NHL’s Bill Daly begs NBC to continue TV deal

Earlier this season, NBC informed the NHL its plan to shut down its NBC Sports Network channel by the end of 2021.


Back at the end of January, it was announced that NBCUniversal was expected to shut down its NBC Sports Network, NBCSN, and move some of its top sports properties to the USA network in the hopes to boost the economics of the general-entertainment cable outlet at a time when new streaming-video hubs are luring bigger audiences. NBC had reportedly informed its distributors it intends to shut down NBCSN at the end of 2021. This includes the NHL. 

Then, earlier this month, the NHL and ESPN announced a seven-year, $2.8 billion dollar deal that will see NHL games broadcast on multiple cable outlets, streaming platforms and will include Stanley Cup Final games on ABC.

However, the NHL would still like to keep its deal alive with NBC Sports. Elliotte Friedman spoke with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly who is hoping the deal remains. Here is how Friedman explained it in his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet:

“Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly appeared on /Hockey Central/ on Monday and was asked about the rest of the NHL’s TV deal. He made sure to praise current rightsholder NBC, adding, “(It would) be great if they continue to be partners.”
Now that the NFL’s television situation is sorted out — a massive $10-billion windfall across Amazon, CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC — things will ramp up on this topic. As Daly mentioned, the league would like NBC to remain (and those conversations are happening at the highest levels), but they’ve been significantly apart on the fee. Could ESPN take the entire package if the divide can’t be bridged?”

Back in 2011, NBC Sports reached a ten-year extension to their National Hockey League TV contract, which expires after this season. 

What is next?