The NHL was a hot topic tuesday with the announcement of broadcasting rights in Canada. Rogers Communications Inc has agreed to a 12-year $5.2-billion deal to be the exclusive national broadcasting rights holder for the NHL in Canada. As part of the deal CBC will continue to broadcast their iconic Hockey Night in Canada, however Rogers retains final editorial rights. This agreement is still subject to approval from the NHL Board of Governors at their December 9-10 meeting. There has been mixed reactions on social media as “9 out of 10 of the trending topics in Canada were related to the NHL and Rogers deal.” Most fans were there to express their disappointment in the deal, though it was mostly centred around mourning the loss of TSN hockey coverage. The real question is how bad is this for the NHL? Or are we as Canadian sports fans so committed to the TSN brand that we cannot imagine them being shutout from hockey on the national level. TSN will retain their regional deals with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. As well they will be able to increase Hockey Canada coverage, and focus on news, insight and analysis.
I believe hockey fans should be excited for the future of the NHL. The 10-year NBC Sports Group agreement in 2011, paying the NHL approximately $200-million annually, solidified hockey broadcasting in the US. These were both the biggest hockey media deals, and the Rogers-NHL deal “is one of the largest media rights deals ever in Canada, including the largest-ever sports-media rights agreement.” Things are looking up for the NHL and hockey in Canada. While I believe TSN will still remain relevant through insight and analysis.
So my final questions are: What is next for the NHL? Should we as hockey fans be excited for this new agreement? Under the new CBA how will this affect the salary cap and revenue sharing?