After it was announced that the NHL and ESPN had reached a TV deal that would see the league return to the network for the first time in over a decade, today it was formally announced that the NHL has also reached a landmark deal with Turner for broadcasting rights.
The National Hockey League and Turner Sports, a division of @WarnerMedia, have reached an historic seven-year multimedia rights agreement.@NHLdotcom has more ➡️ https://t.co/aFVc7DPs8m pic.twitter.com/M3hBWmBiGt— NHL (@NHL) April 27, 2021
The deal comes after it was confirmed that NBC had pulled out of the bidding for the second TV rights package the NHL was seeking.
Highlights of the deal include exclusive rights to air half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and three of the next seven Stanley Cup Finals series (ESPN will host the remaining half of the playoffs and SCF series), as well as every Winter Classic game for the duration of the contract.
Of course, regular season games will also be broadcast by networks under the Turner umbrella, and the deal also includes streaming options via HBO Max, and an option to create secondary programming on its networks similar to existing shows (take for example, Inside the NBA).
This means that the NHL will be broadcast on TNT and TBS for the first time in the league’s history.
It is yet to be known how exactly this will pan out, who the broadcasters will be, or what auxiliary shows Turner will have planned. However, if it is anything remotely similar to their NBA coverage on TNT (wouldn’t that be entertaining), it will be a quality broadcast and programming lineup.