The NHL is reportedly returning to ESPN.
Chris Johnson of Sportsnet On Tuesday, it was reported that, according to several sources, the league and the US-based TV station have agreed to a seven-year deal starting in 2021-22. Johnson noted that ESPN aired four Stanley Cup finals between 2022 and 2028, but there was no information about who they would split the rights with. Disney, which owns 80 percent of ESPN, will get streaming rights under the deal.
While financial terms are unknown at this time, NBC – currently the rights-holder – pays $ 200 million per year to broadcast NHL games. The contract expires after this season.
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ESPN was home to the NHL from 1992 to 2004, with some of the biggest broadcast name calling games. Including current “Monday Night Football” play-by-play announcers Steve Levy, Gary Thorne, Jack Edwards and the late Dave Strader. Analysts included Darren Pang, Bill Clement, Brian Engleblum and current NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk.
Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, which resulted in a full-season loss, ESPN did not opt for 666 million for 2005–06.
“Tonight, we informed the NHL that we did not accept their final contract offer,” ESPN and abc sports president George Bodenheimer Said in a 2005 statement. “We have worked very hard to build and maintain our relationship with the league and would love to continue it. However, given the long work hours and the TV ratings history of the league, no financial model can remotely contract terms. Does not support. “
The league went on to Comcast's Outdoor Life Network – which then became Versus and then NBC Sports Network – when they agreed to a three-year deal worth more than $ 200 million.
Today, ESPN has expanded the league's coverage on ESPN + with the broadcast of games and NHL-related shows. “NHL 2 Night” – There's no word if the popular daily NHL-oriented shows hosted by John Buckegross and include analysts Barry Melrose, Ray Ferraro and EJ Hradeck. Fans are not paying attention to the idea.
The reaction to Twitter about the news of ESPN and the NHL reunion was also positive:
This is really great for the NHL. ESPN is a large network in the US and whenever you join Disney there is a win situation. https://t.co/HIGqxYjyOt
– Rail Sports Podcast Closed (@ OTRsports99) March 9, 2021