Forbes released its annual NHL team valuations Tuesday. Though some team officials gripe at these, saying that they're off for whatever reasons -- the news is generally positive. First, the good according to Forbes:
"Fueled by a new Canadian media deal with Rogers Communications that begins with the 2014-15 season, the average NHL team value rose 18.6% during the past year, to an all-time high of $490 million. The 12-year, $4.6 billion agreement, which gave Rogers rights to all NHL games in Canada, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, on all of its platforms, in all languages, is worth 2.6 times more annually than the league’s previous Canadian deals."
Now the sort of bad -- which we already knew ... that the NHL lags behind other major North American pro sports because these television deals don't exactly equate to what MLB, the NFL or the NBA get from their respective partners:
"The Rogers media deal notwithstanding, the NHL remains the most tribal of the four major North American team sports because the NBA, NFL and MLB still have much bigger equally-shared national media and sponsorship deals."
And the mistake:
"Still, 29 of the 30 teams rose in value, and the one exception, the Florida Panthers (down 21%), was due to a mistake I made last September in reporting the sale price of the team as $240 million, which we used for our value of the team two months later. But subsequent to the publication of our 2013 valuations I learned that the true sale price was $160 million (the widely reported price of $250 million at the time of the deal included future operating losses that should not be included in calculating an enterprise value). Had we used the correct sale price of $160 million the value of the Panthers would have increased 19%."
So for those who were chirping for the Panthers to move out of South Florida because of one game where they had miserable attendance ... chill.
Now that we have that all out there, nothing on their list is truly a major, super big surprise. The big market teams are worth more than the smaller market teams. Also, the falling Canadian dollar is not accounted for, since it says it uses the 93 cents per-US dollar figure from the 2013-14 season. It's currently (as of Tuesday anyway) at 89 cents per-US dollar.
Either way, when the NHL says business is on an upward tick, it's not kidding. Granted, we often bemoan how it could be better -- which it can. Yes, the league is locked into these super long-term television deals now, which have equated to a short-term windfall, but may look bad by the time they're up.
But at least for the moment, mostly everyone seems happy.
Note the Islanders massive increase in value -- which likely stems from a pending move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, away from that haven called Uniondale.
Below is the Forbes list of franchises and their values.
Current Value (millions)
% Change from 2013
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Detroit Red Wings
San Jose Sharks
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning
Columbus Blue Jackets
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