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Keeping your television rights holders happy in a lockout is a difficult thing to do because it's harder for these networks to make money when there are no games to sell advertisements for.
These contracts are very important because they are a major source of revenue for the NBA and NHL.
One way to ensure that these leagues will be able to sign even better deals in the future is by convincing networks that lockouts won't erase entire seasons of play. The NBA has gone through two lockouts in the last 15 years, but neither has eliminated a full year.
Meanwhile, the NHL already lost a year in 2004-05 and could lose another this season. Bettman not only needs to keep his owners happy, he needs to make sure the league's relationship with NBC doesn't sour.
Since the NHL lockout began on September 15, NBC Sports has struck a deal to broadcast English Premier League soccer matches.