Report: NBC Withdraws Bid To Become NHL’s Secondary U.S. TV Rights Partner; FOX Currently The Frontrunner

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The Sports Business Journal reported on Monday that NBC has officially withdrawn their bid for the rights to become the NHL’s secondary national United States television partner.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.

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.

NBC wanted to become the secondary partner for below $100 million, underwhelming compared to what the NHL wanted.

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.

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

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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