The Ottawa Senators news this past week about their new regional deal with Bell Media (including TSN) was met with rousing enthusiasm right away.
After digesting the news for a few days, what are the pros and cons of the new agreement. Lets start with the Pros:
1. More Money For The Senators – With the new national deal combined with the new Regional deal, the Senators stand to earn an extra $20-30M in each of the next 12 seasons. While I don’t expect there to be a massive spending spree to lure the top new free agents, there should be money to re-sign their own budding stars (Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza, Marc Methot) that are set to become free agents in the next couple of years, as well as maybe a mid-level rental without worrying about breaking the budget.
2. Higher Level Broadcast PT 1 – Lets face it. The Rogers Sportsnet pre-game and intermissions are brutal. Their talent is second-tier and half the time I haven’t heard of the people manning the desk. The ones I have heard of are ill-informed and simply not entertaining. Now, with James Duthie, Bob MacKenzie, Daren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Aaron Ward among the probable revolving door of panelists, the Senators broadcasts will be head and shoulders above anything the Senators have had in their regional broadcasts since their inception.
3. Higher Level Broadcast PT 2 – It has yet to be determined who the on-air voices of the Senators will be, but I can’t imagine they will bring Denis Potvin over from the current team. Potvin is, in my opinion a terrible color commentator. Whatever options are out there, I would have to think there is a better one than Potvin. Tremendous player in his time, but awful announcer. Dean Brown has been the voice of the Senators in one form or another since the beginning and it wouldn’t surprise me or concern me if he was indeed the voice on TSN.
4. Security – This 12 year deal offers the Senators a level of security they haven’t had before. Both the National and Regional deals are that length, which is no coincidence for the providers.
And now for the drawbacks of the agreement:
That is all…you could argue that the length of the deal is a down side, depending on how it is structured, but we don’t know if it is a level deal or increases over time. Until that information is revealed and the total value of the deal is made public then it would be speculation.