Morning Medley: NHL Stays With NBC, Jerry Jones Resumes Mediation Talks

By John Morse

NHL to Stick With NBC and Versus for Future

The NHL agreed to a deal that will continue to give NBC and Versus the sole national television rights for the next 10 years. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called the deal “the most significant in league history.” NBC is the major network of the NHL and Versus is the major cable network for NHL games. The deal was signed yesterday between the NHL and NBC sports group and is worth $2 billion.

The NHL has split up games between NBC and Versus since a lockout occurred six years ago. The deal comes despite ESPN and other networks expressing interest for broadcast rights, but the NHL decided to stick with what has been working.

“This is right across all factors, not the least of which is the tremendous relationship we have with NBC and Versus,” said commissioner Bettman. “When we looked at the entire package and the relationship, it was clear we were going to stay with the incumbent.

Versus has the rights to games three and four of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, as NBC will have as many as five games on display. The deal includes NBC sports group to broadcast 100 regular season games and Versus will increase their regular season game load from 50 to 90. The deal that runs through the 2020-2021 season is much higher than the $120 million contract between the NHL and ESPN from 1999-2004.

Read more on the NHL’s new television contract here.

Jerry Jones Headlines Resumed Mediation Talks

Per the request to end the NFL lockout, the decision by a Federal judge is expected to come soon. After a three-day break from mediation talks, players and owners gathered in Minneapolis to continue negotiation concerning a new collective bargaining agreement.  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was one of the owners on site, arriving with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

“This is no charade. This is no illusion. This is going to come to a resolution either by the parties compromising or agreeing or by a judgment,” said Michael Hasufeld, an attorney represented retired players.

Hausfeld noted that no one should place too much stock in U.S. district judge Susan Richard Nelson’s ruling because an appeal is expected to be made to the federal appellate court in St. Louis.

Read ESPN’s latest on the mediation here.

Lockout or Not, New Jersey Nets Will Remain Busy

If the NBA locks out the players during the ff-season this summer, the New Jersey Nets will surely continue business as usual. Nets CEO Brett Yormark informed team officials that their jobs and salaries would be safe despite a threatening lockout. Furthermore, the team will remain as busy as any in the off-season getting ready for a change in location for the Nets beginning in the 2012-2013 season.

The 2011-2012 season is slated to be the last in New Jersey at their current home at the Prudential centre. The Nets will be playing home games in 2012-2013 at the Barclays centre in Brooklyn.

As the Las Vegas summer league and internship programs have already been cancelled, many teams will be at a crossroads if a lockout ensues. Commisioner David Stern has indicated that teams are projected to lose a combined $300 million from this season.

Read more on the situation with the Nets here.

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This Day in Sports History: On April 20th, 1986 the 23 year-old Michael Jordan dropped 63 points on the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics in game 2 of a playoffs series.

John Morse is serving as an SFC Sportswriter Fellow based in New Hampshire. He is finishing up a degree in Print Journalism at Hofstra University. John is a very passionate sports fan and the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins are his favourite teams.