NHL TV Sportnet Newswire The NHL has announced new television contracts for its existing sports channels Sling, Slinger, Sledge, Sportsnet 360, SportsNet East and the NHL Network.
Sling TV is now owned by Time Warner and will remain the exclusive provider of NHL games and the NFL Network.
The new deals with Sling and Slinger TV include:• $200 million to purchase SlingTV and build a new, $200-million-plus national sports network.• $400 million to build the NHL’s newest national sports channel, which will feature exclusive content on NHL games.• Up to $1.2 billion in upfront payments to all of the current owners of NHL Network’s content.• A 50 percent stake in the NHL-owned network in the first quarter of 2020.• Free access to all NHL games on Sling’s premium Sling Sports streaming platform.
The NHL also announced that the NHL will be offering its premium NHL Plus subscription package starting in 2018, a plan that includes exclusive content from NHL.com, the league’s NHL GameCentre LIVE and NHL Network, as well as additional premium content on the NHL website.
The NHL Plus plan will be available in Canada beginning in 2019.
The next three years are critical for the league to grow its digital footprint.
The league’s subscriber growth has been slowing, and its online advertising revenues have been in decline.
The average viewership on SledTV and SlingX fell for the fourth consecutive year, falling to a mere 8.6 million viewers in the third quarter of 2017.
The league’s other sports networks also saw their ratings fall in the fourth quarter of the year, down 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Sportsnet West, the top-rated sports network, fell 7 percent, Sports Illustrated’s Sports Illustrated Live, the network’s top-ranked sports program, fell 10 percent and Sports Illustrated NHL Live fell 17 percent.
Sportsnet also has a long-term deal with the NFL, which expires at the end of 2020, that is expected to pay the league $7 billion a year for the next 20 years.
Sideline Sports, the sports network that launched in 2012, has been sold to Sinclair, and the new deal with Sportsnet also includes a 30-year contract to broadcast NHL games through 2022.
The new deal includes the first major NFL rights-holder in history.
Sports Illustrated’s sports programming, which has been broadcast on SlingerX since 2010, will continue to be broadcast on the premium Sled Sports platform for the foreseeable future.
Sports TV and sports content for the NHL are also available for streaming on the NFL Mobile app.
The deal with SlingerTV includes a 50 percent equity stake in a network that has been the NFL’s primary broadcast partner for over a decade.
The NFL Network is a major player in the sports business, with rights to play and distribute live games across the NFL Networks, NBCSN and ESPN.
The two networks have teamed up on two of the biggest games of the season, Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl XLVIII, as the NFL has been heavily promoting the NFL and NFL Network, the only network to hold all three.
The NFL Network also holds a significant stake in NHL games, including the Super Bowl.
The game will air live on the new Sling Channel, SLSD and the network is expected in the early stages of its rollout to new subscribers.
The announcement follows last week’s announcement that Sling would be buying the NHL for $2 billion.
SportsNet has said that Slinger’s deal with NHL has been approved by the league.
The purchase of the NHL by Sling is part of a broader deal that also includes the purchase of a controlling stake in Canadian Tire, which also owns the NHL.
Sports Business Journal reported in March that Sportsnet would be acquiring the majority of the remaining NHL rights in 2019, with the majority in the coming years.
Sports Business Journal also reported that SportsNet had a deal in place with the NHL to acquire all NHL rights, with Sled owning 50 percent of the rights to games in 2019-20 and Sportsnet controlling the remaining rights in 2020-20.