Today I got a call from a CSR at Charter Communications corporate headquarters about the NHL Center Ice package. They basically told me the same thing I've been hearing for the past week and a half, the NHL wants too much.
This is classic NHL (maybe just classic Bettman era, not sure.) in the premise that the league wants to make these huge deals, but doesn't think about the fan of the game or the public interest in the United States. The NHL is trying to force Charter into putting their new channel "NHL Network" into the basic and/or expanded cable packages that Charter offers. By doing this it would raise the cable prices around the board for anyone that has Charter. My uncle in Green Bay would have to pay at least a few more dollars a year for a channel that he would never actually watch, and that gets even worse when you get to the Southern states where they might not even know what hockey is.
Because the NHL is working so hard on that push they haven't yet made an agreement with Charter for the Center Ice package, something that is regularly offered through Charter for an annual fee. Now that leaves fans like me face down in mud. I am stuck depending on the weekly broadcasts that Versus gives me, which my Wild only play on twice this year.
The fan can't spend his money, the average television fan won't pay the extra and the NHL is just making it harder for fans to be happy.