WarnerMedia today announced that it's secured rights to show 72 regular-season NHL games, starting with the 2021-22 season. That means you'll find games on TBS and TNT for the first time, as well as streaming on HBO Max.
The deal allows for TNT to broadcast the Stanley Cup Finals in three of the seven years, half of the playoffs — split among the first- and second-round games, as well as the Finals — and the aforementioned six dozen regular-season games.
TNT also will have exclusive rights for the NHL Winter Classic, which takes the game outdoors for a unique event. (And also one that's subject to weather, which is an odd phenomenon for the NHL.)
Additionally, Bleacher Report — which is owned by WarnerMedia — will have rights for "expansive" digital content, including highlights and ancillary programming.
“This agreement with the National Hockey League brings one of the most prestigious championships in sports to TNT and fuels our entire Turner Sports and Bleacher Report portfolio with even more premium content for many years to come,” Jeff Zucker, chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, said in a press release. “We’re delighted to spotlight the world’s best hockey league on our leading networks, while continuing to further elevate this marquee property through an ever-expanding array of digital platforms in the years to come.”
TNT and TBS will be the main vehicles for the game, but the deal (terms of which were not disclosed) will be the first time we see live sports come to HBO Max, which had nearly 41 million subscribers as of March 31, 2021. HBO Max costs $14.99 a month — same as the legacy HBO service it replaces — and is available on every major streaming platform.
“Turner Sports is known for its outstanding sports coverage, quality and innovation and we are thrilled that this new partnership will provide our fans with the content they love on the platforms and devices of their choice,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “TNT is a proven and acclaimed destination for sports fans and we will also benefit from the deep connection Bleacher Report has with young digital-savvy fans. Having WarnerMedia join the NHL family as co-rightsholders for the next seven years gives us incredible reach, positions us well for the future as the media landscape continues to evolve, and will fuel continued growth for the NHL and our Clubs.”
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