Fox Sports Tennessee and SportSouth have agreed to a long-term contract with the Nashville Predators that will televise a minimum of 75 Nashville Predators regular-season games beginning with the 2013-14 season. Financial terms aren't being released for the deal, which covers more than 4 million households in Tennessee, Kentucky and northern parts of Alabama and Mississippi.
“To have a partner that recognizes the strength of the Predators brand and the importance of broadcasting in Nashville and across the southeast is tremendous,” Nashville Predators Executive Vice President Chris Parker said. “FOX Sports Tennessee and SportSouth are premier networks and this extension further solidifies the future of the Predators franchise. Following in the footsteps of other recently-signed early extensions with existing partners, like Bridgestone Americas, this deal is a great indicator of our commitment to providing our fans – who tuned in at an all-time high last season – with a first-class experience when it comes to their team.”
Ratings for Nashville Predators telecasts on FOX Sports Tennessee and SportSouth increased 40 percent from the 2010-11 season to the 2011-12 season. The team’s 5.2 rating on SportSouth for Game Five of the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals against Detroit was the highest TV rating for a playoff game in franchise history, reaching 53,000 households. Keeping consistent with last year’s success, the Predators are averaging a 1.7 rating through the first several games of the season.
The release also promised expanded programming options and a new "semi-permanent" broadcast location at Bridgestone Arena.
The Nashville Predators have renewed their affiliation with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. The two franchises began their partnership five years ago. The Cyclones also are aligned with the Florida Panthers organization.
We all know the Nashville Predators prize longevity and the franchise's ownership group proved so again Monday, extending the contract of General Manager David Poile through the 2014-15 campaign. Poile, who has been in his job since the Predators hit the ice 14 years ago, will have at his side Assistant GM Paul Fenton, who also has been given a new deal.
“The consistent success of the Predators on the ice is directly attributed to his ability to assemble and lead a team of management, coaches, scouts and administrators who continually identify, draft, develop and motive an exceptional group of experienced and young players. The ownership group believes that under his leadership, the Nashville Predators will soon achieve its goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
The Nashville Predators have renewed their minor-league affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals through the 2013-'14 season. The clubs, which have been partners since the Preds' inaugural season in 1998, also have an option for the 2014-'15 campaign.
The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, as evidenced by their nine consecutive trips to the playoffs – including a Calder Cup Championship in 2004 and another appearance in the Calder Cup Finals in 2006. Led by Harris Turer, the Milwaukee ownership group has assembled a bright and dedicated staff headed by President Jon Greenberg, that has created a major league environment for our prospects.
Forbes' annual list of the value of NHL franchises is out. The Nashville Predators' total value is $163 million, according to the magazine, good for 25th in the league but down $11 million from the purchase price paid by the current ownership in 2007. The team's revenue was $82 million last season, 23rd in the league. From the magazine:
The Predators are losing money and trying to find investors to pump in about $25 million to shore up the team's finances. In early 2011 the team secured a $75 million credit facility led by Regions Bank to replace the $75 million loan from CIT Group used to finance the purchase of the team. The team has plans to renovate 15-year old Bridgestone Arena by adding a Fan Zone on the upper concourse and upgrading 72 suites. The Predators have a lot of debt and have been in the bottom-third of the league in attendance for six consecutive seasons.
The $7.5 million annual operating loss is the second-largest for the team since the lockout and, coincidentally or not, is identical to the arbitration-awarded salary of superstar Shea Weber.
The good news is Forbes says the Predators are worth 10 percent more than they were last year. Twelve NHL teams showed a profit last year — noteworthy with the league's collective bargaining agreement expiring next summer.
As part of Bridgestone Arena's ongoing efforts to put a Nashville spin on the big building's interior, the arena has inked a "multi-year" deal with Yazoo Brewing and Lipman Brothers to bring more craft beer to Fifth and Broadway.
Predators/Bridgestone Arena Senior Vice President Chris Junghans said it's a response to fan feedback.
"We survey our fans quite a bit and we study the trends in and around the marketplace," he said. "Our fans wanted more craft beer. Our mission was to fill that void."
Yazoo — which already is available at select stands on the first floor and club level, but in bottles only — will take the lead, with numerous sale points for its Dos Perros and Pale Ale labels, with the potential for a seasonal addition. Lipman is in to bring Gerst (which is brewed by Yazoo) and Hap & Harry's, a proprietary brand.
Additionally, the bar outside Section 118 will be re-branded as a Yazoo bar with "significant signage," Junghans said.
Yazoo et. al will be available on draft in time for the CMA Awards next week. The bar will be ready at a later date, which will be marked by the usual grand opening hoopla.
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