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Thread: NHL to remain with NBC, Versus

  1. #1

    NHL to remain with NBC, Versus

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6389351

    NHL to remain with NBC, Versus

    ESPN.com news services


    NEW YORK -- The NHL is staying on NBC and Versus for the next 10 years with a deal commissioner Gary Bettman calls the most significant in league history.

    In a joint announcement Tuesday, the NHL and the NBC Sports Group said the new deal will run through the 2020-21 season. The package is reportedly worth a total of $2 billion.

    NBC will remain the exclusive network home for the NHL, and Versus is retaining the major cable rights. The NHL had drawn interest from ESPN, Turner and Fox Sports, but decided to stay where it has been for the past six years since the end of the season-long lockout.

    "This is right across all factors, not the least of which is the tremendous relationship we have with NBC and Versus," Bettman said. "When we looked at the entire package and the relationship, it was clear we were going to stay with the incumbent.

    "But it's nice to go out and find out you're pretty."

    For the first time, all Stanley Cup playoff games will air on one of the NBC Sports Group's channels. Beginning in the second round and running through the finals, those channels will hold exclusivity. NBC will show up to five games of the Stanley Cup finals, with Versus airing Games 3 and 4.


    The NBC Sports Group will televise 100 regular-season games per season, and NBC will have a new telecast the day after Thanksgiving in the new contract.

    This deal would easily exceed the $120 million contract the NHL had with ESPN from 1999-2004.

    "We had constructive conversations with the NHL and wish the league continued success," ESPN said in a statement.

    "Everybody has enormous respect for ESPN," Bettman said. "Six years ago we decided to go in a different direction, for a variety of reasons, and it has worked well for us. This for us is a great place to be. Versus' coverage of our game has been extraordinary. Hockey fans have found it and have been telling us on a regular basis that the coverage is terrific, and I think it's going to get better."

    In the current contract, Versus pays the NHL about $75 million per year but NBC doesn't pay at all because of a revenue-sharing agreement with the league.

    That will now change.

    "Our run of not paying anything for a number of years is over with this deal," said Dick Ebersol, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group. "We are paying a substantial part, not the majority."

    Bettman didn't seem concerned about how the payments would be split between NBC and Versus under the umbrella of Comcast Corp., which acquired the majority stake in NBC Universal in January.

    "I never had any regrets with the deal we had with NBC," Bettman said. "As far as we're concerned it's one contract. They can whack it up any way they want."

    The NBC Sports Group will obtain digital rights across all platforms for the games it televises. In the regular season, NBC will continue to show a national game of the week and the outdoor Winter Classic.

    Versus also will maintain a national game of the week, the All-Star Game telecast, and other outdoor games played in Canada. Versus also will increase its number of regular-season telecasts from 50 to 90 games.

    "This is the most significant U.S. media rights partnership in the league's history," Bettman said. "NBC Universal-Comcast is one of the most important, connected and wired media companies in the U.S., and as the potential of the NBC Sports Group is realized, the importance of our relationship will become more apparent to hockey fans and our business partners.

    "NBC Sports and Comcast have been fantastic partners. They have provided incredible coverage of our sport and have teamed with us to deliver the best TV viewership figures in three decades."

    Under the previous deal, overall NHL television ratings in the United States increased by 84 percent over the last four years, and this year's Winter Classic was the most-watched regular season hockey game in the U.S. in 36 years.

    Versus boasted its highest regular-season viewership this season, a 17 percent jump over last season.

    With the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, the company now consists of 20 television networks and more than 40 digital platforms. Versus has gone from 64 million homes in 2005 to more than 79 million homes.

    Ebersol said the Versus name will be changed within 90 days to better reflect its association with NBC. The most attractive part of the deal from the NBC side is the exclusive nature it provides.

    "This is a perfect marriage with us," he said. "Nothing serves the NBC Sports Group better than the National Hockey League."

    The NHL said it is on pace this season to set a record for total revenue, surpassing $2.9 billion overall.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
    This sucks.

  2. #2
    Why does it suck? Screw ESPN.

    Versus is owned by NBC now, and will is changing it's name to NBC Sports Channel or something like that.

  3. #3
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    I just want to see this more....


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    Why does it suck? Screw ESPN.

    Versus is owned by NBC now, and will is changing it's name to NBC Sports Channel or something like that.
    As of now, it seems the NHL doesn't get enough of exposure with Versus. So many hockey fans I talk to don't have the channel, including myself.

    If Versus is owned by NBC now and becomes available to more people, than that is definitely a step in the right direction. My bad if it mentioned that in the article, I only glanced over it quickly.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache 51 View Post
    LOL, love that commercial.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DevsJetsYanks88 View Post
    As of now, it seems the NHL doesn't get enough of exposure with Versus. So many hockey fans I talk to don't have the channel, including myself.

