Paul, over at Kukla’s Korner posts about how the NHL is getting read for an iPod deal.
According to Sports Business Journal The NHL is very close to reaching agreements with Apple Computer Inc. for video downloading.
“It would be fair to say we are close,” said Doug Perlman, NHL executive vice president of media.
I normally wouldn’t quote a full post, but that’s all there was to it.
Still, this is great news. The NHL is looking to jump (quickly) onto a new medium.
If not free, hopefully price will be tame. Less than a dollar for the previous night’s clips, perhaps a package deal - a season for a certain amount. Realistically, they need to aim low, very low. The goal here should be eyes first, direct dollar signs second. That and you have to keep in mind that you can buy Center Ice for $160. Getting highlights shouldn’t cost near that amount. I use the phrase “direct dollar signs” because anything that can help the NHL popularity-wise can lead to more money elsewhere. Why charge $100 for a season of highlights when you can give it away for free and make a new fan who brings his/her family to a game and spends how much there? Yes, you can apply that logic to a few things, but with the availability of highlights elsewhere, the NHL shouldn’t be looking to cash in for convenience (at least, not yet).
There is a market for this. A company looking to provide hockey highlights on cell phones contacted me about using the clips I post on hockeyfights.com. Of course, I told the company that contacted me that I don’t have any rights to license such material, but cell phones? Yes, cell phones! While many are able to play video nowadays - how many do you know who actually use it yet? Probably few outside of the tech scene, yet this company still thought making NHL highlights available could be profitable. The iPod following is strong in the mass market, and the Video iPod is gaining market share. The NHL already posts daily highlights on nhl.com. The editing is done. Rendering to a new format is all that’s needed, so it shouldn’t be costly for the league. Time to make being a fan easy for the iPod crowd (and perhaps people with other portable media players).
Execution is the only thing that matters when all is said and done, but the NHL seems to be on the right track here.