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More problems for the NHLowners

Assuming that the National Hockey League is going to resume play this year -- and that's a big assumption -- the question remains, will anybody be watching?

This comes on the heels of a weekend announcement that ESPN has decided not to pick up a $60 million option to retain its broadcasting rights in the United States.

As if the NHL does not have enough problems.

What this means is that you're going to have to go to Canada in order to watch an NHL game. Maybe it's not that bad because ESPN may still reach an agreement with the NHL, but for considerably less money.

And NBC has agreed to televise games, but it is offering no up-front money. The NHL will share in revenue after NBC has recouped production costs.

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In other words, the NHL owners are crying out for any kind of TV help. Networks are literally throwing billions and billions at the NFL and NASCAR, baseball, college basketball and football and the various professional golf circuits are making big money off TV, too.

Only the NHL is hurting. Of course, if there's no games, watching them is not a problem.

Paul Christian

pchristian@postbulletin.com

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