• Loading stock data...
Monday, July 15, 2024

ESPN’s NHL Deal Leads to Higher Viewership, More Subscribers

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Viewership for the NHL’s playoffs on ESPN jumped 30% from last year’s average on NBC, and ESPN’s overall hockey growth can partly be attributed to leveraging more verticals.

Broadcasters are airing key events like the Super Bowl on network television, some games on cable, and the majority on streaming services.

ESPN airs hockey games on its linear channels and the ESPN+ app, averaging 1.1 million viewers per playoff game. The ESPN+ subscriber count has grown 62% in the last year to 22.3 million, and ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro credits hockey as a “significant” part of the boost.

Disney has rights to air 25 regular-season games on ABC or ESPN, 75 on ESPN+ and Hulu, and hundreds of games usually run on local channels.

ABC gets exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup for four of seven years. ESPN has also added hockey-themed shows.

ESPN has grown its female viewership 73% year-over-year.

“We’re going to see this model for the next five-to-seven years until streaming matures,” Daniel Cohen, a media rights consultant at Octagon, said.

The leagues benefit, too.

  • ESPN will pay the NHL $400 million annually until 2028.
  • Warner’s Turner Sports struck a deal with the league for a separate package that will pay the NHL $250 million per year.

Too Good to be True?

During the quarter ending in April, programming and production costs hiked 48% to $454 million for ESPN+, while Disney’s direct-to-consumer business lost $887 million.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Mississippi Department of Human Services on Monday sued retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre along with several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S.

Judge in Mississippi Welfare Case Boots Brett Favre’s Lead Lawyer

The judge wrote he had a ‘pattern and practice of delicate deception.’

‘Where’s truTV?’ March Madness Channel Is Now TNT Sports’ New Star

Warner Bros. Discovery will make its sports emphasis on truTV ‘even more pronounced and consistent.’

Salt Lake City Takes Key Step to Handing NBA, NHL Owner Ryan Smith $900 Million

An agreement between Smith and the city was approved Tuesday night.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Formula E is Powering Its Own Future


Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
July 10, 2024

NBA Agrees to $76 Billion in Media-Rights Deals, but TNT Still Looms

Welcome back, ‘Roundball Rock.’ Farewell, ‘Inside the NBA’?
July 11, 2024

Will They or Won’t They? TNT Must Match Bids or Say Goodbye to NBA

A spurned media partner has sued the league before.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
Stadium with NFL logo at the mid-field line
July 10, 2024

‘Nonsensical’: NFL Blasts Massive Jury Award in Latest Sunday Ticket Case Filings

The league asked for a new trial and called the damages ‘indefensible.’
May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
July 9, 2024

The Most Watched Boxing Matches Ever

The most-watched boxing match was the 2015 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao which drew 4.6 million PPV buys.
July 8, 2024

Fox Sports Is Winning Its Bet on Soccer Media-Rights Deals

The network has media rights to Copa América and Euro 2024.
July 8, 2024

Paramount and Skydance Unite: Major Shifts Loom for CBS Sports

The deal worth more than $8 billion will bring significant shifts to the parent of CBS Sports.