Turner to join ESPN as new NHL TV partner, NBC pulls out

Apr 25, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Barre-Boulet (60) reacts after scoring a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Turner Sports will join ESPN as the NHL’s new American broadcast partners, supplanting NBC and altering the television landscape for hockey in the U.S. for the next seven years.

According to TSN and the New York Post, Turner will sign on for the secondary TV package from 2021-22 through 2027-28 that gives the network broadcast rights to three Stanley Cup Finals. Last month, the NHL announced an agreement to make ESPN the new primary rights-holder, giving ESPN and ABC broadcast rights to four Stanley Cups.

Sports Business Journal was the first to report that NBC had pulled out of negotiations to remain partners with the league. NBC had been the NHL’s exclusive U.S. TV rights partner since 2005.

The NHL Board of Governors were planning a call Monday afternoon to give team owners an update on broadcast negotiations, according to Sportsnet, signaling the Turner deal could be finalized soon.

Read More: NBC Sports Network to shut down at end of 2021

Terms of the Turner deal are not yet known.

Turner is already a broadcast partner of the NBA and produces “NBA on TNT.” TNT, TBS and the streaming platform HBO Max all could carry NHL games with the new deal.

Turner also teams up with CBS on college basketball’s “March Madness.”

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–Field Level Media