It’s Official: Disney To Drop The Puck On ESPN
Given the ubiquitous nature of ESPN and its affiliates, I think it’s a safe bet that American hockey fans can spin a good “celly” this afternoon.
— NHL (@NHL) March 10, 2021
The network that nurtured and glorified the coolest game on earth will again have expansive broadcast rights.
The NHL is returning to ESPN this fall.
National Hockey Night Returns to ESPN
- The world’s best hockey league is coming to the industry-leading collection of linear and direct-to-consumer platforms for sports – ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, and Hulu.
- The Stanley Cup Final and Stanley Cup Playoffs coming to ABC and ESPN; 100 exclusive regular-season games per season across ESPN’s networks and streaming platforms
- Streaming is a key element in the landmark agreement; exclusive national games stream live on ESPN+ and Hulu; more than 1,000 out-of-market games are available to all ESPN+ subscribers.
- The deal also includes digital, highlight, and international rights.
In the statement, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said:
This partnership of the world’s top hockey league and the platforms of The Walt Disney Company is a big win for our fans and our game… Not only will this groundbreaking, seven-year deal enable the NHL to benefit from the incomparable power, reach and influence of The Walt Disney Company and ABC/ESPN, it sets a new standard in delivering our game to the most passionate and tech-savvy fans in sports in the ways they now demand and on the platforms they use.”
Meanwhile, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro added, “This agreement clearly underscores The Walt Disney Company’s leadership in the sports media landscape and serves as a blueprint for sports deals in the future. We know the power of the NHL and are thrilled to welcome it back as a significant new pillar across our platforms, and we look forward to connecting more deeply and directly with some of the sports world’s most passionate fans.”
And finally, Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, explained:
This is the kind of innovative deal that only The Walt Disney Company and our portfolio of media platforms and businesses can bring to life. The combination of streaming leadership with ESPN+ and Hulu, along with our powerhouse ABC and ESPN networks, will bring the NHL into the homes and lives of millions of passionate fans – and help create new ones. It’s a hat trick that delivers incredible value to our partner, our business, and consumers.”
And, finally, it looks like I am back on the NHL beat!
— John Bishop (@jmbishopjr) December 6, 2015
Stay tuned for more on the unique sports story.