September 21, 2021

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Business & Finance Information

ESPN Strikes Seven-Yr Deal for Rights to NHL Video games

Walt Disney Co.


DIS 0.28%

’s ESPN and the Nationwide Hockey League mentioned they struck a seven-year deal that can deliver the Stanley Cup Finals to Disney’s ABC broadcast community and make lots of of local-TV video games accessible on the ESPN+ streaming service.

ESPN is paying roughly $2.8 billion for the pay-TV and streaming rights over the course of the deal, in accordance with individuals conversant in the matter. An ESPN spokeswoman declined to touch upon monetary phrases. “We consider that the deal displays the standard and quantity of content material we acquired,” she mentioned.

The pact, which begins initially of the 2021-22 season, places dozens of nationwide regular-season video games solely on ESPN’s conventional TV networks and the ABC broadcast community and offers ESPN+ and Hulu the unique rights to stream 75 nationwide regular-season video games, the businesses mentioned.

The talks between the NHL and ESPN had been beforehand reported by The Wall Road Journal and others Tuesday.

The businesses mentioned the deal offers ESPN the rights to stream 1,000 local-TV video games on ESPN+ for individuals residing in numerous media markets. That providing that was beforehand accessible on NHL.TV streaming service will probably be shut down, an individual conversant in the matter mentioned.

Along with the digital rights, the deal between ESPN and the NHL covers the TV rights for about half of the league’s playoffs and regular-season video games, the individual mentioned. The league is in talks with a number of different media firms to license the opposite half, the individual mentioned.

At the moment,

Comcast Corp.’s

NBCUniversal is the most important tv associate of the NHL within the U.S. It has a 10-year pact valued at $2 billion that expires on the finish of this season. NBCUniversal can also be in talks with the NHL about sustaining its relationship with the league, one of many individuals conversant in the matter mentioned.

On account of the settlement, the Stanley Cup Finals will probably be broadcast on ABC in 4 of the subsequent seven years, the businesses mentioned. ESPN and ABC will even have dwell, unique protection of 1 convention remaining collection and half of all first- and second-round video games from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The deal additionally consists of rights to indicate TV video games in some worldwide markets equivalent to Latin America and Europe. At about $400 million on common a 12 months for full U.S. digital rights and partial U.S. TV rights, ESPN is paying a premium over what NBCUniversal pays for the complete U.S. TV rights, an individual conversant in the matter mentioned. ESPN at present pays $100 million to the NHL yearly for digital and streaming rights, that are additionally a part of the brand new deal, the individual mentioned.

NBCUniversal carries most of its NHL protection on the NBC Sports activities Community and the NBC broadcast channel, however the firm has mentioned it’s shutting down NBC Sports activities Community on the finish of the 12 months and transferring its NHL video games to the USA Community. The NHL additionally carries video games by itself channel, the NHL Community. Comcast is a associate within the NHL Community.

The NHL’s take care of ESPN continues a pattern of escalating sports activities prices. ESPN, NBC,

ViacomCBS Inc.’s

CBS and

Fox Corp.’s

Fox are negotiating new long-term Nationwide Soccer League rights contracts. Fox Corp. and Wall Road Journal mum or dad

Information Corp

share frequent possession.

Write to Benjamin Mullin at [email protected] and Joe Flint at [email protected]

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Appeared within the March 11, 2021, print version as ‘Hockey Deal Is Price $2.8 Billion.’

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