The National Hockey League has announced the agreement of a huge broadcasting deal with Rogers Communication in Canada, reports CBSSports.com
The deal is reported to be worth $4.9 billion US dollars ($5.2 billion Canadian dollars) and includes the rights to all NHL games including the Stanley Cup playoffs over 12 years.
The deal is the largest television rights deal in NHL history, beginning in the 2014/15 season and running for 12 years before finishing in the 2025-26 season.
“Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years – channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
Rogers will pay $150 million upfront, spreading the figure over the first two years of the contract. It also includes annual payments of $300 million that will gradually increase to $500 million towards the end of the agreement.
The deal signifies and end to TSN's position as the national broadcaster and will lose 70 games in the regular season and playoffs.
Rogers has, however, clarified that games will be sub-licensed so Hockey Night in Canada can remain on CBC.
The NHL's board of governors will convene on December 9th to approve and rubber stamp the agreement.