Head of Rogers Media, Keith Pelley, was on the Sportsnet 590 The Fan this morning and the discussion touched upon the effects that the new NHL deal will have on the Blue Jays. If you missed the news of the deal then here's a quick summary:
The NHL and Rogers Communications have come to terms on a 12-year, $4.9 billion broadcast rights agreement that will make Rogers the exclusive broadcast and multimedia partner of the NHL in Canada. This grants the company exclusive rights to all NHL content on all platforms and languages. In Canadian dollars, the deal is worth $5.2 billion.
Naturally, the question for Blue Jays fans was whether the team's payroll would take a hit as money gets tight at the Rogers Centre. Keith Pelley squashed those rumours this morning in an interview with Jeff Blair and the audio can be found here. If you don't feel like listening to the interview (it is quite boring), then here are the Blue Jays related highlights.
Pelley first made it clear that this rumour of the Blue Jays payroll decreasing is unfounded:
It does not affect the Blue Jays payroll in any way whatsoever.
With the massive amount of NHL games, especially during the playoffs, that will be aired on Sportsnet during the beginning of Blue Jays season there is a good chance of some conflicts with Pelley saying:
I don't think that's horrible news as finding games on CBC is a lot easier than searching for Sportsnet One on your remotes. Most Blue Jays fans will remember the times not too long ago where Blue Jays games on the weekend were occasionally broadcast on CBC, which will only help the team's national interest.
Finally, Pelley made it very clear that Rogers still is extremely committed to their baseball team:
We are everything Blue Jays.
Seems like that is cleared up, although there's still a chance that down the road money gets tight for the team if this NHL deal isn't as successful as Rogers hopes. For Montreal baseball fans, maybe there's a chance TSN and Bell get together and try to bring baseball back to the former home of the Expos since their list of programming is looking quite bare at the moment.
Now that the news of whether the Blue Jays have money is out of the way, the next news we should be reporting is that they went and spent some of it.