Bulls & Bears: Bad teams, declining dollar hurting hockey in Canada

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday.

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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BULLS OF THE WEEK

The National Basketball Association has parlayed two outstanding U.S. television deals — totalling $24-billion USD over the next nine years from TNT and ESPN/ABC — into a dynamic bull market for professional basketball. The new TV deals are triple what the last national rights fees were and that mirrors the fact the average NBA team is now valued at $1.25 billion, about triple the average four years ago. The latest Forbes NBA valuation list released this week not only showed love for teams from the three largest media markets in the U.S. (the New York Knicks were No. 1 at $3 billion, Los Angeles Lakers second at $2.7 billion, and Chicago Bulls third at $2.3 billion), it put the Toronto Raptors on the cusp of the Billion Dollar Club at an enterprise value of $970 million.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

It hasn’t been good times for Canada’s National Hockey League franchises this 2015-16 season. Save for a now long forgotten 9-0 start by the Montreal Canadiens, it’s been a whole lot of mediocrity for all seven clubs over the past four months. The sinking loonie only adds insult to injury for the Canadian-based teams. The declining dollar costs the seven an average of $700,000 for every drop of a cent; so an average of $4.2 million over the past month alone and more than $18 million off the bottom line over the past 18 months. That’s a million dollars lost per month every month for the past 1½ years. Yet ironically the currency crisis is the only sport business indicator in which the Group of Seven aren’t still rocking it in the NHL. When it comes to enterprise value in the 30-team league, two of the top three, three of the top six and seven of the top 20 are Canadian. The average Canadian franchise is valued at $655 million, $150 million more than the average NHL team league-wide ($505 million). Even accounting for a 69-cent dollar, all seven Canadian teams are among the league leaders in ticket prices and sales, overall revenues, television and radio rights fees and merchandising. That’s what makes their pitiful on-ice performance this season so appalling and the 23-year Stanley Cup drought so unfathomable. Wednesday of this week marked the latest point in a season in which no Canadian team was in playoff position in the NHL since 1969-70. That year was the last year Canadian teams were shut out of the playoffs, with Montreal and Toronto finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the six-team division of Original Six brands (then paired with the six expansion teams in the other division). Who would have thought that it would be the Vancouver Canucks who were the only Canadian team in playoff position as of today? The sobering reality is that they’re hardly a lock given the shifting sands of the Western Conference divisional and wild-card races. That makes five of seven Canadian teams qualifying for the playoffs as they did last season much less likely than the one — Montreal — that made it two years ago. Will this be the first time in 46 years that not a single Canadian NHL team made the post-season?

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays,7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at:Twitter.com/thesportmarket

Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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