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NBC, Versus Set To Announce Deal To Retain NHL TV Rights
Published April 19, 2011
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The NHL’s rights fee is believed to exceed – by far – the $120M per-year average that ESPN paid from '99-'04, which marked the NHL’s largest contract to date. The league’s current deal with Versus is for $77.5M per year, while NBC has a revenue-sharing deal that does not involve a rights fee. Many execs inside the NHL favored ESPN, believing a deal with the network would guarantee more coverage on popular shows like “SportsCenter.” But NBC and Versus determined that the package was too important for Versus to lose. This marks the first big media rights negotiation since Comcast acquired NBC.