NHL’s TV deals with ESPN, Turner may mean for the Kraken and the rest of the league

NHL’s TV deals with ESPN, Turner may mean for the Kraken and the rest of the league

Kraken television play-by-play broadcaster John Forslund sees “an interesting frontier” ahead for the NHL now that its dual U.S. national television-rights holders have been named.

Forslund, who is still one of NBC’s leading hockey broadcasters through the upcoming playoffs, said on Thursday new NHL’s TV deals with ESPN and Turner Sports found a TV hockey site “strengthened” by its network 15 years ago. Turner this week became the league’s second rights holder with a seven-year deal worth at least $ 1.57 billion, joining ESPN’s seven-year basic agreement, valued at $ 2.8 billion in March.

For Weekly current affairs quiz 👉 Click here

“In sports, it’s not brain surgery – people just want to have fun,” Forslund said. “You have to have a good product. You have to have a good game to do kind of round everything else. So when you bring in a little personality, you raise players and you tell certain stories, I mean that’s a winning formula.

“And if you do it with the right resources, I think the time is right for the fans. Especially with the entry of our new team (Kraken). ”

The NHL will receive approximately $ 625 million per season on combined deals, in addition to doubling its annual $ 300 million U.S. budget. New Kraken supporters and longtime hockey fans across the country should see the visuals and, for many, embrace changes on many platforms in the U.S. brand. Under the strong control of NBC since 2005.

“They both come, apparently, with great sporting credibility,” Forslund said of two networks. “In the case of ESPN it was very clear. Then with Turner they were able to put their stamp on their product and in their properties. “

Although the ESPN deal, which will take effect next season, gives the four of the next seven finalists – to be shown on ABC – a small part of Turner Sports’ games on its TNT and TBS cable networks that are expected to create the biggest change. TNT has been widely announced for its NBA cover and Inside the NBA studio program featuring Outspoken Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

Turner’s parent company WarnerMedia also owns HBO Max – which will broadcast live NHL games – and Bleacher Report and its House of Highlights sports content platform, which is popular with younger viewers.

At a phone conference with members of the media, WarnerMedia News and Sports Chairman Jeff Zucker said: “Obviously, I think there is style in Turner Sports and there is a way, and we want to bring that same approach to the NHL. But you can’t just copy within the NBA on Thursday night. ”

Zucker added that he still wants the NHL package to have the same “new, fun and powerful” approach.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, on the same phone as Zucker, echoed those words.

“That’s what we’re happy about,” he said. “We’re hoping for it.”

Here are three questions that still haven’t been answered after the announcement of the new TV deals

What will the weekly schedule look like between Turner and ESPN?

ABC and ESPN will combine to broadcast 25 regular season games in each season of the deal. It’s not at all clear when (or where) those games will air, as ESPN and ABC currently have the NBA on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with some games also on Saturdays and Sundays. ESPN also has a heavy (to put it mildly) load of college basketball to schedule around.

More reporting than TNT receiving most of the NHL agreement, with TBS having certain games well. If we look at the most sensible options, it looks like TNT, and possibly TBS, will focus on Monday (we can’t deny calling it “Monday NHL Nitro”) and Wednesday night, which is likely to look at restarting NBCSN’s nightly theme, dismissed on 2018. Whether Turner relies on the idea of ​​a nightmare of rivalry, many believe that Wednesday night is the most exciting place for the NHL, which makes the AEW transfer to a new youth a reality. Monday is also open, but that will see TNT (or perhaps TBS) compete with MNF at the end of the season, as well as the CFP National Championship, NCAA Basketball National Championship, and Monday Night Raw USA. If Turner is looking to schedule games on Monday, it could start later in the season to avoid another overcrowded night.

Where, if anywhere, will NBC’s on-air talent land?

The division of NHL’s national package between the two organizations initially meant that we would have to see at least one network develop its own advertising and studio teams. However, with NBC not retaining any NHL rights due to Turner’s turn, the two companies will pass the same ball at the same time, all this while NBC’s hockey talent is looking to get its next gigs. It’s a lovely thing that has a passion for broadcasting and the current talent for losing a job, but it has two accessible spots.

Can Turner make the economics work?

Speaking to people within the industry, there are many doubts that Turner will make money on their part of the deal. Maybe they are right about that. NBC has provided only about $ 100 million, compared to Turner’s $ 225 million. With NBC shutting down NBCSN sometime this year, its broadcast setup will be similar to Turner’s forward, with non-sports channel broadcasts (USA, unlike TNT and / or TBS) and their broadcast service (Peacock vs .HBO Max). The only real difference is that Turner does not have a broadcast network like NBC.

The implication here is that NBC, which knows the NHL and knows how much money they can make with the NHL, eventually thinks the rights cost $ 100 million a year. I have seen some people say that they were just living in a bid to help the NHL get a better bid from others.

Leave a comment