NHL Plans to Formulate Blogger Policy

Keep On Blogging!In today’s Globe and Mail, William Houston continues a discussion started when the NCAA expelled a blogger from a college baseball game this spring. In the piece he mentions the New York Islanders’ Blog Box but fails to discuss the unprecedented access granted by the Washington Capitals and their blogger-owner Ted Leonsis. He does feed us this little nugget:

“This summer, the NHL and National Basketball Association plan to formulate their own policies for bloggers.
“Frank Brown, the vice-president of media relations for the NHL, said the league wants to set boundaries without inhibiting coverage.
“‘We are incredibly respectful of the voraciousness with which the digital consumers participate in NHL dialogue,’ he said. At the same time, we have to be equally protective of entities that are entitled to protection. You have to serve several masters.'”

Leonsis has frequently commented on the positive impact bloggers have on expanding coverage of the Capitals. He also believes that bloggers can fill in the cavernous void commonly created by mainstream media’s indifference/hostility to, and superficial coverage of, hockey in general. This sentiment comes from the team with a blogger policy already in place and a blogger presence established in the press box.
The most troubling part of the article?

“Some speculate that blogging rights will eventually become revenue sources for the league.”

Having already junked hockey sweaters in favor of a more expensive “Uniform System,” is Commissioner Bettman poised to try and profit from a free press as well? Is a “Blog System” on the horizon?
A tap of the stick to Paul Kukla for the assist.

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12 Responses to NHL Plans to Formulate Blogger Policy

  1. Todd says:

    “You have to serve several masters”? What does this mean? They want the bloggers to have full access, like the media does, but that they want to make sure that they have control of the final message?

  2. Gustafsson says:

    A commenter on Kukla’s Korner posted a link to the following editorial in the Chicago Tribune. In it, the editorial refers to an appeals court ruling that basically states

    “Once a shot is sunk, a ball is struck or a quarterback is sacked, it’s in the public domain. Anyone can report what happened.”

  3. dmaruk says:

    Or in the case of Jakub Klepis, once a penalty is committed.

  4. pepper says:

    I read this to mean that other teams, perhaps not the Caps, might begin to try charging fees for bloggers to access the press box, locker rooms, etc.

  5. OrderedChaos says:

    If individual teams want to charge for blogger access, well, they’re idiots but I suppose that’s their decision. What worries me is the potential for the NHL to make that same decision league-wide. Which would be one of Bettman’s most moronic calls in an already dubious commissionership.
    I can hear him now: “Hey, let’s *charge* bloggers to spread publicity and enthusiasm about the NHL, rather than simply benefit from their work at no cost to us! Because really, we have more than enough viewers and fans already. This will go well with my plan to keep the Preds from moving to a city that desperately wants a team, as well as my decision to dump Versus and start broadcasting games exclusively on Montgomery County Cable Access Channel 91. They really offered us the top billing our league deserves, second only to that show with the hand puppet.
    “On a side note: seriously, what do I have to do to get fired? Pee on the Canadian flag? Rape a puppy? I’m just curious.”

  6. VT Caps Fan says:

    Who’s to stop a blogger from watching a game on TV and ‘reporting’ on their blog.
    This is why the NCAA is a worthless organization. They do nothing to support there constituents (ex. Jermey Bloom the olympic skier/ Colorado football player) but make up ridiculous rules to benefit a few (ex. banning of native american mascots).
    I think caps fans are lucky that uncle Ted supports blogs, and he is a leader in this facet of the game. It’s free publicity for him, and he’s probably of the school of thought where you can write whatever you want just make sure you spell my name correctly (I think it was Barnum & Baily that made this school of thought infamous).

  7. VT Caps Fan says:

    OrderedChaos wrote:
    ‚ÄúOn a side note: seriously, what do I have to do to get fired? Pee on the Canadian flag? Rape a puppy? I‚Äôm just curious.‚Ä?
    Oh my god, I just wet my pants reading that. Has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on this blog. Thanks.

  8. Shmee says:

    How Bettman can take hockey blogging — which has been great for the NHL at a time when they can hardly get any MSM coverage — and consider charging for it is beyond me. But then again, a lockout was beyond me so what do I know? Clearly, the Comish has wisdom I dont have. Now excuse me while I go gag.

  9. TG says:

    Hold on a sec. Bettman’s not necessarily saying he’s going to charge, but he may just want to attempt to have some control over who is doing this. As in, have certain blogs that are “officially affiliated” with the team, or the NHL, or whatever. That would differentiate them from the schmoes sitting at home in their boxers raging against GMGM for not trading Emminger and a second round pick for Malkin.

  10. NHL, NBA To Develop Blogger Policy…

    From the Globe and Mail: The National Football League and Major League Baseball have established policies that impose some restrictions……

  11. OrderedChaos says:

    TG, what you suggest is appropriate, IF it is handled by the teams themselves. The NHL is a lot like our federal government in my book: stay out of the local details of which you know too little, and legislate only the things that require across-the-board compliance (like the game’s rules).
    I have 0% faith in the NHL’s ability to draft a smart policy regarding bloggers, or much else. They should trust their Owner’s Club to police their own back yards.

  12. TG says:

    OrderedChaos,
    That’s fair. I just get the feeling that instead of having a Wild West approach, they’re trying to put a little control, a bit of planning, some consistency, into the process.

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