The National Hockey League announced today that the league will enter into a new two-year television deal with the Comcast SportsNet America network starting in 2019.
The deal will include the first two seasons of Comcast Sportsnet America’s coverage of the NHL, including the playoffs, and will be the first major TV deal the league has entered into with an American sports network.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Comcast SportsNEXT, a leading media company with an unparalleled history of excellence and innovation in sports, and we look forward to the opportunities that this new deal will provide,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.
“This deal will allow us to grow the NHL to the level of a major global sports network, and it will allow the NHL’s fans to enjoy NHL on a global scale for the first time in a very long time.
Comcast Sports NEXT will bring unprecedented access to the game to a broad audience, and the new network will bring NHL fans closer to the action than ever before.”
The NHL will begin its second season of programming in 2019-20, with an additional three years of coverage in 2020-21, and 20 more seasons in 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25.
The NHL is the second-largest professional sports league in the United States behind the NFL.
The network’s slate of regular season and playoff games will also include the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The new deal with Comcast will be subject to the league’s approval, and Bettman noted that the agreement with the network is subject to further negotiations.
The NHL has yet to formally announce the terms of the deal, but Bettman expects the two parties to conclude it by the end of the month.
Comcast also has an agreement with ESPN to provide a digital streaming service that will provide fans with NHL games in-person, online and on mobile devices.
The two sides have also discussed potential additional financial terms.
The league is in the final stages of negotiating with its broadcast partners.