    If Versus is owned by NBC now and becomes available to more people, than that is definitely a step in the right direction. My bad if it mentioned that in the article, I only glanced over it quickly.
    in this deal deal versus/nbc sports channel will go from showing 50 games a season to 90... so they almost double it.

    what cable provider do you have?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    in this deal deal versus/nbc sports channel will go from showing 50 games a season to 90... so they almost double it.

    what cable provider do you have?
    Have DirecTV at my apartment here at school, but it's a weird, reduced package and I don't have Versus. My family at home has DirecTV, but not sure if they have it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DevsJetsYanks88 View Post
    Have DirecTV at my apartment here at school, but it's a weird, reduced package and I don't have Versus. My family at home has DirecTV, but not sure if they have it.
    DirectTV carries Versus...

    It was off the air for a while a couple years ago, but they reached an agreement.

    DirecTV

    603 main (SD/HD)
    604 overflow (NHL) SD
    604-1 overflow (NHL) HD
    Last edited by Tyler Durden; 04-19-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    DirectTV carries Versus...

    It was off the air for a while a couple years ago, but they reached an agreement.
    Gotcha, guess they do have it at home then.

    I don't what the deal is with the package here. Don't have Versus, have MSG but not MSG+, etc.

  10. #10
    ESPN won't talk about hockey for another 10 years now.

  11. #11
    This deal puts all playoff games on national TV.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by DevsJetsYanks88 View Post
    Gotcha, guess they do have it at home then.

    I don't what the deal is with the package here. Don't have Versus, have MSG but not MSG+, etc.
    I have two seperate sports packages for DTV.

    The one that gives me VS is the All sports package (or whatever it's called)

    Basically, it's getting all the fox sports channels for each major city, SNY, MSG, etc...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Revi$_I$l@nd View Post
    I have two seperate sports packages for DTV.

    The one that gives me VS is the All sports package (or whatever it's called)

    Basically, it's getting all the fox sports channels for each major city, SNY, MSG, etc...
    Yea, that's what I have at home. However, at school we don't have a choice, they just give us this reduced package. I get YES, SNY, MSG, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews. Don't get MSG+, VS, FSC, MY9 (which I find very strange), etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevsJetsYanks88 View Post
    I don't see what sucks. It speaks to the improved health of the NHL. They literally had to give away their product to NBC to get on broadcast tv on the last contract.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Traitor Jay & the Woodies View Post
    I don't see what sucks. It speaks to the improved health of the NHL. They literally had to give away their product to NBC to get on broadcast tv on the last contract.
    Which I corrected myself and said just a couple posts after...

  16. #16
    NHL to get TV windfall from NBC

    By PAT HICKEY, The Gazette April 20, 2011

    The National Hockey League will provide the cornerstone for a new allsports channel in the U.S.

    The NHL and NBC Sports Group has announced a new 10-year agreement that extends coverage on NBC and Versus, which will be rebranded as the NBC Sports Channel this summer.

    While the NHL continues to struggle in some U.S. markets, the overall strength of the league and its popularity among the 18-49 male demographic meant there were three networks bidding for the rights, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said there were good reasons to stay with the "incumbent."

    For starters, the recently merged NBC/Comcast deal will pay the NHL $2 billion over the length of the contract. That's a healthy boost from the $77.5 million Versus has been paying on an annual basis. NBC, which had been televising weekly games and playoffs on a shared-cost basis, will pay a rights fee for the first time. NBC Sports Group president Dick Ebersol said its contribution will be "significant," but Versus will still make the largest contribution.

    ESPN, which held the NHL's U.S. national cable rights before the 2004-05 lockout, was in the bidding until the end, but was only interested in one game a week, while the NBC/Versus package will provide viewers with 100 regular-season games. Turner also showed some interest, but decided it wasn't economically feasible.

    Versus and NBC have had separate deals, but they became part of the same family when Comcast absorbed NBC. It was expected the newly merged company would retain the NHL because the two have a relationship that extends beyond the past six years. Bettman and Ebersol worked on NBC's deal with the National Basketball Association back in the 1980s, and Comcast chairman Ed Snider also is chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers.

    On a conference call from New York, Bettman called the TV agreement the most significant in the league's history, while Ebersol touted the advantage of the league aligning with NBC's network of 20 national channels as well as its digital platforms and regional sports networks.

    The network is hoping to grow the NBC Sports Channel brand with the help of the NHL. Some NHL executives favoured a return to ESPN because it has a greater reach and getting the NBC product in more homes will be a challenge.

    Here's a bit of anecdotal evidence about the current situation. When the out-oftown media descended on Boston for the start of the playoffs last week, they were housed in six or seven different hotels because of the demand for rooms created by the Boston Marathon. None of the hotels offered Versus in their rooms.

    The new deal will offer some wrinkles for viewers in the U.S. Every playoff game will be carried by an NBC-branded station and there will be exclusive coverage of the semifinals and final on Versus and NBC. Currently, the NBC coverage begins on New Year's Day with the Winter Classic, but fans will get a sneak preview with a Friday game during U.S. Thanksgiving.

    Versus will offer coverage of the All-Star Game and "any Heritage Classic outdoor games in Canada." That wording suggests those games may be as set in stone as the Winter Classic in the U.S.
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/enter...#ixzz1KN90SlZA

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