NHL, MLB Partner For Enormous Media Deal

According to reports, the NHL has signed a six-year partnership deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) to operate the NHL’s digital operations, streaming services and NHL Network. MLBAM and baseball’s overall media division will reportedly take over operations of the NHL an individual team websites, all mobile applications, and the GameCenter Live streaming video service.

The deal, valued at approximately $1.2B to the NHL over the course of the contract, will give the NHL an equity stake in MLBAM Tech, a third-party business. According to reports, MLBAM pay the NHL approximately $100M a year in rights fees to work with the league on programming and production.

The partnership will be formally announced during a conference call Tuesday afternoon featuring NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL COO John Collins, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB President of Business & Media Bob Bowman. MLB is reportedly in the process of securing strategic investors to help accelerate the growth of MLBAM Tech, and the NHL will be now be part of that effort.

12 thoughts on “NHL, MLB Partner For Enormous Media Deal

  1. I just saw this…and think it is fantastic. While I actually liked the NHL’s Apple App and GameCenter update service (where the app will show you who is on the ice and different plays made, not the live streaming service), in my opinion MLB has led in this arena for awhile now. Add on the streaming and the websites and I am excited to see this consolidation. The NHL Network help should be a boon too, but I wonder if they will move from Toronto to NYC. I always have felt the studio shows on the NHL Network are like some local access garbage. In truth, this is probably a good idea for both sides. While some of the season’s of each sport overlap, the championships are at different times of the year. Now the sports get to capitalize expenditures over 60 teams and not 30 and share reporters/equipment/ideas for “same” markets. This should bring the NHL up to date across platforms while giving MLB a partner to share costs/risks who does not wield the power of an NFL or NBA. Crazy–but I think it is a win/win.

  2. I have no idea what impact this will have on my hockey viewing, but any new money coming into the NHL coffers can only help.

  3. Geez, that picture of Bettman looks like a squirrel in the park…you just want to toss a peanut into that mouth. He’s a character thats for sure. Hope this new partnership really works out and results in a platform that keeps the Millennials engaged for more than six minutes.

  4. As long as this helps raise the salary cap this is great. The Hawks are going to need it going up for the foreseeable future. Thanks Tab for keeping us informed.

  5. Whenever this shows up as hockey related revenue, it would boost the cap roughly 2,5 million per year….per James Mirtle.

  6. I know Bettmen can be a wienie and a bonehead. And I know I will clobbered for defending him. But even with all of Bettman’s “mistakes” I think the NHL is stronger (in part) because of him rather than in spite of him.

    He is the first and only commissioner the NHL has ever had. His mandate from the owners when he was hired was to expand the league and generate new revenues. After 22 years, 3 labor stoppages, including a cancelled season, the NHL is stronger than ever. Bettman, for his part, has always has the league’s best interest at heart.

    On the other hand Bettman makes more money than any coach or GM in the league. I think there should be a front office salary cap as well.

  7. Gary Bettman and Count Chocula have never been seen in the same room together. I’m just sayin.

  8. But, how does this address the the most important issue facing hockey today…..????

    Why the U.C. is not in the video game!?!?!?!?!?!

    (Sarcasm off……)

  9. As a creative director for Fortune 500 companies like NIKE I can tell ya the “challenge” is that it take a lot of capitol / money to invest in media and public relations and social media. The NHL does not spend what the NBA or MLB spends not even close. This deal does allow them to borrow “digital infrastructure” and “bandwidth” but will do little to generate the CONTENT and the STORIES and over all better over NHL viewing experience. NHL is the best sport!

    The real issue and challenge is the NHL game is played at a fast speed / pace and has few if any “breaks” to enhance the game on tv. Replays are quick and the subtle part of the game is seldom brought to light, even Eddie O does just an okay job. The camera angles are the same from the 1960’s I can go on, but the game does not lend it’s self to a Great TV experience even with FOX network glowing red puck! So the pace is difficult but that makes the game we love.

    Also the big issue is the PLAYERS . . . this are the most near normal athletes on the planet, too normal. They are ALL soft spoken, Canadian mostly and are NOT MEDIA TRAINED and that makes for a guy like TOWES who will put you to sleep in an interview, uncomfortable even Kane is just okay. I go on but the players do not have the energy or show off or know how to play to the camera or have “personality” Plus the day they wore helmets to ME, put an end to personality, the GOLDEN JET was golden for a reason. The helmet’s hid the players face . . . nba and mlb and football is the most watchable game on the planet, perfect pace, timing between plays.

  10. Agree with a few points that Mike the Mook makes but disagree on others…I have often wondered why the League has never introduced a camera over the ice on a wire like the NFL has that can be moved up and down the ice remotely to quickly follow a developing play. Maybe it’s suspension logistics or feasability but I would think there has to be a way. For my money hockey is the most watchable sport there is by far, especially, playoff action. There’s nothing like it in any sport. And I know I’m not saying anything new or earth-shattering to those who are avid followers of this site.

    One last thing…can’t wait for camp…LET’S GO HAWKS!

  11. This was great news. With MLBs larger market reach, this is just fantastic for hockey. I enjoy the occasional out-of-market game outside of the very blah NHL network broadcasts. Seeing more games from around the whole league is pretty cool, for everyone.

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