Hey Sports tech fans,
The NHL is heading back to ESPN!
The deal is a non exclusive deal for 7 years but will see the majority of games moving to ESPN+ for out of market fans.
The deal is of huge benefit to ESPN as they look to increase their programming to keep growth with their live streaming platform ESPN+.
The NHL are getting roughly double per season over what they were getting from NBC at $400 million.
It still remains to be seen what part of the action NBC will take with games to fill on their channel ABC as well as their streaming service Peacock.
Under the ESPN deal they will have half of the playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals on alternating years so there is still a sizable offering to be had by NBC but with the majority of regular season games going to ESPN+ it will be a huge blow for the Peacock streaming service as the competition for live sports heats up in the streaming wars.
Elsewhere, the Six Nations have formalised its minority stake sale to CVC Capital Partners, with CVC taking up 1/7th of the competition and essentially becoming a 7th member.
CVC are not new kids on the block when it comes to investing in European Rugby, in recent years they have taken a 28% stake in the Guinness Pro 14, a combination league featuring teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and more recently South Africa. They also took a 27% stake in Premiership Rugby which is England’s top flight rugby league.
The rugby unions in each country will receive much needed funding after suffering losses in the last 12 months and will still retain control over all sporting decisions but the real change will come with the commercial and rights deals moving forward.
The Six Nations has always been a free to air tournament with national broadcasters in each country covering the games but it does open up the potential of some games being behind the pay wall.
The new competition format for the Autumn International Series as well as underage and women’s rugby will likely see a lot of development over the coming years.
This is very much a long term investment so it will likely be a number of years before the full effects of the deal will be realised.
Have a great sporting weekend,