This one has been out there for a few days, but didn't see it up here yet. Looks like the NHL did quite well without ESPN on this deal. However ratings might be tough to get while airing the games on Comcast's Outdoor Life Network...
August 10, 2005
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) - The NHL apparently has landed on his feet regarding a national television deal.
According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the NHL and cable giant Comcast have agreed to a two-year, $100 million deal to televise games beginning this season.
The deal reportedly is pending approval by the NHL's Board of Governors, a process widely believed to be just a formality.
The agreement, which concluded 10 days of negotiations, includes one- and three-year options for Comcast, but the NHL reportedly has the right to end the partnership after the initial two years. The company will be required to air two games per week nationally, presumably on its Outdoor Life Network, according to the Inquirer.
Once the deal is approved, the NHL will forward it to ESPN, which elected not to renew its two-year option to televise games in April. ESPN, which had carried the NHL since 1985, reportedly has the right to match any offer.
The NHL completed a five-year deal with ESPN worth $600 million.
NBC, which inked a two-year deal with the NHL prior to last year's lockout, will air seven regular-season games, six playoff contests and all but the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals.
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Also The NHL has hammered out an agreement to have players included in the upcoming Turin Winter Olympics...
The NHL moved a step closer to participating in next February's Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2010 Games in Vancouver following a meeting Thursday with the International Ice Hockey Federation and NHL Players' Association.
"The meeting was very productive and there are no major obstacles between the IIHF and the NHL and the NHLPA with regards to NHL players' participation in the Olympics," IIHF president Rene Fasel said in a statement. "We have however a very important meeting tomorrow (Friday) with representatives of the seven major European associations and leagues. This meeting will be very decisive whether we will be able to reach a consensus about the IIHF-NHL Player Transfer Agreement."
Both the Czechs and the Russians haven't accepted the NHL's latest offer on player transfer fees and are looking for more $$$. If a deal is not reached, most new players from those countries will not be allowed to compete in the NHL. Hence the low number of Russian and Czech players selected during the 2005 draft.