A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Comcast, NHL ink a deal

The NHL has found a new cable TV home.

On Tuesday, the NHL and the cable giant ComCast came to an agreement in principle valued at $100 million for two years of broadcasting. The deal will be ratified by the NHL's Board of Governors and set into place for the upcoming season.
The Philadelphia-based cable company will nationally broadcast one to two games per week on its Outdoor Life Network . Formerly known best for its huntin' and fishin' shows, the channel has gained popularity over the past couple of years thanks to its outstanding full coverage of the Tour de France.
ESPN will have a chance to match or better the offer, but the smart money says that they won't. ESPN had been the national cable home of the NHL since 1985, but opted not to renew the contract or to have anything to do with the draft lottery or the draft itself.

NBC also has a contract with the NHL, but is limited to seven regular season games, six playoff games, and games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Most clubs will still enjoy the same regional coverage they had through the Fox Sports Net or other broadcasting groups.

If OLN can do a job that is even half as good as the job they do with the Tour de France, this'll be an awesome deal. I have a lot of faith in them.


Scott said...

Will OLN only show the games that are played outdoors? What about dome teams? ;)

Next they'll be showing games on the Discovery Channel and finding some tie-in with American Chopper. But at least Discovery has a hi-def feed, so that might not be a bad idea.

d-lee said...

Yeah. My initial reaction was "huh?", but I really do like it.
Ed Snider, who owns OLN is also part owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, so it's actually not as strange as it seems. Since the channel is owned by a hockey guy, they'll likely give the NHL far better treatment than ESPN ever did.
People are saying that ESPN is still pissed that the Whalers moved to Raleigh and stopped caring about hockey at that point. That's probably a stretch, but it's a funny theory.


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