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NBC Sports Group Adds Additional Games To Their Broadcast Schedule

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 22, 2021 – NBC Sports has announced the following game additions, start time changes and updated matchups for its NHL coverage in the month of April on NBCSN:

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ESPN Deal Was All About The Money

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Spare me the nostalgia over a theme song that probably not one of the big-money folks over at ESPN, who have spent years on air without mentioning the NHL, could identify even if LeBron James and Tom Brady were humming it.

Don’t preach to me about how much the NHL will benefit from the exposure of having its games televised on one or another of Disney’s platforms, streaming or otherwise. Here’s what I have always wanted to know: What would possess a grown-up outside of Bristol, Conn., to ever refer to a television network as “the mothership” or “the worldwide leader?”

There is one thing and one thing alone of importance attached to the NHL’s media-rights deal with Disney, ESPN and their affiliated brands that include the Hulu streaming service, and that is the money.

This is Slap Shots’ Rod Tidwell moment: Show me the money and tell me how quickly its introduction into league revenue will be able to erase the NHL Players’ Association’s escrow debt that threatens to strangle the league beyond the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement.

That’s all that counts.

contiued plus more topics...

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Afternoon Line- Phil Mushnick

So let’s see how this is supposed to work:

Gary Bettman and NHL team owners plan to further grow their sport by diminishing their games’ appearances on mass access regional TV. In the near future, one can anticipate attractive games in large TV markets, such as Rangers-Bruins and Rangers-Islanders, will be dangled for purchase exclusively on those streaming networks. The NHL soon will become the exclusive property of extra-pay streaming enterprises as sold to ESPN and Hulu for a reported $2.8 billion over seven years, and then marked up.

Now you see it, now you don’t! Brilliant strategy! And if we didn’t know better we’d think that untreated greed, and not the good of the sport, was the determinant factor.

-Phil Mushnick of the New York Post.

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The ESPN Deal

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

An altered but intriguing balance of power brought the NHL back to the altar with ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu to announce a seven-year TV, streaming and media rights deal that will begin next season. ESPN has turned its focus toward streaming and away from traditional TV and cable, though those components will be part of the deal. The NHL has the generally young, tech-savvy audience ESPN craves. ESPN has a monstrously wide reach.

For the NHL, which is negotiating with other networks to take on portions of its rights that it didn’t sell to ESPN, this is a smart, modern marriage. And a lucrative one, a key element for a league that hasn’t been open to full crowds for a full year and relies on attendance for about half of its revenues. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro declined Wednesday to disclose the value of the deal, and Bettman wouldn’t say if it exceeded the $200 million the NHL has gotten annually from NBC. However, Bettman added, “We think we’ve become more valuable over time.”

Unlike their first, long-ago partnership, the NHL will get a bigger boost from being associated with ESPN than the network gets from rejoining forces with a league that has never found the secret to properly marketing its players or its game. If anybody can figure out the promotional end of things it’s ESPN, all grown up into a skillfully self-promoting, multi-media behemoth that spans generations and interests through being owned by the Walt Disney Company.

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Video Evening Line- Stephen A Smith

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ESPN And The NHL On The Broadcast Deal

from Nicklas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

"This is a win-win-win," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

The NHL will still be in places fans expect. The Stanley Cup Final will be on ABC in four of the seven years of the deal. ABC and ESPN will carry one conference final series and half of the first- and second-round games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season, plus 25 regular-season games.

(Remember that the remainder of the media rights are to be negotiated, and NBC, in the last year of a 10-year deal as the NHL's current U.S. partner, is in the bidding. This is only part of the picture.)

But ESPN will also produce 75 national games each regular season and stream them on ESPN+ and Hulu, and it will stream more than 1,000 out-of-market games each regular season on ESPN+, replacing NHL.TV.

"Streaming really is at the heart of this deal, and this is a reflection of its role as a critical part of our future," ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said.

More than that, Pitaro said it will be a model for sports media rights deals. As the late Walter Gretzky once told his son Wayne, "Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been."

read on

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All You Need To Know Regarding The Broadcast Deal Between The NHL And ESPN

via NHL Public Relations/ESPN,

  • The world’s best hockey league is coming to the industry-leading collection of linear and direct-to-consumer platforms for sports – ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu

 

  • The Stanley Cup Final and Stanley Cup Playoffs coming to ABC and ESPN; 100 exclusive regular-season games per season across ESPN’s networks and streaming platforms

 

  • Streaming is a key element in the landmark agreement; exclusive national games stream live on both ESPN+ and Hulu; more than 1,000 out-of-market games available to all ESPN+ subscribers

 

  • Deal also includes digital, highlight and international rights

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More Information On The ESPN Relationship With The NHL

 

I've looked for the ESPN release, nothing but for one 14 hours ago that takes you to a 404 page.

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Report- ESPN Appears To Be Back With The NHL

via Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Significant murmurs surfaced Tuesday that the NHL has sewn up one-half of its new U.S. media rights package.

ESPN is believed to have reached a seven-year deal to become one of the league's media partners starting next season, according to multiple league and industry sources.

There was no confirmation from the NHL on an agreement that is expected to see ESPN get the rights to broadcast four Stanley Cup Finals between 2022 and 2028, plus streaming rights for Disney.

Financial terms of the deal weren't immediately available, nor was it clear which other media company would split the package with ESPN.

NBC currently pays $200 million annually for exclusive U.S. media rights that expire after this season.

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Watching Saturday’s Outdoor Game

from Anthomy Crupi at Yahoo,

Intense sunshine and deteriorating ice conditions effectively robbed the NHL of some one million TV impressions, as Saturday’s outdoor game in Lake Tahoe couldn’t hold up under the strain of an eight-hour delay.

According to Nielsen data, NBC’s broadcast of the first period of the Colorado Avalanche-Las Vegas Golden Knights game averaged 1.36 million viewers and a 0.8 household rating before the bright winter sun turned the makeshift rink into a giant Slush Puppie. Play was halted at 12:55 p.m. PT, and by the time the ice was fit to play on again, it was two minutes past midnight on the East Coast and the action had shifted from NBC to its cable sibling NBCSN.

The remaining two periods averaged 361,000 viewers, or 995,000 fewer fans than were tuned in when the puck dropped the previous afternoon. The Avalanche won 3-2.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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