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Bettman ranks No. 15 in list of most influential in sports business

Dec 12, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

garybettmangetty Getty Images

Because we haven’t written enough about the business of sports lately, here are eight people with NHL connections that made SportsBusiness Journal’s list of “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business”:

5. Phil Anschutz (Owner) and Tim Leiweke (CEO), AEG – Among many other things, AEG owns the Los Angeles Kings. The company’s also for sale, if you’ve got a few billion dollars.

15. Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner – In case you were wondering, the three other commissioners were ranked No. 2 (Roger Goodell, NFL), No. 3 (Bud Selig, MLB), and No. 4 (David Stern, NBA).

19. Donald Fehr, NHLPA executive director – Hired to bring stability and strength to a players’ association that’s historically had little of one or the other, or both. Only one other union leader made the cut, the NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith at No. 42 for his ongoing work in player safety as well as the collusion case against the NFL. The other two, Michael Weiner (MLBPA) and Billy Hunter (NBPA), aren’t quite so busy these days.

43. Ed Snider (Chairman) and Peter Luukko (President & COO), Comcast-Spectator – The owner of the Philadelphia Flyers and his right-hand man.

46. Bill Daly (NHL deputy commissioner) and Bob Batterman (Partner, Proskauer Rose) – Bundled together for obvious reasons. Daly you know. Batterman is the NHL’s labor counsel. You probably know him, too.

  1. id4joey - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Did you know that when Bettman came to the NHL the revenue was estimated @ 400m and now 3.3b? No wonder owners like him.

    • killerpgh - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Crazy how a league (an each individual franchise) can gain so much value yet only a few team make a “profit” each year.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        because that is just the revenue not the profit. just as franchises gain value so does the cost of running them (inflation, player salaries, staff, etc…). So for a league that doesn’t get HUGE dollars from TV like others it’s not really that crazy.

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Does Id4joey = Nobel Prize ?

      It’s now clearly obvious to anyone (ie: even the detractors) that our friend Joey must indeed be a “someone” … and therefore he probably does have sources in the form of “boots on the ground” there in New York … personally I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised ! At any rate, I just want to say that I feel we’re very fortunate to have the likes of Joey here at PHT. I learned a long time ago back at college, that with “public speaking” one must always strive to attain three things in-order to be deemed a success:

      1) to inform
      2) to entertain
      3) to persuade

      Well I submit to you friends that on a daily basis, our man Id4joey is bringing all three of these things in “bushels” to the PHT table here ! So on behalf of all of us, a big “thanks” Joey for taking the time to always “value-add” here the way you do ! … Blomfeld :)


      ps: here’s an “informative yet succinct” piece just offered by Joey on another article …

      id4joey – Dec 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      williplett, yes. The owners agreed to these long term front loaded contracts. Why? These guys are competitive business men who want to win hockey games or win in whatever business their involved in. They have legal counsel shred the CBA to pieces looking for loopholes to gain the competitive edge. Like a player who trains hard to be at his best when the puck drops. These contracts were signed under the terms of the CBA that was in place at the time. Be it 3 years or 1 week before it expired. Point being is the consequences /risks of not signing those players whether it was 3 years or 1 week before the CBA expired was the same. Losing players they felt gave the team a competitive edge on the ice. Do you really believe Nashville could afford that huge contract they gave Weber? They were forced into submission by the system, which now they believe needs to change. Everyone close to the game knew the owners would attempt to fix the CBA after it expired. Players, agents and owners knew it when the first front loaded contract was signed.

      I never wrote long term contracts are a benefit to wealthier teams. Front loaded contracts are a benefit to wealthier teams. It allows them to go after the RFA or to prevent their superstar player from becoming an RFA with a big loot of cash and minimize the cap hit, which gives cap space to spend more. let say contract terms are limited to 5 years. Under the expired CBA a team can pay a player 40 million over 5 years. He’s paid as follows;

      Year 1 / 15 million
      Year 2 / 15 million
      Year 3 / 5 million
      Year 4 / 3 million
      Year 5 / 2 million

      Under the expired CBA the cap hit would be 8 million. It’s all about the finances as opposed to who is and is not winning the cup. The owners solution is to limit contract terms and allow no more than a 5% variance in a players salary year to year. It just about the economics, and if it remains the same, then it becomes a league for the richest markets. Even though the owners created the mess there is nothing wrong with them trying to fix it. We need to look at the conflict from three perspectives: 1- as fan. 2 – as a player 3 – as an owner. If you can remain objective then you can rationalize.

      • id4joey - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

        Hey! blomfeld, thanks. You know, it really doesn’t matter who I am. Most of us are here because we enjoy the game and enjoy sharing opinions. Here’s the “Colbert bump”.

  2. bcsteele - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    And Bettman ranks #2 in the most negatively influential people in sports history right behind Jeremy Jacobs.

  3. bleed4philly - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Who’s #1? Obama?

    • chicagobtech - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      The head of ESPN sits in that chair.

  4. joeyashwi - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Is the NHL worth $3.3 billion? I know it was, but is it still? Tick tock tick tock…..

    • id4joey - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      No that there will be pain if the season is lost. Question is how much? And, how long with it take to recuperate that money? Only the Proskauer Rose and the owners know this.

    • id4joey - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      Hmmm! Meant to write; Not that there will be no pain if the season is lost. Question is how much? And, how long with it take to recuperate that money? Only the Proskauer Rose and the owners know this.

  5. joeyashwi - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    TV deals for major sports per year

    NFL- 3.086 Billion

    NBA- 976 Million

    MLB- 740 Million

    NHL- 40 Million

    These numbers don’t include local TV contracts

    Bettman is doing a great job! Other leagues look for more ways to bring in revenue, the NHL just locks its players out.

    • mgdsquiggy17 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Or it’s just not nearly as popular as the other 3..

      • tcclark - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        It could be if the NHL would stop locking it’s players out. People who don’t like hockey, usually haven’t watched enough of it. I’ve introduced a number of different people to hockey and I’ve never met a person who didn’t like it after actually watching it. The problem is, you can’t watch hockey if you keep locking the players out. And every time they do this they have to regain fans. The new deal they made with NBC would have made the NHL more accessible to people. People are much more likely to watch “The NBC Sports Network” than “Versus” even if it is the same channel. They show more NHL events on television now than any other sport. No where else can you see the league’s award show or All-Star Fantasy Draft. The NHL was regaining a following and the NHL product was very good. The NHL was on the way up, but has taken a dramatic hit because of this lockout. I know multiple diehard fans that refuse to watch the NHL anymore because of this. The NHL could be more popular if the owners would give it a chance to grow. They have a great network that dedicates itself to the coverage of the sport, they have a league that has a competitive balance, and they have the best postseason (IMO) outside of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The only problem is…. there aren’t any players.

  6. whatthepuck2012 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Bettman also made TruTV’s Dumbest People of 2012. Not sure I agree with it, but hey, we’re talking lists.

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