Turner Pulls Out Of Bidding For NHL's Next TV Rights Deal
Turner has pulled out of the bidding for the NHL's TV rights, leaving Comcast and ESPN as the two remaining bidders. "We are disciplined in our approach to negotiating sports rights and are committed to providing quality programming that matters to our audience, advertisers and distribution partners," said Turner President of Sales, Distribution & Sports David Levy. "We think the NHL is an attractive property, but we could not come up with a business model that served our interests." Fox earlier decided not to bid on the rights, sources said.
The competition had pushed the league's rights fees to more than $200M per year, nearly triple the $77.5M Versus currently pays. NBC and Versus hold a significant advantage over ESPN in that their current contracts give them the right to match other offers the NHL gets, sources said.