The NHL announced Tuesday that it has signed a 10-year broadcasting agreement with NBC, worth $2 billion according to the Sports Business Journal. Under this new deal, all Stanley Cup playoff games will be televised nationally with exclusive coverage from NBC/Versus beginning in the conference seminfinals.
The NBC Sports Group will also air 100 regular season games, including a nationally broadcasted contest on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.
The Globe and Mail also is reporting that Versus will be renamed the NBC Sports Channel. According to the Globe and Mail, “The broadcaster and the league are looking to create a ‘March Madness’ style promotion of the playoffs on both NBC and its news sports cable channel.”
From the league’s release:
According to the agreement, the NBC Sports Group obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises. In the regular season, NBC will continue to broadcast a national “Game of the Week,” along with its coverage of the NHL Winter Classic and “Hockey Day in America.” VERSUS also will telecast an exclusive national “Game of the Week,” as well as NHL Premiere Games, NHL Faceoff , the NHL All-Star Game and any future NHL Heritage Classic outdoor games in Canada. NBC and VERSUS remain the exclusive home of the Stanley Cup Final. The NBC Sports Group’s commitment includes building a new studio for NHL Network at its existing facility Stamford, Conn.
“This is the most significant U.S. media rights partnership in the League’s history,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “NBC Universal / Comcast is one of the most important, connected and ‘wired’ media companies in the U.S., and as the potential of the NBC Sports Group is realized, the importance of our relationship will become more apparent to hockey fans and our business partners.