Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Clark’


Monday, April 28th, 2014

The National Hockey League, or NHL, doesn’t quite have the coverage like the other three major sports in the U.S.  Hockey has had numerous broadcasting companies own the rights to their games, starting in 1950 with CBS.  One of the most famous video clips in NHL Stanley Cup history, Bobby Orr’s famous flight goal, was broadcasted by CBS.  Throughout the years the NHL television rights has changed hands numerous times.  Companies that have owned the rights to broadcast NHL games include; CBS, ESPN, ABC, FOX, and currently NBC.


Ice hockey has grown in popularity but has yet to, and probably will never hit the popularity of the MLB, NFL, or NBA.  Despite this “lack of interest” ice hockey television rights has increased in cost and profit.  The NHL thrives in Canada and recently signed a deal with Rogers Communication for a reported 12 years, $5.2 billion, beginning in the 2014-2015 season.  Here in the US, hockey takes a back seat to the other three major sports, but the NHL signed a new deal with NBC for 10 years, $2billion.


I think that the value of television rights for the NHL is growing because the sport is getting more and more popular each season.  The addition of the Winter Classic, an outdoor game held on New Years, and the Stadium Series, a series of outdoor games, has helped bring in fans. The stadium series has been a huge boost for NHL popularity the past season. My dad who never watches hockey turns on stadium games just because of the entirely different look and feel of the game.


Although TV deals are seemingly more important and are an indicator of how popular a sport is I’m not sure why this is. Radio viewership is increasing exponentially while TV has taken an almost 50% dive in the past years. Even though TV viewership is down advertisement deals are at an all-time high which definitely is driving much of the profit based TV-sport deals. Could it be that entertainment deals are a flexing tool as much as they are a profit tool? I believe so.




Can the NWSL survive?

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Noah Dillon

Matt Clark


The ABL and USFL both failed to compete against larger organizations but experienced their demise in completely different ways for completely different reasons.


The American Basketball League (ABL) was founded in 1996 just a few months before the WNBA opened its doors. It promised “real basketball” and grabbed the best female players the USA had to offer at the time. After researching about both the ABL and WNBA the answers for failure became clear. The ABL, although having arguably better talent, was flat out boring and lagged in both ratings and fan views compared to the WNBA. Soon ESPN featured the WNBA game of the week but didn’t even mention the ABL scores in daily highlights. ABL advertising and games were run on channels that  no one watched. Nike got in on the action and backed the WNBA fueling the downfall of the ABL even further. Gary Cavalli the president of the ABL challenged the WNBA to something like a superbowl challenge but the WNBA turned the proposal down. Not long after the ABL continued on its downward spiral and became no more.

The USFL on the other hand tried to compete against the NFL by offering a different style of play. They had fewer regulations and made a game more into an entertainment spectacle with world class play. The USFL snatched Heisman trophy winners and NFL veterans to form their league. The downfall came when Donald Trump became somewhat of an unofficial spokesman for the league and tried to take the NFL head on by changing their spring games to fall. Quickly after this choice the league became somewhat of a laughing stock and fizzled down to nothing.

The only similarity between these situations is the problem of trying to take on another larger competitor head on. The ABL had to compete in an already small womens basketball market against the WNBA while the USFL had to compete against the Giant NFL. The ABL was run poorly and marketed in an ineffective way which led to its eventual demise. The USFL was seen as a joke by many and tried to challenge the NFL too soon which is why they were crushed in the end.

The NWSL, or National Women’s Soccer league, was established in 2013.  The season ran from April to August and was made up of 9 teams.  Each team played 22 games, 11 home and 11 away.  The league does have some super stars of women’s soccer, such as Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach, but it fails to appeal to soccer fans everywhere.  Last season, the inaugural season, the only way you could watch games was on YouTube or the teams’ own personal channel, this year games are going to broadcast on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 2.  It sounds great, they are getting on television, but those channels are not even close to being the most watched sports channels.

The biggest problem the NWSL is facing is marketing.  I think their big problem can easily become a speed bumps and not roadblock.  Marketing can be promoted by not over producing.  By this I mean they shouldn’t put out too much all at once.  You promote in a few select markets and let it grow each year.  They could also ask for assistance from the MLS, but I don’t know how much that would help because no one watches MLS soccer either.  Using the celebrity of Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach could also help the sport grow.  Those players, and others, have international success and can help promote their game in almost any market.  It will be interesting to see if they are able to maintain a steady presence in the soccer community


Integrity of coaches and college athletics is at stake!

Monday, April 7th, 2014

With Division I sports falling under more scrutiny and being exposed to the public eye, controversy about multiple subjects has ensued rapidly. Many student athletes who colleges recruit reportedly are not equipped with the skills to effectively obtain a four-year college degree; UNC being the most notable college for claims such as these. Colleges are supposed to be about learning first correct? Therefore, a convincing plan needs to be erected to cover the best interests of both students and athletes.

If I were to add language to a D1 program coaching contract to address this issue I would break it into three distinct parts.

First, I would implement a rule that colleges can only recruit athletes who score one standard deviation below the mean on SAT ACT testing and no lower. Individuals who do score a deviation below the population must sit out as a freshman and obtain a college GPA equal to that equivalent of the average student at that specific institution. If they do not succeed their contract will either be dropped or they must complete another academic year with the required GPA and no sports play.

Second, stipulations for current athletes need to be implemented as well. Student-athletes who have met the criteria above and are eligible for play must maintain a GPA within .4 of the school average their freshman year, within .5 in their sophomore year, and within .6 for both their junior and senior year.

Third, I would make coach/staff incentives for upholding these stipulations as well as rewards for exceeding expectations. If coaches uphold the standards for a consecutive three seasons they will receive a bonus of between 100 and 200 thousand dollars. If they exceed the standards for any season they will be given a bonus between 200 and 500 thousand dollars.

The final area is graduation. Student-athletes must graduate at a rate within 5% of the school’s graduation rate. The coaches must obtain this within 3 seasons or risk being terminated.

If coaches do not meet the specified requirements of the last three articles they WILL be subjected to board review and possible termination.

The integrity of the college is at stake.  The love of succeeding on the playing field has become more important than the love of succeeding in the classroom.  There is so much temptation for these student-athletes, or athlete-student depending on whom you speak with, that it is hard to blame them for accepting “inappropriate” gifts.  The coaches are hired for one specific reason, to win.  If they don’t win, they don’t have a job.  Simply put, coaches are relying heavily on the student-athletes to ensure they have a job.  That last statement is one of the more obvious ones, but it needs to be said.  Not only is the integrity of the college at stake but the integrity of the head coaching position is as well.  Coaches are accepting students that barely make it into college.

This whole, “one and done” year that the NCAA allows is part of the problem.  You have athletes coming to the university solely to play basketball.  Yes, these athletics take classes and have to live on campus, but what isn’t required is they begin a legitimate path towards graduating with a degree.  I believe there needs to be a stipulation in the NCAA that requires student athletes to play a minimum of three seasons, if they choose to attend the school.  Currently coaches are putting more importance on performing on the field and not in the classroom.  Coaches have in the past, and assuredly will in the future, choose to ignore blatant rule violations if they athlete is performing well on the field.

To quote an article posted on, “If Emmert’s words are to mean anything, the NCAA is going to have to drop the hammer again — and probably again and again — or the idea of integrity in college athletics will remain the same sad joke it is now.”