Sportsnet hockey boss Scott Moore supports NHL’s decision to skip Olympics

Sportsnet hockey boss backs NHL move to skip Olympics

TORONTO — While fans and players have expressed disappointment and anger over the NHL’s decision to skip the 2018 Winter Olympics, Sportsnet hockey boss Scott Moore has no problem with the move.

The president of Rogers Sportsnet and NHL properties said in an interview Tuesday that as a fan, he’d love to see the best-on-best at the Olympics. As a broadcaster, however, he said he’d have made “the exact same decision” as the NHL.

The league announced Monday that it would not halt its schedule to accommodate the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It will mark the first time since 1994 that NHL players haven’t participated in the Olympics.

Reaction from players and fans has been mostly negative, with superstar Alex Ovechkin even saying he plans to represent Russia in 2018 with or without the NHL’s blessing.

Moore, whose company purchased the NHL broadcast rights in 2013 for $5.2 billion, pointed out that the “horrible” time difference between Pyeongchang and Canada will mean most Olympic hockey games will be shown on a delayed basis, diluting their ratings impact for his sports channels.

With the league sticking to an uninterrupted schedule, Moore said he has the option of running NHL games opposite the Olympics.

“Frankly, I think this is good news for us,” he said. “Live hockey in prime time will be up against taped events from the Olympics.”

Most men’s hockey games will start at noon, 4:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. local time. Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone in February meaning many games will be live in the wee hours in Canada. The gold medal game is set for 3 p.m. local time or 1 a.m. ET.

CBC, which holds the Olympic TV rights in Canada, said in a statement it was disappointed by Monday’s news but “we know Canadians are passionate about hockey at all levels of the game. We see it every year with the world junior championships and Spengler Cup and are confident Canadians will rally behind whoever represents Canada in Pyeongchang.”

Moore, who speaks regularly with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, also feels the International Olympic Committee’s aggressive negotiating stance “was a slap in the face to league officials.

“This is the only league in the world that is asked to shut down for 2 1/2 weeks at a key time in their schedule to supply players for free to drive somebody else’s business,” he said.

The IOC has “a great business model,” Moore said.

“They don’t pay a cent for their athletes,” he pointed out. “I’d love to have a business model like that.”

Money has been just one of the stumbling blocks in the negotiations between the NHL, the NHL Players’ Association and the IOC. NHL owners also didn’t like the idea of disrupting the season, citing concerns over a compressed schedule, and don’t see enough benefits in bringing their product to South Korea.

Moore added that the fact his or any other Canadian network cannot show Sidney Crosby’s golden goal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics due to the IOC’s strict rights issues also rankles. Not even the NHL can post video of the goal that secured Canada a gold on home ice, Moore pointed out.

“Where’s the upside?” he said. “You show me.”

Bill Brioux, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Fire crews called to attend smoke in Qualicum Beach seniors building

Cause of smoke was plastic plate left on top of heating unit

Qualicum Beach council split on Pheasant Glen development decision

Council approves permit for two buildings, after enviro, hydrological studies

Oceanside RCMP raises $4,000 for Tour de Rock

Members of the Oceanside RCMP detachment were out at Save On Foods… Continue reading

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

RDN to tax smaller accommodation providers

Hotel taxes to now include those with less than four rooms such as Airbnb

VIDEO: Check out the Art Battle action from Qualicum Bay

Artists had 20 minutes to finishing painting in 12-person competition

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read