Blog Entry

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:45 pm
The NHL has reached a broadcast deal that will keep it on NBC and Versus. 

The Comcast-owned duo beat out Fox, Turner and ESPN --- all of which dropped out of the bidding. The Sports Business Journal reports  the NBC Sports Group will pay in excess of $200 million per season under the 10-year deal. That's nearly triple the guaranteed money under the current deal, originally signed out of the lockout. 

"I think everybody has enormous respect for ESPN, but six years ago we chose to go in a different direction for a variety of reasons and we believe it's worked out well for us," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a conference call on Tuesday. "And the promise of what NBC Universal/Comcast I think is extraordinarily exciting."

Over the last six years, NBC and the NHL had a revenue sharing arrangement. It was a great deal for NBC and one the NHL had to take after the 2004-05 season was lost due to a work stoppage. Now, not only has the NHL signed its most lucrative TV deal in its history -- easily surpassing the pre-lockout ABC/ESPN agreement -- but the partnership could soon grow beyond just Versus and NBC, Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports Group, explained.  

"The new company at NBC Universal represents 20 channels, 20 unique channels, covering a diversity that no other company has ever had, from significantly strong female channels to young channels, young adult channels, to the most powerful cable entertainment network in the world in the USA Network, CNBC, Telemundo," Ebersol said. "We have a way to talk to the audience that no one has ever had before. And these guys, their mouths are watering to get their hands on being identified."

The deal negates any non-NBC Universal/Comcast property from carrying games in the U.S. The new deal also means the end of regional sports networks carrying playoff games past the first round of the playoffs beginning next year. 

"We have the market power we need both for Madison Avenue for advertising, and we clearly have it among the cable community with this level of exclusivity and the fact it's one-stop shopping," Ebersol said. 

The new deal calls for 100 regular season games and NBC will begin televising games on Thanksgiving Friday. 

-- A.J. Perez
Category: NHL
Tags: ESPN, NHL, Versus

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:29 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

I don't like ESPN either, ever since they switched their media policies and began covering five teams in every sport instead of thirty. But we're clearly in the minority. They almost have a monopoly on sports media, and if the NHL isn't on ESPN, hockey's exposure will continue to be minimal, and it won't help the game. Personally I am disappointed. I don't get Versus in my television package.

Since: Feb 1, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:23 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Good news.  ESPN is for douchebags.  ESPN 's coverage of the NBA is so far beyond what the audience demands.  As the article confessed, ESPN uses Sportscenter to promote the sports they make money from.
Their website is crowded, their shows self-indulging and frankly the specialized stations, such as the NFL network, MLB TV and the NHL TV, do a far better job of showing the right highlights.
ESPNnews is the only valuable part of ESPN left.  ESPN has turned into MTV of sports. 

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:19 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Maybe they can add Versus Plus or something. You have multiple games scheduled and only get to see 1. You're trying to promote the sport this is not a good way to do it, espically during the play-offs. I live in NY area market, you have the Caps and Rangers on and its blacked pout because of local access, but you have the Tampa vs Pitt series on the same time but I get no access to it. This needs to be fixed. ASAP

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:13 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

its all about money, but I guarantee the fans wouldve preferred Fox or the NBA channel- I mean ESPN over NBC and VS. Too many people still dont get versus and NBCs telecasts are a joke(Pierre Maguire). Another nice job for Bettman to pad the rich owners wallets all while once again neglecting the fans best interests

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:44 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Agreed, you will see more games on NBC, which except for the NFL, doesn't really have many of the top sports.  Not a big fan of Comcast, which owns Versus, and now NBC.  However, someone has to be an alternative to the near-monopoly ESPN has on sports programming.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:39 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

at $200M/yr they almost have to be having more games on NBC, versus can't generate enough revenue to make this a workable deal.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:28 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

I don't have a problem with versus, but I do hope the new deal allows more games to be shown on NBC. 

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:20 pm

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

I like Versus, of course I get the station , ESPN is too basketball and baseball heavy, I on't think they have room for hockey.

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:34 am

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again



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