Friday, May 22, 2009

Ownership Woes

This article posted on made me sad.

Having the equivalent of Rogers / Bell fighting over the rights to own a hockey team is terrible news for the hockey team. These media companies are expanding their reach from Telecom to TV to TV content to entertainment. They want to own it all -- everything you see or do, must be done through them. Conspiracy? Not really, they just want your eyes and ears to buy their products and sell adverts. Nothing personal.

As for the hockey team, it means there is certainly no commitment to winning. So long as the stands are full, the TV coverage popular, and the endless stream of sports shows / rumour mills observed, then the team can play as lousy as it likes. Mega-Media-Mart still makes its cash. In fact the more the team is in disarray, the more media coverage.

Witness: the Toronto Maple Leafs. "Good Enough is good enough," seems to be the vision of the teachers ownership group.

If the Montreal Canadiens would like to win another championship, they ownership has got to make that a goal -- and give the GM to tools and freedom to make it happen. Gillett was a good owner: he wanted the team to win. Maybe he got a little panicy this year and encouraged Gainey to make some rash decisions, but I at least believe he wanted to win. He wasn't like Ilich from Detroit, willing to lose money to win, but he seemed like the kinda owner you need to get competitive.

But a telecom giant is just gonna use and abuse the team for its own ends -- and championships don't expand your market share if your coverage is already peaked -- it just costs you money in player and head office revenue.

I hate telecom companies.

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