Commissioner Says NHL Anticipates Financial Rebound

    • The NHL anticipates a financial rebound during the 2021-2022 season.
    • The league expects to generate more than $5 billion in revenue.

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league expects to generate more than $5 billion in revenue during the 2021-2022 season. 

That is if a full regular season and postseason isn’t disrupted by the global pandemic.

The NHL pocketed $4.4 billion in revenue in 2019-2020, down 14% year-over-year. However, it missed out on nearly $3.6 billion in revenue that year due to limited fan attendance. Team valuations dropped a collective 2% from the previous year during that span, the first decline since 2001. 

The league has secured several deals that will help offset some of the losses.  

  • A seven-year, $2.8 billion primary broadcasting deal was inked with Disney in March, bringing more than 1,000 games per season to ESPN. 
  • A month later, the league landed a seven-year, $1.57 billion secondary rights deal with Turner Sports. 
  • In August, the NHL became the latest league to begin selling jersey ads. The patches will debut in the 2022-2023 season. 
  • The Washington Capitals became the first NHL team to land a jersey patch deal, signing a five-year agreement with Caesars Sportsbook in September. 

The future also looks promising for the NHL’s newest member. 

Last month, the expansion team Seattle Kraken broke the NHL’s sales record for a new jersey’s first five days. The team sold nearly $1 million worth of merchandise in their first preseason game.