The NHL’s Canadian television rights deal was expected to yield an historic windfall for the League financially. And as the Stanley Cup commercials put it: History Was Made.
Rogers Communication, owners of the Sportsnet networks, reached a 12-year, $5.232 billion (Canadian) deal with the NHL that was formally announced Tuesday. That’s roughly $4.9 billion in U.S. dollars.
The agreement is the largest media rights deal in NHL history and one of the largest media rights deals in Canadian history, including the largest-ever sports-media rights agreement. The partnership between the NHL and Rogers begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through the 2025-26 season.
"Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey, and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years -- channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a joint press release issued by the League and Rogers.
The NHL also has a 10-year, $2 billion deal with NBC in the U.S., bringing its combined rights fees to close to $7 billion.
By comparison, the NBA has a $7.4 billion TV deal with ABC/ESPN and TNT.
Here’s what the deal gives Rogers:
• National rights to all NHL games in Canada, in English and French. That includes the playoffs, the Stanley Cup Final, the All-Star Game and any outdoor games, as well as the NHL Draft.
• As part of the agreement, Rogers will have a rights deal with CBC to continue broadcasting “Hockey Night In Canada”, that Canadian TV staple, and with TVA for the French-language rights.
• There will be extending pre- and postgame coverage of games starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• A new Sunday night game that’s expected to be a League TV tent pole.
• The rights to broadcast games on all digital platforms.
• Out-of-market rights for all regional games
• Ownership of all linear and digital highlights, including condensed games and video archives.
• The rights to NHL Centre Ice (PPV) and GameCenter Live (digital streaming).
• Sponsorship rights to the NHL logo.
• Rights to sell ads on all properties. Including on CBC.
The deal still needs to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors on Dec. 9-10. We have a feeling they’re going to be OK with it.
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