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Report: NHLPA, Isles at odds over cable TV money

Nov 4, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Charles Wang Getty Images

Under the current CBA, NHL players are supposed to receive 50 percent of hockey-related revenues, with the owners getting the other half. Occasionally, however, the two sides can’t agree how to add up the revenue. Such is the case, apparently, when it comes to the New York Islanders and their cable TV deal.

From Forbes:

When Charles Wang bought the Islanders in 2000 for $187 million, $30 million of the purchase price was allocated to the team’s lucrative cable television contract, which belongs to MSG. The disagreement between the Islanders and the NHLPA is how the amortization (non-cash expense) should be treated when counting the team’s revenue for purposes of calculating the league’s salary cap. This season players are entitled to 50% of hockey-related revenue, according to the collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners that took effect last season.

Based the CBA, the Islanders claim they should be allowed to reduce their annual revenue by the amount of the annual amortization of the cable contract (a few million dollars a year). The NHLPA believes the Islanders should not be able to lower their revenue–and thus the amount of revenue that the players are entitled to–with a paper expense because the team is getting the full amount of the cable fee (over $20 million this season).

Again, this happens from time to time. For example, with the $25 million payment the Phoenix Coyotes received from the City of Glendale during the 2010-11 season. The union wanted that counted as HRR; the NHL didn’t. That dispute went to arbitration, according to the Globe and Mail.

As for this case, sources tell Forbes the Isles are likely to prevail.

We’re sure you can’t wait to find out for real.

  1. imleftcoast - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    A portion of the purchase price was allocated to the cable contract. That can be deducted for taxes, but not for the purpose of revenue sharing. No, the Wang is not likely to prevail.

    • imleftcoast - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      The allocation would have been based on getting a percentage of the revenue. To deduct the cost would be double-dipping. How little does Forbes know about business that they would believe the Isles would prevail?

  2. curioustraveler13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Blame John Spano.

  3. esracerx46 - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Regardless of who wins or loses…20 million dollars out of 3-4 billion…divided in half. Then split 30 ways. Were talking pennies.

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      It’s not pennies at all, it’s $20m. It actually works out to a fairly sizable amount per player.

  4. amityvillefun - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    From South Park:
    In other news, Canada is going on strike with demands of wanting “more internet money.”

    • kaptaanamerica - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      It’s about freaking time, where’s our internet money?!

  5. multiplemiggs - Nov 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    The WGA – World Canadian Bureau

  6. newyorkislanderfancentral - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    What a shock Dolan’s boy at Forbes Michael Ozanian (huge Ranger/Msg homer furious Devils won in conference ice and blamed Msg ice) who never met an Islander subject that did not include Wang or the cable contract.

    Devils and Sabres get the same check from Msg.

    How about Ozanian risk his job and discuss that Dolan ad money to Forbes and report on Dolan’s yearly 17 million from taxpayer exemption or 300 million from JPM Chase or NBC/Comcast revenue to Ed Snider or the Amway money to Mike Illitch in Detroit as league revenue too?

    How much does Forbes receive from Msg, Cablevision, Newsday as revenue?

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