The National Hockey League and NBCUniversal have agreed on a 10-year TV deal that will keep the sport on NBC and VERSUS, which will be rebranded, through the 2020-21 season.
To win the TV rights, NBC beat out other bidders, including FOX, Turner, and the Walt Disney Company/ESPN. The deal is valued at $200 million per year according to sources, which would be a major increase from the league’s last deal.
What does it mean for you?
1) As league revenues go up, so will the salary cap, which means Ken Holland should have more money to play with over the next few years, or other teams like the Nashville Predators, may have more space to resign a player like Shea Weber.
2) The upcoming Olympics TV rights negotiations may have a major influence on whetherNHL players go to Sochi in 2014. If NBC wins those broadcast rights, expect it to happen, if they don’t, who knows.
3) Every playoff game from the Conference Semifinals (2nd round) will either be on NBC and VERSUS. Also, every playoff game will be televised nationally, either on NBC, VERSUS, or another NBC/Comcast Channel. The newly branded VERSUS channel will continue to carry Game 3 and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
According to puck media guru Steve Lepore, the big losers are Regional Sports Networks, which lose coverage of the second round, and NHL Center Ice, which will lose the playoffs entirely.
What do you think? Judging by the various response on the TV coverage on our Social Media channels, fans won’t be happy to have Sidney Crosby shoved down their throats for the next decade. Though, it will probably mean more opportunities for our own Ken Daniels to establish himself on a national level, as he has recently on VERSUS.