New Broadcast Partners and Streaming Rights Boost NHL Visibility
The NHL is a professional hockey league in the United States and Canada. The league was founded in 1917 and originally consisted of four teams, which are now known as the Original Six. The NHL is also a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation and is a part of the world’s four major sports leagues.
NHL games are broadcast on many networks around the world. In the United States, the NHL’s national broadcast partners are ABC, ESPN, and TNT. In Canada, the NHL is broadcast on CBC television and its Sportsnet networks, Rogers-owned sports channel City, and FX Canada. The league also produces Hockey Night in Canada, a weekly game telecast that airs on both CBC and Sportsnet.
The NHL previously operated a national radio network, through Westwood One, that carried high-profile contests such as the Stanley Cup Finals to radio stations throughout the country. However, the NHL’s relationship with Westwood One ended after last season’s NHL lockout.
Historically, the NHL has never had an exclusive deal with a single U.S. broadcast network. After the 2004-05 NHL lockout, NBC and Versus (now known as NBCSN) shared broadcast rights for the first time. The NHL’s new long-term broadcast deals with The Walt Disney Company (ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+) and Turner Sports (TNT and Hulu) will continue to air a mix of national games and in-market regional contests.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league with 31 teams, including 24 in the United States and seven in Canada. It is the most prominent of the four major professional sports leagues in North America and boasts a roster of highly skilled players from around the world. The NHL also voluntarily stops its regular season for the Olympic winter games.
Each team plays 82 games in the regular season, 41 at home and 41 away. They play each team in their division twice, and they also play teams outside of their conference. The winning team receives two points for each win, and a single point for a tie or shootout loss.
Turner Sports announced its NHL schedule on Wednesday, featuring 62 nationally televised games this season. It will also air the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Boston Bruins at the Washington Capitals. The NHL will also broadcast its All-Star game and the Stanley Cup Final.
NHL games are televised in the United States on networks including ESPN, ABC, TBS, and TNT. In Canada, the league has a national English-language broadcast deal with Rogers Sportsnet and its regional channels (Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet 2, and SN NOW), as well as Bell Media’s TSN, which holds rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks. In addition, RDS holds regional French-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.
The 2022-23 season will see a number of changes in the way that NHL games are televised. After the NHL’s long-term exclusive television rights contract with NBC ended, it found new TV homes with The Walt Disney Company’s ESPN (including ESPN+ and Hulu) and Turner Sports. These new broadcast partners pay hundreds of millions a year to air the game, boosting visibility for the NHL. In addition, the league also has a partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio for select high-profile games, such as Stanley Cup playoffs and finals.
In the United States, NHL games are televised on several cable and broadcast networks. The league’s latest deal with ESPN and Turner Sports (which is owned by the WarnerMedia family) will run through 2025-26. The new pact is worth US$225 million a year and will include rights to the Stanley Cup finals and other regular-season games.
The seven-year pact also includes extensive streaming rights on ESPN Plus and Hulu. This will allow fans to watch games in their own markets. The agreement gives the NHL a lot of visibility in the United States and will help it reach younger fans.
The agreement will also give Turner Sports access to a few regular-season games each week. The network’s TV channels, including TNT and TBS, will show these games. It will also stream the playoffs and the annual outdoor Winter Classic on ESPN Plus and Hulu. The agreement will allow Turner to create original content around the league, which could increase its popularity among younger viewers.