The NHL and Turner Sports activities have reached a seven-year rights settlement starting within the 2021-22 season that features the Winter Traditional and three Stanley Cup Finals.
The deal, price $225 million yearly, ends the NHL’s 16-year relationship with NBC Sports activities. The league beforehand signed a seven-year deal that makes ESPN its major rights holder beginning subsequent season.
“Regardless of loads of hypothesis on the contrary, we half mates, every of understanding why we made the choices that we each made to succeed in this level,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned of NBC Sports activities.
Turner Sports activities will current as much as 72 regular-season video games and half of the primary three Stanley Cup Playoff rounds every season. The Stanley Cup Remaining will air on TNT within the years during which Turner Sports activities carries it, marking the primary time the championship spherical will air completely on cable. The Stanley Cup Remaining will seem on ABC within the years during which ESPN airs it.
Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia Information & Sports activities, mentioned there’s been no resolution made on which day the NHL would air on Turner Sports activities networks, which have already got Main League Baseball on TBS and the NBA and All-Elite Wrestling claiming nights on TNT. Turner Sports activities additionally has a portion of the rights for the NCAA males’s basketball match.
As a part of the deal, there can be stay streaming and simulcast rights for HBO Max, and expansive digital and highlights rights for Bleacher Report.
“We now have the power to place video games there, however the preliminary focus can be on the Turner networks,” Zucker mentioned of HBO Max, including that “because the customers proceed to skate to the place the puck is, we can be there. Nevertheless it’s not imminent and it is not going to occur this yr.”
Turner Sports activities can have “TV In every single place” rights that may enable its networks to make NHL video games and associated programming obtainable to “authenticated subscribers throughout all WarnerMedia platforms.”
Zucker mentioned that Turner Sports activities was at all times all for buying the rights to premium sports activities properties just like the NHL. “It is one thing we made clear to the NHL over the past yr or so. When it comes to once we grew to become way more critical about it, we have had ongoing conversations over the past a number of months and in the previous couple of weeks it raised to the following stage,” he mentioned.
ESPN and the NHL introduced a seven-year deal in March, returning hockey to ESPN for the primary time since 2004. Included can be 25 regular-season video games on ESPN or ABC, early-round playoff sequence and one convention remaining annually, 4 Stanley Cup Remaining sequence on ABC and greater than 1,000 video games per season streaming on ESPN+. ESPN+ and Hulu can be house to 75 ESPN-produced unique telecasts per season. The deal additionally contains opening-night video games, the NHL All-Star Recreation and Abilities Problem and different particular occasions. Worldwide rights in Latin America, the Caribbean and components of Europe are additionally a part of the deal, as are in depth spotlight rights for ESPN’s digital platforms.
The NHL’s out-of-market streaming bundle (NHL.TV) can be transferring to ESPN+ as a part of its subscription choices.
As for NHL Community, Bettman mentioned that the league envisions persevering with the hockey cable channel “in some kind,” however that “how we proceed to distribute it and produce it’s one thing we’re now going to concentrate on.”
Bettman mentioned rights for the World Cup of Hockey, final seen on ESPN in 2016, can be negotiating with media companions when the league and the NHLPA collectively determine to maneuver ahead with the following version.
The commissioner additionally mentioned that severing ties with NBC would not have an effect on the league’s Winter Olympic future. The league and its gamers collectively bargained to take part within the subsequent two Winter Video games, each of which can be aired on NBC networks.
“There are nonetheless loads of issues that don’t have anything to do with NBC that must be resolved earlier than we go to the Olympics in Beijing [in 2022],” Bettman mentioned.