Hockey fans in the U.S. know all too well about standoffs between a distributor of NHL content and a television provider; the scars from the VERSUS/DirecTV wars of 2010 still run deep.
But that was one outlet for NHL hockey vs. one satellite company. Now, imagine if it were the only provider of NHL TV content and it was an entire country being deprived of games.
Congratulations: You've just imagined what NHL fans in Europe are outraged over as the 2011-12 NHL season arrives.
OK, forget outrage — it's outright panic that they won't have the NHL available on television when the puck drops this week. Facebook pages with names like "No NHL on TV in Europe for 2011-12 Season" have been created. Fans are writing letters of outrage. Newspapers in the Czech Republic are telling fans they can watch games "on the sly over the Internet" instead.
While the NHL claims this situation will be rectified shortly, the fact remains that its desire for an expanded, and more lucrative, television deal...