National Hockey League Inks Seven-Year Contract With Turner Sports

As per Sean Shapiro of The Athletic Dallas, the National Hockey League agreed to terms with Turner Sports on a seven-year deal for the second half of the cable package in the United States. The deal, over the course of its lifetime, is worth $225 million per season. Shapiro also notes that CBS is not part of the deal. However, there’s an HBO Max element to the agreement as well.

What does this deal mean?

To interpret this deal following the seven-year agreement signed with Disney back in March, this deal is pushing not only more hockey related revenue into the NHL’s coffers, but near and longer-term fiscal cash flow during that timeframe. With that, owners and players will see escrow drop even more. This will help with a future CBA and determine how the salary cap and cap floor will project.

With the deal valued at $225 million dollars, that gives NHL teams (all 32 with addition of Seattle) $7,031,250 per team from Turner Sports. As earlier reported by our own Justin Levine, TNT will broadcast three Stanley Cups as part of the four that ESPN will get from the Disney deal signed back in March. An announcement to confirm this is expected in the near future.

With the $400 million deal signed as the league’s official broadcast partners, ABC will be given the rights to broadcast the last of the four Stanley Cups. Speaking on Turner’s seven-year contract, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that they’ll be given the broadcast rights to carry the yearly annual Bridgestone Winter Classic. As well, Wyshynski reports that there isn’t going to be an Amazon/Apple streaming component to the rest of the television package. He does, however, note that Amazon is very keen on getting some NHL rights down the line in Canada.

What networks air under Turner Sports?

TNT, TBS, and AT&T are all cable networks that air under Turner Sports. Depending on the layout in each market for the NHL, I must say this kind of deal will expand the league’s reach to even more households.

How will this effect your favourite team(s)?

Since the Walt Disney Corporation is paying $400 million to the NHL per season, this new deal gives the NHL approximately $625 million dollars in cash flow. This will guarantee $19,531,250 per team under the 32-team National Hockey League. This, in theory, will make the salary cap spike over time to over $101 million dollars. Let’s say the new cap floor is $70 million, that gives a general manager $31 million dollars to reallocate.

Fans should expect post flat cap, more hockey deals at the NHL Trade Deadline will be more interesting post COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll have more free agents signing for more money and entry-level contracts may go up in value. All in all, this a win-win for the NHL and new fans being part of this wonderful sport that is hockey, growing the game.

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