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• Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists Class of 2018: Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Hugh Evans, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rudy Tomjanovich, Chris Webber, Kim Mulkey, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Wayland Baptist University. Class of 2018 will be named during the NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in San Antonio March 31-April 2.

• Serena Williams, who said her first auto purchase was a while Lincoln Navigator SUV she named “Ginger,” has signed to become an official spokesperson for the brand. A social media-based marketing campaign includes videos of Williams talking about and driving the 2018 Navigator, with ongoing videos to follow. “Partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place,” she said in the first video. “Let’s just be honest: Serena Williams needs to be in the new Navigator.”

• The Smashing Pumpkins unveil 'Shiny And Oh So Bright' 36-city tour, their first tour in nearly 20 years, with founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha. Produced by Live Nation.

KEEPING SCORE

IMDbPro’s ALL-TIME TOP-GROSSING, LIVE-ACTION SPORTS-THEMED MOVIES*
1. The Blind Side (2009) $255.9M
2. The Karate Kid (2010) $176.6M
3. The Waterboy (1998) $161.5M
4. The Longest Yard (2005) $158.1M
5. Jerry Maguire (1996) $153.9M
6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) $148.2M
7. Rocky IV (1985) $127.8M
8. Rocky III (1982) $125.1M
9. Seabiscuit (2003) $120.2M
10. Blades of Glory (2007) $118.6M
*These are the Top 10 domestic-grossing, live-action movies with sports as a central theme. These numbers have not been adjusted for inflation.

Data provided by Box Office Mojo

BUY SELL

Most-Watched Winter Olympics in U.S. TV History
1. Lillehammer, 1994* 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002 187 million
T4. Torino, 2006 184 million
T4. Albertville, 1992 184 million
T4. Nagano, 1998 184 million
* Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident

Source NBC Sports

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Tuesday
Apr192011

NHL Signs $2B TV Deal With NBC, Freezing Out ESPN, Fox, Turner

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

April 19, 2011: Even though the NHL plays on ice, the pro league is hot. And NBC is paying about $2 billion to remain part of the heat.

The NHL and NBC have unveiled a deal that would keep the league for the next ten seasons. ESPN, Fox and Turner also were part of the bidding process, which highlights how far the NHL has come since its lockout season in 2004-05.

NBC and Versus are currently the league's primary media partners in the U.S. Versus is now part of the NBC Sports Group as part of the recently finalized deal under which its parent company, Comcast, acquired majority ownership of NBC Universal.

The current U.S. TV deal was set to expire in June following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup finals.

The NBC-NHL deal was officially unveiled at a joint press conference on April 19 in New York. It was attended by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NBC Sports Group chairman Dick Ebersol and other NHL and NBC executives.

The NHL said that its just-concluded 2010-11 season reached new highs in several key areas, including traditional media, Internet usage, merchandise sales and partnership activation.

“This is the most significant U.S. media rights partnership in the league’s history,” Bettman said during the news conference. “NBC Universal-Comcast is one of the most important, connected and wired media companies in the U.S., and as the potential of the NBC Sports Group is realized, the importance of our relationship will become more apparent to hockey fans and our business partners."

NBC has had the NHL since after the lockout season. The alliance was jump-started with the first Winter Classic, played outdoors in Buffalo on Jan. 1, 2008. Ratings for the event have had record numbers every year since then.

“NBC Sports and Comcast have been fantastic partners," said Bettman. "They have provided incredible coverage of our sport and have teamed with us to deliver the best TV viewership figures in three decades."

The NHL also has had tremendous success with other jewel events, including the currently in-progress Stanley Cup playoffs and the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic (played in Canada) as well as the All-Star Game.

According to Ebersol, NBC Sports Group plans to change the Versus network name within three months. Versus launched in 1995 as Outdoor Life Network until it was rebranded in 2006.

Regarding other bidders, in particular ESPN, with which the league had a TV deal from 1999-2004, Bettman stated, “Everybody has enormous respect for ESPN. Six years ago we decided to go in a different direction, for a variety of reasons, and it has worked well for us. This for us is a great place to be. Versus’ coverage of our game has been extraordinary. Hockey fans have found it and have been telling us on a regular basis that the coverage is terrific, and I think it’s going to get better.”

As Ebersol summed up the new deal, "“This is a perfect marriage with us. Nothing serves the NBC Sports Group better than the National Hockey League.”

"The game on the ice, which has never been better, has fueled much of our business momentum," John Collins, NHL COO, said in a statement regarding the growth of the league. "There is a buzz around our game. Fans are talking hockey, watching hockey and engaging with the NHL like never before. That in turn has led to the corporate community taking notice and embracing their association with the league in meaningful, creative and impactful ways."

NHL: Business On Ice, In-Area 'Never Better'

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