lucrative television deals are also some of the valuable franchises with the Maple Leafs, Rangers, and Canadiens leading the league. Top teams by annual income from regional sports networks.
According to Forbes as of Nov. Created by Kyle Gipe National Vs. Regional Networks NBC and Rogers, because they own the national television rights in America and Canada, respectively, are allowed to choose which games they broadcast.
This means covering games of popular teams and matchups that will draw fans. For example, a game involving the Bruins, Maple Leafs, or Pittsburgh Penguins is more likely to be picked up nationally than a game in which the Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers, or Carolina Hurricanes play.
But who can blame the networks for selecting games that will draw large audiences?
They paid exorbitant amounts of money for the rights to air games and want to get as much of a return on their investments as possible.
And with NBC airing an ever-increasing number of games, the number of blackouts will likely follow suit. For one, they are expensive.
In general, regional networks charge several dollars per-household on a monthly basis to have access to content. The other issue is that regional networks control how many viewing options are available.
Is streaming an option? Are you able to purchase a subscription as a standalone product rather than having a standard television package?
Something Else? While all four elements discussed above have some culpability in the prevailing existence of blackouts, one other aspect remains most at fault. Despite it being over five decades old, the Sports Broadcasting Act of remains an impactful piece of legislature in America. That act, signed into law by John F.
Kennedy, was a reaction to an earlier ruling that declared NFL franchises acting together to sign a league-wide television deal violated U. The initial ruling considered NFL franchises as separate businesses and working towards one television deal as a singular entity stifles competition.
The Sports Broadcasting Act of essentially repealed the earlier ruling by stating that sports franchises can pool their interests together to generate revenue as one unit. These licensing agreements—including television, radio, and digital—provide networks with the rights to broadcast games, and are a major revenue source for sports leagues.
However, all that it has done since is create and expand blackouts. The goal of the act was to amend the Sports Broadcasting Act of so that every game in every American professional sports league would be available in every market, either through the traditional format or via streaming.
However, the bill was never passed. Other Opposition In , a group of hockey fans filed a federal lawsuit against the NHL and television distributors. The lawsuit cited that the presence of blackouts in local markets despite subscribing to NHL.
TV constituted a monopoly and therefore violated antitrust laws.
The suit lasted over two years before the two sides reached a settlement. The settlement included the creation of single-team NHL. TV subscriptions at a reduced rate rather than having to subscribe to the entire league.
Purchasing a cable or satellite package with the local regional sports network is the most straightforward option. Couple that with a league-wide subscription to NHL. Hopefully with the growing popularity of cord-cutting and separating from traditional media outlets, blackout restrictions will slacken and access to hockey games will be opened to all fans in all locations.
Because right now, the NHL, the teams, and the networks may be growing profits at ever-increasing rates, but the product continues to suffer.