Hockey Broadcasts in Canada Change Hands as Rogers Communications Scores 12-Year Deal with NHL
A major sports broadcasting deal is shaking up the media landscape in Canada.
The National Hockey League and Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) announced a “landmark” 12-year agreement on Tuesday – that includes the Canadian national rights to all NHL games on all media platforms, in all languages.
The deal, reportedly worth $5.232 billion Canadian, or $4.96 billion U.S., has to be approved next month at an NHL Board of Governors meeting.
According to a joint press statement, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) will continue to air English-language broacasts of the iconic Hockey Night in Canada program, with the privately-owned TVA network getting French language multi-media rights.
"Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey, and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years -- channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in the joint press release. "The NHL is extremely excited about the power and potential of this groundbreaking partnership."
Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and economist with the Conference Board of Canada, tells The Globe and Mail the agreement will be a “huge help” for smaller-market NHL teams.
The newspaper quotes Hodgson as saying each of the 30 NHL teams will get about $25 million Canadian ($23.7 million U.S.) in television revenue each season – including the estimated $300 million U.S. paid annually to the teams by NBC – a division of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).
“That’s a really nice cash flow,” he added.
The apparent loser in this deal, however, is TSN, Canada's leading sports broadcaster, which was outbid by Rogers. TSN is owned by Bell Media – a division of BCE Inc. (NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. ESPN, a unit of Disney (NYSE: DIS), also has a small share in TSN.
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