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.