Friday, May 7, 2021

NHL and Turner Sports Reach 7-Year Media Rights Deal

The NHL strengthened its future on television and multimedia platforms in the United States on Tuesday, with the announcement of a second broadcast rights deal, which will take effect after its agreement with NBC ends this season.

Turner Sports made a seven-year commitment, matching the length of the contract for the Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN and ABC, was signed with the NHL in March. Networks, including TBS and Turner of Turner, will begin airing the game in the 2021โ€“22 season and continue through the 2027โ€“28 campaign.

The specific terms of the deal with Turner Sports of a deal with WarnerMedia were not disclosed, but Turner would pay $ 225 million per year, according to a person familiar with the deal, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The sum of both deals represents more than the $ 300 million that the NHL received from NBC and ESPN, paying $ 100 million for various rights – including on its streaming service prior to last month’s deal The ability to show games was also included. .

NBC aired the NHL nationally since 2005, after a labor dispute called off the 2004โ€“5 season and the league’s previous agreement with ESPN expired.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman said at a news conference on Tuesday, “We feel that the arrangement we have now is more reflective of the value we bring as compelling content.” “Creating a broader distribution base continues only to help advance the game and reduce it.”

ESPN and the Turner Stanley Cup will split the playoffs, though ESPN will have more extensive regular-season coverage. Turner will broadcast the annual outdoor winter classic game.

Three of the seven Stanley Cup finals during concurrent agreements will be broadcast on Turner’s TNT network, which has had tremendous success with basketball. “Inside the NBA” and broadcaster Ernie Johnson have become a sports media institution, featuring former players Charles Barclay, Shakeel O’Neill and Kenny Smith.

“I think Turner is a genre and an approach to sports, and we want to bring that approach to the NHL,” said Jeff Zucker, president of WarnerMedia News and Sports. “You can’t just imitate ‘Inside the NBA’ on Thursday night, which comes with time and relationships.”

The other four final series will be broadcast on ABC. Three go to TNT after finals Long-term attachment of big games to big networks: CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

The NBL Network, similar to NBA TV and the NFL Network, has also aired the game, though Bateman said its future was largely undetermined on Tuesday.

“I’m comfortable with TNT, which has 90 million homes, which is equivalent to almost any broadcast network,” Bateman said. “As you see what’s happening on different platforms for all content, content is spreading, it’s not on the linear right now.”

Beyond television rights, the Turner Agreement also includes digital content, including games, for its streaming service. The Turner deal will bring live sports to HBO Max for the first time and the website Bleacher Report will provide highlight rights.

“As we look to the future and a smaller demographic, with Bleacher Report and HBO Max, these are the places we’re going to move forward and I think that’s going to be great for our fans,” Bateman said said.

Like NBC, Turner Sports and ESPN have the ability to attract fans from other sports, as both broadcast the NBA, Major League Baseball, and college basketball.

The NBA and NHL’s regular season and playoffs overlap extensively, but both Bateman and Zucker seemed unaffected by the prospect of scheduling games, pointing to the entente among competing companies that both now have hockey rights.

In Canada, hockey dominates the sports landscape, and the NHL is among the more than 5 billion Canadian-dollar broadcasting authority with Rogers Communications, which owns Sportsnet. Some local television rights, such as the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, belong to Valued at more than $ 40 million annually.

In the United States, the NHL has strong legs in some markets and stands wavering in others. Zucker said the appeal for Turner Sports was in possession of “premium sports content”.

“There are only four major sports leagues at the highest level in the United States,” Zucker said. “There are other leagues, and they all hold significance and value, but at the end of the day the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are the cream of the crop.”

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