If you were worried that the NHL might move from the outposts on television it has inhabited since the NHL lockout, you can stop now: NBC and Versus are reportedly going to announce a new TV deal with the NHL in a 1 p.m. news conference.
Sports Business Journal's John Ourand writes that NBC/Versus won a bidding battle for the NHL's exclusive rights, and will be rewarding the league more handsomely than ever for its rights.
Specific deal terms are not known, but the bidding had gone above $200M per year.
The NHL’s rights fee is believed to exceed – by far – the $120M per-year average that ESPN paid from '99-'04, which marked the NHL’s largest contract to date. The league’s current deal with Versus is for $77.5M per year, while NBC has a revenue-sharing deal that does not involve a rights fee.
The current deal with Versus dates back to 2005, when the cable channel was known as OLN; NBC's deal also began in the 2005-06 season.