The $5.2B agreement (that’s Canadian dollars, or US$4.94B) pretty much gives the cable company all video rights to one of the country’s two national sports (the other is lacrosse). It also freezes out The Sports Network (TSN), Canada’s top-rated English-language sports channel, which had held the NHL‘s television rights. With the addition of digital streaming opportunities, this is “the first time a premium North American-wide sports league has granted all of its national (Canadian) rights to one company on a long-term basis,” Rogers says. It’s a bonanza for hockey players; they’ll collect 50% of the revenues under the collective bargaining agreement they reached at the beginning of this year, following a 113-day lockout that began in September 2012. Rogers also says that the agreement will improve profits “from the outset and significantly.” If approved by the NHL Board of Governors next month, the agreement will give Rogers national rights to TV broadcasts and TV Everywhere streaming (including out of home) for all regular-season and playoff games as well as the Stanley Cup Final and special events. It will have sponsorship rights to the NHL Shield logo, and will handle Canadian ad sales for NHL.com. “Our vision is to build on the NHL’s legacy in Canada with an emphasis on storytelling, innovation, and technology — weaving the NHL, its teams and its stars even deeper into the fabric of Canadian culture,” says Rogers Media President Keith Pelley. The company has already sub-licensed English-language rights to Hockey Night In Canada to CBC and all national French-language multimedia rights to TVA.
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