Commissioner Gary Bettman said the new media pact will channel Canada's hockey passion. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL has signed the largest media rights deal in its history, the league announced on Tuesday. The $5.2 billion, 12-year agreement gives Rogers Communications exclusive rights in Canada on all platforms and in all languages.
As part of the deal, which begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through the 2025-26 season., Rogers will have an exclusive window to broadcast any NHL games involving a Canada-based team on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup Final. Rogers will also have exclusive rights to special events such as NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts.
The cable company and its media subsidiary will sublicense the rights to Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and TVA. The package also eliminates regional telecasts and local blackouts. Viewers on Saturday nights will get every game regardless of where they reside, along with certain games involving two U.S.-based teams.
"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," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a joint press release issued by the League and Rogers. "The NHL is extremely excited about the power and potential of this groundbreaking partnership."