After reports started to come out yesterday about the second home for the NHL alongside ESPN, it became officially official today that the Turner Sports networks (TBS/TNT) will become the secondary TV home for the league. Alongside ESPN’s seven-year deal, Turner Sports will also be along for the ride for the 2021-22 through 2027-28 seasons.
From the press release:
This agreement with the National Hockey League brings one of the most prestigious championships in sports to TNT and fuels our entire Turner Sports and Bleacher Report portfolio with even more premium content for many years to come,” said WarnerMedia News & Sports Chairman Jeff Zucker. “We’re delighted to spotlight the world’s best hockey league on our leading networks, while continuing to further elevate this marquee property through an ever-expanding array of digital platforms in the years to come.
Here are the major takeaways from the new deal with Turner Sports:
• Turner Sports’ networks will televise the NHL Winter Classic in all seven seasons of the deal.
• Turner Sports will show all games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2023, 2025 and 2027. They will also broadcast one conference final series each season and half of the first two rounds of the playoffs along with 72 regular-season games per season.
• Bleacher Report (not to be confused with Bleacher Nation), which is owned by Turner, will have rights to use NHL highlights on its digital platform.
• HBO Max will have streaming rights and simulcast options as part of the Turner Sports agreement.
With the deals with ESPN and Turner Sports, the NHL and NBC will no longer be broadcast partners after 15 years as the home for the league.
The new TV deal reached between the NHL and ESPN/Turner Sports will push the league’s revenue to $625M per year with the combined deal. Previously, NBC and Disney’s combined TV rights and streaming services deal with the league generated $300M per year in revenue. With the new deal, ESPN pays $400M and Turner Sports picks up the other $225M each year.
Taking both the U.S. and CDN broadcast rights into account, the NHL is taking in just under $1B USD each year, starting next season, depending on CDN-to-USD exchange rates.
ESPN/Disney: $400M per year
Turner: $225M per year
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) April 27, 2021
While it will be sad to see the end of the NHL on NBC, something that US-based hockey fans have been familiar with for son long, I am open to seeing what can become of the (hopefully) fresh look of the NHL on ESPN and what networks like TNT and TBS can do with the NHL, after the successes they have had with the NBA, College Basketball, and Major League Baseball.