By Ian Oland
National coverage of the NHL will be moving away from NBC Sports next season.
According to the Sports Business Journal, NBC has officially pulled out of the bidding for the NHL’s second TV rights package. This news comes after the NHL and ESPN announced a seven-year, $2.8 billion deal in March for the “A” package.
NBC has broadcast games every year of the Ovechkin Era, which first began in the 2005-06 season. NBC was coming off a 10-year, $200 million agreement it had with the NHL.
BREAKING: Next season will mark the first time since '05-06 that NBC will not carry #NHL games, with sources saying that the network has officially pulled out of the bidding for the league's second TV package (@Ourand_SBJ, @markjburns88).
Free to read: https://t.co/wIS8GGe9hn pic.twitter.com/u2SMbVipoq
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) April 26, 2021
The Sports Business Journal reports that Fox and a CBS/Turner package are still in the running for the “B” package. NBC’s bid came under $100 million and most of the games would have been aired on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnson recently reported that Fox Sports is the front runner and that Apple could end up securing some rights to NHL games as well.
.@reporterchris from last night's 'Headlines' segment on NHL's B media rights package:
"It sounds like Fox Sports has joined the bidding, and multiple sources suggest they're actually the front runner now ahead of NBC. … We could see Apple actually grab some rights as well."
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) April 26, 2021
While TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the “likely” partner could end up being Turner.
Not official by any means but I’m hearing NHL’s new (secondary 🇺🇸) broadcast partner is likely to be @tntdrama, which of course produces @NBAonTNT et al. @espn is NHL’s primary 🇺🇸 broadcast partner. https://t.co/pd26AqlvZh
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 26, 2021
The NHL’s 2021-22 season is expected to begin in mid-October and feature a full 82-game slate of games. The NHL season is likely to have a two-week break in February for the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, which will air on NBC.
This does not affect NBC Sports Washington who has a long-term regional TV rights deal with the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards. NBCSWSH will air games through the 2031-32 NHL and NBA seasons.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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