NBC, VERSUS To Renew At 10 Years, $2 Billion, 100 Games Each Season
April 19, 2011 8 Comments
From John Ourand at Sports Business Daily:
NBC and Versus have signed a 10-year, $2B deal to renew the NHL’s TV rights. Fox took a preliminary look at the package but never made a bid, and Turner pulled out of the bidding last week, saying it could not find a business model to support the money NBC and Versus are paying the NHL. ESPN said it had “constructive conversations” with the NHL, “offering them the opportunity for unprecedented distribution of every game of the Stanley Cup playoffs on ESPN platforms, including authentication to broadband and mobile devices.” ESPN had committed to carry one regular-season game per week. But sources said the NHL never came back to ESPN with a final bid. ESPN remained involved in the bidding process until the end. But sources said it was too difficult for the NHL and ESPN to work around NBC and Versus’ matching rights. The deal will see NBC and Versus carry all Stanley Cup playoff games nationally, with the conference semis appearing exclusively on the two nets. It also will see NBC and Versus televise 100 regular-season games, including a new Thanksgiving Friday telecast on NBC. The agreement includes all digital rights for the games NBC and Versus televise. NBC has committed to a national “Game of the Week” and Winter Classic, and Versus will televise a national “Game of the Week,” plus the All-Star Game, NHL Premiere Games, NHL Faceoff and any future NHL Heritage Classic games in Canada. NBC and Versus will continue to share the rights to the Stanley Cup Final. As part of the deal, NBC Sports Group agreed to build a new studio for NHL Network in Stamford, Conn.