Bettman, the commissioner, has countered with a proposed revenue-sharing increase to $190 million a year.
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs will probably be an important figure in any agreement. Jacobs, who like all owners is subject to a gag order imposed by Bettman, chairs the NHL’s board of governors and is reputedly a hard-line opponent of additional revenue sharing. He is the league’s second-longest tenured owner, and his team is the NHL’s fifth-most valuable franchise. He bought the Bruins in 1975 for $10 million, and today the club is worth $348 million, according to Forbes.
“The NFL has big, centralized TV deals, so the owners don’t mind sharing as much, but in the NHL it’s more about your team’s ability to procure revenue in your specific market,” said Justin Hunt, a sports attorney and revenue sharing specialist based in Columbus, Ohio.
The Bruins are better positioned than most NHL franchises to generate local TV money because Jacobs owns a 20 percent share of New England Sports Network, which broadcasts most of the team’s games. That means the team will survive and probably do well, no matter what damage the current stoppage wreaks on the league’s fan base.
When a club has a lucrative local television arrangement like Boston’s, Hunt said, “Good luck prying that money away.”