Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quick Post #1 - The NY Rangers website situation

NHL, the main entity that rules over ice hockey in north america started last campaign with a premise to change the way the game was seen. It all started with the signing of a contract with RBK that waranteed that by the start of the new season (2007-2008) all NHL teams would have to change from the old kind of loose-fit uniforms to the newer slicktightandmodernkindofsuperfabricorsotheysay models. But, along with the uniforms, the NHL asked every team to switch to a website template that the league was working on. This template would be used on every team's website, with the only change between one and another being the team colours, and some minor elements. Some teams did it without a word, and some did not:

September 28, 2007

Rangers' owner claims NHL acting like 'illegal cartel'
The Associated Press

The NHL violated antitrust laws and is acting like "an illegal cartel" by monopolizing control of team promotions, Madison Square Garden claimed in a lawsuit Friday.

MSG, which owns the New York Rangers, said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan because the NHL would begin fining the organization $100,000 US per day starting Friday if the company did not give the league complete control over the Rangers' website and other promotions.

The league is seeking to control the licensing of teams for all commercial purposes and to stop teams from marketing apparel, merchandise and memorabilia, the suit said. MSG asked that a judge order the league to stop limiting team promotions, and it also wants the court to clarify the boundaries of the league's rights.

The company said the NHL had once worked with teams in a legitimate joint venture, but had more recently "veered into unlawful behaviour."

"By seeking to control the competitive activities of independent businesses in ways that are not necessary to the functioning of that legitimate joint venture, the NHL has become an illegal cartel," the suit said.

Scott Arthur Eggers, a lawyer for the NHL, said he had no comment.

The lawsuit said the NHL insisted last week that MSG transfer control over the Rangers independently produced website, including the "" address so that the league could convert it into one of 30 "cookie-cutter" club websites at ""

The lawsuit said MSG had spent years developing the site to market Rangers hockey in competition with other NHL teams. By seizing the site, the NHL would eliminate competition between teams and harm consumers.

"The NHL has no competitive justification for seizing the Rangers website, which MSG today uses as a competitive tool to generate and maintain fan interest in the Rangers in competition with other NHL teams," MSG said.

At the start of the playoffs last spring, MSG said it increased its competitive offerings by making Rangers-branded merchandise available through the Rangers website rather than a catalog, and by making Rangers games available to subscribers on its website.

The NHL forced MSG to withdraw the efforts when it imposed a penalty of $100,000 per day, MSG said. When the company refused to pay the fines, the league withheld $200,000 from third-party payments otherwise due MSG, the lawsuit said.

MSG gave in to the league's demands because it did not want to detract from the playoffs, and it hoped that it could negotiate a solution to NHL actions it thought were unwise and illegal, it said. "That hope was in vain," the lawsuit said.

Check out the main differences
Old Rangers site:
New Rangers site:

1 comment:

Mara said...

People should read this.