The NHL's new Canadian TV deal will mean big money for the league, but who will win the rights? Negotiations are ongoing, and while a few changes might take place under the new contracts, it appears as though CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will remain a Saturday night staple.
The new deals could generate more than $350 million annually, according to Chris Botta of the Sport Business Journal. This total would nearly double the current amount generated from the rights deal with broadcast companies north of the border.
Botta reports that the negotiations involve the CBC, RDS, Sportsnet, TSN and TVA, with discussions focusing on 10-year term that mirrors the $2 billion deal between the NHL and NBC Sports Group that was reached in 2011. The Canadian deal has the potential to increase over the term of the agreement, which means it could exceed an annual amount of $400 million per season by its conclusion. The league hopes to have the agreements finalized before the Olympic break and could present the pending proposals to the Board of Governors on Dec. 9 when the group meets in Pebble Beach, Calif.
The NHL is currently receiving $190 million per year as part of the six-year agreement with CBC, RDS and TSN. That agreement will conclude at the end of this season. CBC is expected to retain operational control of "Hockey Night in Canada," but will lose the rights to the All-Star Game and some playoff broadcasts. The CBC could pay as much as $175 million per year as part of the new deal.
It's expected that TSN will gain control of the All-Star Game, while Sportsnet is expected to win the rights to a newly developed Sunday night telecast that will attempt to emulate the success of the MLB on ESPN and NFL on NBC. TSN and Sportsnet are expected to combine for $125 million per year as part of the new agreement.
TVA is looking to acquire some of the French-language rights currently held by RDS, which will remain the NHL's primary French partner. RDS currently pays $30 million per year and Botta reports that regardless of TVA's ability to bid for rights, the new French language deal will generate upwards of $50 million per year.