The NHL is going to be back on ESPN for seven years. The two reached an agreement so the NHL could be streamed via ESPN.
What to Expect
ESPN will get their rights back to broadcast NHL games thanks to an agreement between the network and the NHL that was signed March 10.
To clarify, ESPN previously broadcasted NHL games, but that was back in 2004.
Now, nearly 20 years later, fans will now be able to stream their favorite hockey games through ESPN.
So, here’s the breakdown of the seven-year deal that is set to go in place beginning next season.
The Stanley Cup Final will be broadcasted on ABC in select years. In addition, the NHL All-Star Game and 25 regular-season games will air on ABC. The games will be split up in general, though with 15 of the games being aired via ESPN while the remaining 10 will be aired through ABC.
In general, the games aired on ABC will probably be broadcasted on Saturdays while ESPN games will be aired on Thursdays.
There will be 75 regular season games presented only on ESPN and Hulu.
This is clearly a huge change for the NHL. Originally, all games were televised through all NBC Universal broadcasting stations such as NBC, NBC Sports, USA and Sports Network.
What’s In It for ESPN
For ESPN, they will be able to provide streaming services from many regular season games to the playoff games. This will likely attract many hockey fans from all over. In addition, this agreement brings Disney platforms to have rights to stream and air NHL games.
Of course, this will be a benefit on ESPN’s part. If the networking company can reel in lots of hockey fans to stream the games through them, there will be more subscribers.
Over the course of seven years and out of 1,312 games total, there will be 1,100 of them aired right on ESPN.
ESPN will be able to have rights to air somewhere around 100 games. But, as mentioned before, 25 of them will have to be presented on ABC or ESPN. 75 will be broadcasted via Hulu and ESPN+.
In terms of finances, those details have not been revealed yet. So, how much ESPN is expected to pay into this deal isn’t clear.