The NHL is reportedly returning to ESPN.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported on Tuesday that, based on a number of sources, the league and the U.S.-based TV station have agreed to a seven-year deal starting in 2021-22. Johnston famous that ESPN broadcasts 4 Stanley Cup Finals between 2022 and 2028, however there was no info relating to with whom they’d break up the rights. Disney, who owns 80 % of ESPN, would get streaming rights below the deal.
Whereas the monetary phrases are unknown presently, NBC — presently rights-holder — pays $200 million a 12 months to broadcast NHL games. The contract expires after this season.
ESPN was the house of the NHL from 1992 to 2004, with among the greatest broadcast names calling games. That features present “Monday Night time Soccer” play-by-play announcer Steve Levy, Gary Thorne, Jack Edwards and the late Dave Strader. Analysts included Darren Pang, Invoice Clement, Brian Engblom and present NBC analyst Eddie Olcyzk.
As a result of 2004-05 NHL lockout that resulted in your entire season being misplaced, ESPN didn’t choose up its possibility for 2005-06 for $60 million.
“Tonight, we knowledgeable the NHL that we didn’t settle for their closing contract provide,” ESPN and ABC Sports activities president George Bodenheimer mentioned in a 2005 assertion. “We labored very exhausting to construct and maintain our relationship with the league and would have preferred to proceed. Nevertheless, given the extended work stoppage and the league’s TV rankings historical past, no monetary mannequin even remotely helps the contract phrases provided.”
The league moved over to Comcast’s Out of doors Life Community — which then grew to become Versus after which NBC Sports activities Community — after they agreed to a three-year deal value greater than $200 million.
Right this moment, ESPN has expanded protection of the league on ESPN+ with the airing of games and NHL-related exhibits. There was no phrase if “NHL 2Night” — the favored every day NHL-oriented present that was hosted by John Buccigross and included analysts Barry Melrose, Ray Ferraro and E.J. Hradek — would return. Followers are regardless salivating on the concept.
Response on Twitter was additionally optimistic relating to the news of ESPN and the NHL reuniting:
That is actually nice for the NHL. ESPN is an enormous community within the U.S. and anytime you become involved with Disney is a win win scenario https://t.co/HIGqxYjyOt
— Off the Rails Sports activities Podcast (@OTRsports99) March 9, 2021
Daniel Elton, senior editor at Wahu Times, writes about politics and policy with a focus on climate advocacy. Daniel previously at the New Republic and, and Self. Daniel can be reached by email.