Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Innings. These last few weeks have been trying for the NBA as the league has canceled multiple games due to positive COVID tests. Either the NFL was exceptionally lucky with its season or the NBA has been incredibly unlucky with their players testing positive.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has told multiple news outlets that the NHL is facing a billion-dollar loss this year simply by playing the season. This comes in stark contrast to the MLB, which considered canceling its 2020 season due to the losses the league faced. The NHL decision to play will buy goodwill from fans and position the league well for the future.
To make up for the losses, the NHL is getting creative. It has been discussed ad nauseam that teams are now allowed to place sponsors on their helmets. The league has continued to loosen its regulations regarding what can be sponsored and teams have been innovative in placing the new sponsors. The New Jersey Devils are one of the teams to utilize the behind the bench glass as no fans will be in attendance. Manscaped, will have an on-ice placement, which plays into its famous tagline.
The NHL is lucky in the sense that it has more saleable assets than the NBA. No NBA players wear helmets and there is no barrier separating the field of play from the fans. The NHL needed to capitalize on these assets to have any sense of a successful season, the league has been able to do just that.
Notable Information From the Sports World:
Premier League: Despite every match being broadcast on national television, the Premier League is facing unprecedented levels of piracy of its games. People who pirate the games can’t be counted toward the overall number of spectators, affecting the sponsor’s reach and value. It is estimated that piracy costs each team £1 million per match.
MLB: The MLB has released guidelines that indicate an on-time start to the 2021 season. There is a proposal to have fans attend games as early as the start of Spring Training in February. Fans will not be able to attend practices at Spring Training this year.
Augusta National: Based on the success of the 2020 Masters in November, Augusta National is planning on having fans at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur at the end of March and the Masters Tournament in April. Specific numbers have not been released.