ESPN And NHL Sign USD$400 Million Per Year Broadcast Deal
isney-owned ESPN and the NHL have announced a seven-year, USD$400 million per season media rights deal starting with the 2021/22 NHL season.
The deal will mark the NHL’s return to ESPN for the first time since 2004 and will see 25-regular season games shown on ESPN or ABC, as well as early-round playoff series, one conference finals each year, four Stanley Cup Final series on ABC and more than 1,000 games per season streamed on ESPN+.
NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, said the deal will also see extensive highlight rights for ESPN’s digital platforms, and covers the NHL’s out-of-market streaming package, NHL.TV, which will move to ESPN+.
“Not only will this ground-breaking, seven-year deal enable the NHL to benefit from the incomparable power, reach and influence of The Walt Disney Company and ABC/ESPN, it sets a new standard in delivering our game to the most passionate and tech-savvy fans in sports in the ways they now demand and on the platforms they use,” Bettman said.
Disney chairman of ESPN and sports content, Jimmy Pitaro, said: “This agreement clearly underscored The Walt Disney Company’s leadership in the sports media landscape and serves as a blueprint for sports deals in the future.”
“We know the power of the NHL and are thrilled to welcome it back as a significant new pillar across our platforms, and we look forward to connecting more deeply and directly with some of the sports world’s most passionate fans,” Pitaro said.
The partnership comes as Disney launches ESPN+ on subscription video on-demand (SVOD), Hulu, which has more than 39.4 million subscribers that will get ESPN+ content at no added cost.
The partnership also includes the international media rights of Latin America, the Caribbean, and parts of Europe.