A landmark multibillion-dollar deal has changed the landscape of NHL broadcasting in Canada, with Rogers Sportsnet, Quebecor’s TVA Sports and the CBC coming out the big winners.
Rogers Communications and the NHL Tuesday morning announced the 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement that includes all national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages. The agreement, the largest media rights deal in league history, begins with the 2014-15 season and continues through the 2025-26 season, marking the first time a premium North American-wide sports league has granted all of its Canadian rights to one company on a long-term basis.
Rogers also announced sub-licensing deals for TVA Sports and the CBC respectively. TVA Sports' pact means that it now oversees all national French-language multimedia rights, while CBC’s deal translates into the continuation of Hockey Night in Canada, the longest-running show in North American history.
“We are proud to select CBC as our partner to carry on the Hockey Night in Canada tradition for Canadians,” said Nadir Mohamed, President and CEO, Rogers Communications in a release. “We are also excited about our long-standing sports alliance with TVA Sports and Quebecor, which will use its many channels and platforms to deliver French-language NHL coverage.”
As part of the multi-year agreement, CBC will continue to air nationally televised regular season games on Saturday night and playoff games. In addition, the iconic Hockey Night in Canada brand will continue on CBC and be used across all Rogers channels and platforms on Saturday nights.
“At Quebecor, we are passionate about hockey and we are excited to become the official French-language broadcaster of the NHL in Canada. Through our convergence strategy, I can guarantee that all French-language hockey fans will be able to benefit from the best possible multi-platform viewing experience,” Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Quebecor and Quebecor Media, said in the statement announcing the agreement.
As for the CBC’s deal, the public broadcaster will now work more closely with Sportsnet in future sporting endeavours. The agreement also results in Sportsnet being able to use the iconic Hockey Night in Canada brand on all its platforms on Saturday nights.
At this time, the NHL nets about $190 million each year in Canadian TV deals with CBC, TSN and RDS — contracts which expire after the 2013-14 season. There is speculation claiming that figure could mushroom to about $350 million US annually, if not more.
Tuesday’s announcement leaves TSN on the outside looking in when it comes to national television rights. TSN hockey insiders Bob McKenzie and James Duthie were very classy in offering up their congratulations to Rogers via Twitter.