The NHL and Rogers Communications have come to terms on a 12-year, $4.9 billion broadcast rights agreement that will make Rogers the exclusive broadcast and multimedia partner of the NHL in Canada. This grants the company exclusive rights to all NHL content on all platforms and languages. In Canadian dollars, the deal is worth $5.2 billion.
This deal comes on the heels of the NHL's 10-year, $2 billion United States rights agreement with NBC Sports Group that was reached in 2011. The agreement with Rogers has no effect on that agreement or any rights package in the United States.
The deal with Rogers will begin next season and will carry through the 2025-26 campaign. It will give Rogers broadcast control of every NHL game, including the All-Star game, draft, playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final. Control of the NHL Centre Ice package and NHL Game Centre Live property are also included in the agreement.
Rogers detailed the following highlights of the agreement via news release:
National rights across TV broadcasts, TV Everywhere, wireless and mobile tablets, Internet streaming, terrestrial and satellite radio, and out-of-home; National rights to all regular season games, all playoff games and the Stanley Cup Final, and all special events and non-game events (i.e. NHL All-Star Game, NHL Draft) - in all languages; Out-of-market rights for all regional games; Ownership of all linear and digital highlights, including condensed games and video archives; NHL broadcast assets: Rogers to operate NHL Centre Ice and NHL Game Centre Live; Sponsorship rights to the NHL Shield logo as an official partner of the NHL; and Canadian representation of ad sales for NHL.com.
Payment of the $5.2 billion CAD has been broken into installments that will be paid on an annual basis. The first payment will begin at just over $300 million CAD and will gradually increase to $500 million CAD by the end of the deal. In addition, a $150 million CAD upfront payment will be made over the first two years of the agreement.
A report surfaced on Monday detailing the bidding war that was occurring between Sportsnet (owned by Rogers) and TSN for access to NHL content. It appeared as though the two companies were going to split a significant portion of rights, with Sportsnet gaining access to a newly developed Sunday night property that would attempt to mirror the success of Sunday Night Football in the United States.
TSN is considered a primary player in NHL coverage but will no longer have permission to broadcast live NHL games, which is a stunning twist. Needless to say, many are expecting repercussions from this development.
When discussions of the new Canadian television deal began, some wondered whether the CBC would lose control of Hockey Night in Canada, a nationally televised Saturday night staple that dates back to 1952. According to the news release, Rogers has reached a sub-licensing agreement with the CBC to continue broadcasting English-language broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada, while TVA controls all French-language broadcasts.