Kraken sees “an interesting frontier” for television play-by-play broadcaster John Forslund ahead of the NHL that has now been named one of its dual US national-rights holders.
Forslund, which remains one of NBC’s premier hockey broadcasters through the upcoming playoffs, said on Thursday that new NHL partners ESPN and Turner Sports have “frozen” the TV hockey landscape for the past 15 years by their network Have been. After joining ESPN’s seven-year primary deal announced in March, Turner became the league’s secondary rights holder this week with a seven-year deal worth at least $ 1.57 billion.
“With sports, it’s not brain surgery – people just want to be entertained,” Forslund said. “You have to have a good product. You have a good game that tells you about everything else so if you bring a little personality, you push the players forward and you tell some stories, I mean, it’s a winning formula.
“And if you do it with the right resources, I think the time is really good for the fans. Especially with our new (Kraken) team coming on.
The NHL will earn $ 625 million a season from joint deals, more than double its current $ 300 million annual US TV and streaming rights intake. New Kraken supporters and longtime hockey fans should be visible nationwide and, for many, welcome changes to multiple platforms since 2005 for an American product under NBC’s core control.
“They both, clearly, come into the game world with tremendous credibility,” Forslund said of the two networks. “This was very clear in the case of ESPN. And then with Turner, they were able to stamp their product and their assets.”
Although the ESPN deal, which takes effect next season, gives it four of the next seven Stanley Cup finals – to be shown on ABC – it is the small-turner sports component of the games on its TNT and TBS cable networks to make the biggest Hopefully, change. TNT is widely heralded for NBA coverage and features the vocal hall of Family Charles Barclay inside NBA studio shows.
Turner’s parent company WarnerMedia also owns HBO Max – which will live stream some NHL games – and Bleacher Report and its successful House of Highlights video sports content platform that is popular with younger audiences.
In a conference call with media members, WarnerMedia News and Sports President Jeff Zucker said: “Obviously, I think there’s a style for Turner Sports and there’s an approach, and we bring the same approach to the NHL. Want. But you can’t just copy inside the NBA on Thursday nights. It comes with time and relationships. “
Zucker said he still wants the NHL package to have a similar “innovative, fun and dynamic” approach. NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman, on a single call with Zucker, welcomed those words. He said, “We are counting on it. “
Barkley is a self-proclaimed huge hockey fan, so there is speculation that the crossover will appear. But Turner could also seek a former hockey player equivalent to Barclay, something NBC tried with Jeremy Ronik and Mike Milbury before the duo were taken in separate cases to understand inappropriate public comments about women. Was fired Forslund Turner is probably heading in that direction.
“It could be a new brand that we don’t even expect,” Forslund said. “There are others you can see that either they have done or are involved in other ventures like podcasts and things like that.”
The former Phoenix Coyotes as a player popularly known with fans as Paul Bissonnette and now co-host of the Spastin Chucklets podcast owned by Barstool Sports, which quickly jumps to mind. But that podcast is also where Ronik made his remarks about women, so it remains to be seen where the NHL and its new TV partners will go.
Retired Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Baxka has also been widely praised as a vocal, second-year analyst with Sportsnet in Canada. In addition to Barclay and fellow TNT studio analyst Shakeel O’Neill, Beaux, Bissonnette and other hockey personalities such as Mabry, Ronik, Barry Melrose and Don Cherry (or arguably the most prolific hockey analyst of all time) were Hall of Famers.
“Turner talks about basketball shows and if you watch Fox with baseball, they bring in Hall of Famers,” Forslund said. “They bring in Hall of Fame players who also have big, big, big celebrities. It is a difficult mixture. Hockey over the years is, in fact, from the nature of the game … hockey players are not like that. So for someone to find that package, I mean, maybe they will. “
Hockey’s Hall of Famers with Outsiders Personality and TV Experience, former St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars great Brett Hull all check the box. Hull, 56, worked as an analyst for NBC in 2006–07 and accompanied Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada during that year’s cup final.
Women may get an enhanced role on future NHL broadcasts, with host Katherine Tappen assigned to the most prominent studio job by a woman in NBC’s coverage.
North of the border, Jennifer Botterill, a former Canadian national team and professional hockey player – and sister of Kraken assistant general manager Jason Botterill – has been praised as a breakout star in the NHL analyst debut with Sportsnet this season. Botterill worked in the studio with Topher during groundbreaking in March 2020. The all-women St. Louis-Chicago game aired on NBC.
Bottilil’s former national team counterpart, Cassie Campbell-Pascal, has worked as a reporter and analyst for Hockey Night in Canada since 2006.
Forslund said the studio’s work is “a different animal” because of its crafted, pre-made content to play the game on the rink. He added that the American network has “tried to emulate Hockey Night in Canada” over the years, especially with the quality of its studio presentation. But he does not see much difference between broadcasts on either side of the border these days.
“It’s a bit different in the states, because not every person may have the underlying (hockey) knowledge that they probably have in Canada,” he said. “But some of it is overrated.”
Forslund cannot say that he will be a part of whoever he is. Although Kraken allowed him to do all of his locally televised games as well as some national work on ROOT Sports, he focused on completing his NBC assignment.
Forslund feels that NBC’s U.S. NBC’s “Total Rebrand” of the TV product leaves a strong legacy for ESPN and Turner. All that NBC, which opposes the league’s former Versus cable partner at NBCSN, is Eric Forskund, for the familiar voice of former chief announcer Mike “Doc”, to pursue the Winner Classic series of outdoor games a decade ago. Who sees the league moving back and forth.
“The new rights holders will regroup, but I think they will be in a different place,” he said. “They are going to replace something that’s been very tight for years.”