Rogers pays $5.2 billion for Canadian NHL rights over 12 years

Sportsnet has sent rival TSN to the sidelines as it gets all national rights to TV hockey, and offsets steep cost with sub-licensing deals with the CBC and TVA in Quebec.
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The deal point numbers are eye-watering: Rogers Communications is to pay the National Hockey League $5.2 billion over 12 years to secure  all national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages.

The agreement, the largest media rights deal ever for the NHL after a $2 billion, 10-year deal signed with NBC Sports Group, also means Rogers Sportsnet has sidelined rival TSN as it becomes Canada’s top provider of TV hockey, starting with  the 2014-15 season and continuing through the 2025-26 season.

“Sports content is a key strategic asset and we’ve been investing significantly to strengthen our sports offering to Canadians,” said Nadir Mohamed, president and CEO of Rogers Communications in a statement Tuesday.

“Canadians are passionate about hockey, and through this landmark partnership with the NHL we’ll be able to bring hockey fans more games and more content on their platform of choice,” he added.

To offset the steep cost of the TV deal, Rogers inked a  sub-licensing deal with the CBC to ensure Hockey Night in Canada and playoff games remain on the pubcaster.

And yet another sub-licensing deal sees TVA in Quebec snag national French-language multimedia rights.

At the same time, parent Rogers Communications has taken the biggest bet on TV hockey, by securing for its City and Sportsnet platforms national rights across TV broadcasts, TV Everywhere, wireless and mobile tablets, internet streaming, terrestrial and satellite radio, and out-of-home.

Rogers also gets national rights to all regular season games, all playoff games and the Stanley Cup final championship rounds, and all special events, including outdoor classic games and the All-Star game and the NHL draft programming.

Rogers also gets to operate NHL Centre Ice and NHL Game Centre Live.

Rogers Communications did not disclose the terms of its side deals with the CBC and TVA.

But the major deal points of its NHL deal include the first year of the new contract costing $300 million.

The annual payments will then rise to around mid-$500 million in the final year of the 12-year contract term.

The yearly payments, and an upfront payment of $150 million spread over the first two years of the contract, will amount to $5.2 billion to be paid out by Rogers Communications to the NHL over the 12-year term.

For the NHL, the Rogers Communications deal ensures an eager broadcaster uses all of its TV, radio, print and online assets to promote pro hockey in Canada.

“Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey, and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years – channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in his own statement Tuesday.

From Playback Daily