This morning the National Hockey League, in conjunction with Rogers Communications, announced that the two parties have reached a landmark 12-year deal worth approximately $5.232 billion Canadian, which is just under $5 billion in US dollars, that would give Rogers Communications broadcast and multimedia rights.
This is not just one of the largest deals in the history of the league; this is one of the largest media rights deals in Canadian history.
According to the press release, the partnership is scheduled to begin in the 2014-15 season and will run straight through to the 2025-26 season. That, my friends, is a lot of hockey.
One of the biggest changes that this new deal will bring about is that TSN will not be carrying any NHL hockey after the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.
The good news is that Rogers Communications will sublicense their rights to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to allow for the continuation of Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. However, HNIC will not be the exclusive source for Saturday night hockey.
Under the new deal, they will have a lot more flexibility, and this will allow them to bring many more games, and lot more content to hockey fans on a regular basis.
Earlier today, Sportsnet sent out this tweet that highlighted what a typical Saturday night may look like based on the NHL schedule for November 23rd.
New deal gives fans more games, more content, more choice and more flexibility. What a Saturday might look like: pic.twitter.com/q12wqUVMvG
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 26, 2013
In the press release from the NHL, Rogers Media President, and former President of TSN Keith Pelley explained their vision for the new deal.
“Our vision is to build on the NHL’s legacy in Canada with an emphasis on storytelling, innovation, and technology — weaving the NHL, its teams and its stars even deeper into the fabric of Canadian culture,” Pelley said. “Today’s announcement significantly increases the value of our premium Sportsnet brand and reinforces our commitment to making Sportsnet the No. 1 sports media brand in Canada.”
While most people are not generally a fan of change, this deal could very well change the way hockey is broadcast in Canada. This agreement guarantees that there will no longer be a regionalization of games or any sort of local blackouts. According to the press release, Rogers has three exclusive windows to broadcast any game involving a Canadian team; Wednesday nights, Saturday nights (including CBC), and Sunday nights.
Also, on Saturday nights, viewers will receive every game regardless of where they live as well as certain games involving two U.S.-based teams.
This could very well go down as one of the largest sport-media deals of all time. Again, this deal has the potential to change the face of hockey broadcasting across Canada and will open up a plethora of new options for access to not just games, but other forms of media and content, both broadcast and over the internet.
What do you think of the new deal between the National Hockey League and Rogers Communications? Are you in favor of the changes that are being made to the hockey lineups in Canada? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.