There are major rumblings at CSN Bay Area today, as the San Jose Sharks are looking to rework their TV deal while announcing Sharks’ color analyst Drew Remenda will not be returning next season.
Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News reported today that the Sharks feel they came out on the short end of their television contract with CSN, and are looking to negotiate a fairer deal.
According to Purdy, CSN pays the Sharks $7 million per season for the right to broadcast their games, a deal that will last for 14 more seasons.
Standing alone, that figure may seem like a lot of money, but compared to the TV deals of other franchises CSN gets a huge bargain. The Maple Leafs, for example, get $41 million per year from Sportsnet, which equates to $700,000 per game, according to Forbes.
That’s concerning for the Sharks, who have been struggling to turn a profit despite selling out every game in recent memory. They lost $15 million during the 2011-2012 season, and a bad TV deal won’t make things much easier.
It’s so concerning that according to Purdy, even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is stepping in to try to hash out a better deal.
If it doesn’t work out, Sharks’ majority owner Hasso Plattner could threaten to move the team outside the Bay Area. It’s an ugly situation, though it’s the Sharks’ own fault for agreeing to the deal in the first place.
If that isn’t enough, the Sharks’ TV broadcasts will look significantly different next season as Remenda’s contract was not renewed by the team. Remenda told the Mercury News:
“It wasn’t because of anything I did or anything wrong. It was explained to me they wanted to take the broadcast in a different direction. Honestly, we parted amicably.”
Remenda has been in the TV booth for the Sharks every season except for one since 1999, forming a rapport with play-by-play commentator Randy Hahn that has earned the adoration and respect of fans. The duo even jumped onto the national stage this past season, calling several games for NBCSN.
As for his future, Remenda says that he may look into coaching again. He served as an assistant coach with the Sharks for four years before going to the booth.