Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gary Bettman Caught with his Pants Down Again

Looks as though Gary and his crownies on Sixth Avenue are having a tough time generating revenues for the league when their counterparts in other major sports don't have near the difficult pulling their own weight.

So what does Gary do? He wants the NHL office to take over all team websites to pull revenue into his office to justify his existence.

As a matter of fact, Gary has suid the New York Rangers have $200,000 for selling some NHL merchandise on their website during the last two playoff games of the season for the Rangers. And it was renue-sharing merchandise too! But without Gary's stamp of approval, the NHL sees the Rangers as in the wrong.

Not only that, but Garden CEO Jim Dolan has highlighted Gary's failures in expanding international markets when 30% of NHL players are European. It seems that Sixth Avenue is only bringing in $4 million a year from European initiatives whereas Gary's former boss (the NBA) is raking in $125 million!

Larry Brooks see the writing on the wall for Uncle Gary. LB writes:
THE Garden's lawsuit against the NHL al leging antitrust vio lations and charging the league is acting as an "illegal cartel" by attempting to seize control of individual teams' marketing operations is not only an extraordinary measure unto itself, it represents the first public evidence of the schisms evolving within the Board of Governors and that are threatening Gary Bettman's reign as commissioner.

Make no mistake. After supporting Bettman and the Board on issues contrary to their own self-interests such as the hard salary cap, revenue sharing, and cancellation of the 2004-05 season, the Rangers are no longer amenable to ceding control of their business to Sixth Avenue, and neither are a growing number of the big-market teams who carry the league on their backs.

It's a tough call in my opinion. The only reason I see something like this affecting the Board's opinions on Bettman is because it involves the thing that is most important to the Board... their revenues. And Gary is only slapping the wrists of thebig market clubs, right?

The problem is that Gary isn't playing Robin Hood the way it should be played.

Gary is taxing that website revenue and putting some in his pocket to justify his existence... THEN he re-distributes to the smaller market teams.

I just sit back and shake my head and wonder if anyone else is surprised in the least by this.

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