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Disney agrees ‘groundbreaking’ NHL deal

Disney has agreed a seven-year deal with the US’s National Hockey League (NHL) in what has been described as a “groundbreaking” agreement.

The deal will see Disney hold TV, streaming and media rights to bring NHL coverage to NBC, ESPN and its streaming platforms. The Stanley Cup Final – the showpiece fixture at the end of the season – will be broadcast on ABC in four of the seven years, with a total of 100 exclusive games per season on broadcast and more than 1,000 games available on ESPN+.

The deal has an estimated value of between US$2-2.5 billion, and will start from the 2021-22 season.

Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content said: “This agreement clearly underscores The Walt Disney Company’s leadership in the sports media landscape and serves as a blueprint for sports deals in the future. We know the power of the NHL and are thrilled to welcome it back as a significant new pillar across our platforms, and we look forward to connecting more deeply and directly with some of the sports world’s most passionate fans.”

Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution said:NHL “This is the kind of innovative deal that only The Walt Disney Company and our portfolio of media platforms and businesses can bring to life. The combination of streaming leadership with ESPN+ and Hulu, along with our powerhouse ABC and ESPN networks, will bring the NHL into the homes and lives of millions of passionate fans – and help create new ones. It’s a hat trick that delivers incredible value to our partner, our business and consumers.”