Disney Takes Over As Lead NHL Broadcaster

    • Disney made its media rights deal with the NHL official.
    • NBC Sports, meanwhile, will lose its status as the league’s exclusive media rights partner in the U.S.

Disney made its media rights deal with the NHL official and its networks are set to once again air the league’s live games. NBC will lose its status as the league’s primary media rights partner in the U.S.

The Disney and NHL agreement lasts seven years, from the 2021-22 season through 2027-28. Disney will pay $2.8 billion over the course of the deal, per the New York Post.

  • ABC gets exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final in four of the seven years. ABC/ESPN also gets to pick which conference finals it wants each season, and half of all playoff games.
  • Twenty-five exclusive national games will be broadcast on ABC or ESPN with another 75 broadcast on both ESPN+ and Hulu.
  • More than 1,000 live games per season on ESPN+.

ESPN’s first NHL broadcast was in December 1979, three months after the network launched. ESPN also carried NHL games from the 1992-93 season through 2003-04, and ESPN+ currently streams weekly NHL games.

With NBC’s 10-year, $2 billion deal expiring after this season, talks for the rest of the NHL’s rights continue. NBC is facing off against Fox Sports, said sources.

An NBC spokesman told Front Office Sports that the network wants to remain partners with the NHL: “We continue to discuss a potential future with the league as we focus on the season at hand.”