Photo: NBC Sports
The Sports Business Journal reported on Monday that NBC has officially withdrawn their bid for the rights to become the NHL’s secondary national United States television partner.
The news first began to leak over the weekend when a WWE executive stated during an earnings call that NBC was poised to part ways with the NHL.
NBC May Abandon NHL Partnership, WWE Exec Says https://t.co/toRKg0L8dh pic.twitter.com/WYdOszPMKz
— Sportico (@Sportico) April 25, 2021
Speaking to analysts during the WWE’s first-quarter earnings call, the president and chief revenue officer of the House that McMahon Built suggested that NBC and the NHL are poised to go their separate ways.
In a response to a query about how the shuttering of NBCSN might lead to a scheduling boondoggle for USA Network, Khan said a coming regime change would eliminate any overlap between wrestling and hockey.
“It’s our belief that NBC and the NHL are not going to continue to be in business together,” Khan said, before adding that the remainder of the rights package that was not snapped up last month by ESPN would go “to a new suitor.”
NBC, who has been the NHL’s primary national rights holder in the United States since the 2005-06 season, has yet to comment on this matter.
The NHL announced a primary rights partnership with ESPN on March 10 that sees the network become its primary rights holder across the country beginning next season through the 2027-28 season, for around $400 million per year.
Had NBC earned the right to be the NHL’s secondary partner, it would have streamed games on Peacock.
Not official by any means but I’m hearing NHL’s new (secondary 🇺🇸) broadcast partner is likely to be @tntdrama, which of course produces @NBAonTNT et al. @espn is NHL’s primary 🇺🇸 broadcast partner. https://t.co/pd26AqlvZh
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 26, 2021
NBC wanted to become the secondary partner for below $100 million, underwhelming compared to what the NHL wanted.
The NHL will be having a Board of Governors call later today to update the upcoming US TV picture. 4 of next 7 Stanley Cups on @ESPN; 3 on Turner.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 26, 2021
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that FOX is currently “the frontrunner now” to earn the NHL’s secondary national television rights in the United States. TNT is also a candidate, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
.@reporterchris from last night’s ‘Headlines’ segment on NHL’s B media rights package:
“It sounds like Fox Sports has joined the bidding, and multiple sources suggest they’re actually the front runner now ahead of NBC. … We could see Apple actually grab some rights as well.”
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) April 26, 2021
Fox Sports is looking at possibly getting back onto the ice after having aired its last NHL game in 1999. Fox recently untethered itself from its $3.3 billion Thursday Night Footballpackage, which is set to expire at the end of the 2022 NFL season.
By Harrison Brown