NHL, Disney/ESPN Announce 7-Year Deal

On Wednesday afternoon the National Hockey league and the Walt Disney Company announced a major deal that should not only make more games available to viewers, but also sustain the finances of the league.

From the league’s release:

“The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and the National Hockey League have reached a historic and innovative seven-year television, streaming and media rights deal, taking the new partnership from the beginning of the 2021-22 season through the 2027-28 season.

The visionary, first-of-its-kind agreement brings the NHL back to Disney and ESPN platforms and illustrates the unique position of The Walt Disney Company to bring the best hockey in the world to millions across its unparalleled collection of media platforms.

It is highlighted by: exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final on ABC in four of the seven years of the agreement, with the ability to simulcast/megacast on ESPN+ and additional ESPN networks; the return of live NHL action to ESPN networks with 25 exclusive national regular-season games on ABC or ESPN; 75 national regular-season games per season produced by ESPN that will stream exclusively on both ESPN+ and Hulu; half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on ABC and ESPN each season; and coverage annually of NHL’s Face-off (opening night games), the NHL All-Star Game and Skills Challenge, plus other NHL special events each season.

Additionally, the NHL’s out-of-market streaming package, with more than 1,000 games (formerly on NHL.TV), will now be available for fans to stream only as part of an ESPN+ subscription.

The agreement also includes extensive highlight rights that will add to coverage across ESPN’s year-round news and highlights programming, and to coverage on the ESPN App and social media. International media rights – including in Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe – are also part of the agreement.”

10 thoughts on “NHL, Disney/ESPN Announce 7-Year Deal

  1. For reference, the current TV deal pays $200 million per year.

    That $200 million increase with 32 teams (Seattle now too) in the league comes to $6.25 million per year per team increase in revenue.

    These revenues are split with players and owners 50-50 per the CBA so that would equate to a $3.125 million per year increase in the salary cap.

    Not sure if the covid losses will offset that at least for the next few years, as it has been said we are looking at a flat cap for a few years out now.

  2. Without knowing details, this leaves me feeling nervous. ESPN has not shown itself to be fan friendly in a long time. They have been greed friendly and have crammed all kinds of programming down our throats and charged high cable fees for it that can’t be escaped. Championship skateboarding anyone? As one who accesses the Hawks via NHL. TV and has been extremely happy with it, it’s hard to visualize this being an improvement.

    I will withhold final judgment until details are known but this has the potential to not be an asset to out of market fans.

  3. Solid move for league going forward to keep league viable, with salry cap staying flat for next 3 years or so.

  4. European/German Hawks fan hier.
    I’ve been very satisfied with the NHL.tv subscription. No commercials beside this BS the show more and more during games, this is why I pay my moneys for this. ESPN is almost unknown here in Germany. It looks like I will be forced to change to them, which makes it a kind of a change from original source to “sub contractor” of the NHL.
    This will be my last season to watch Hawks games relive.
    A sad day for people outside of the North Americas .

  5. ESPN are flatlanders and were always junk to hockey just like the commenters on espn blogs.

    Is Disney world a new owner of espn? Since last time hockey was on espn. If that is the case then Disney world might do good with this.

  6. Great so now the only sport not woke is on the biggest woke network lost me as viewer

  7. $400 million a year from espn.
    League also has the other half or broadcast rights for other interested networks to bid on.
    Financially will be good for the league.

    As far as cap Gary bettman came out and said the cap will stay flat for the next 4 years.

  8. This totally sucks and forces fans to purchase streaming platforms Disney +, ESPN + and Hulu ?? Seriously how much money do people need to spend on television ? ….And to top it off Disney is loaded with cancel culture. Dumbo is a racist cartoon ? Really Disney ? And ESPN is not a supportive of hockey and Put the money for the NHL aside…this sucks for the fans.

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