Canada’s cable TV sports networks are going to make more money by not showing NHL games this fall than if the NHL had started the season on time. To understand the inverse logic of the lockout and its victims, consider that an average regular season broadcast in Canada can have production costs of about $600,000; typical advertising revenue for that game comes in anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 short of production costs.
Where the hockey cable broadcasters make their profit is from fees paid by cable/satellite companies (via your wallet) to make up the difference. The fees range from about 10 to 15 cents per subscription for Rogers newly acquired The Score to about $1.50 at Sportsnet and a little more than that at TSN. They allow the networks to make a profit -- one that could soon grow if TSN gets up to the $5-per-subscriber fee its sister company ESPN gets in the U.S.