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Home » TNT joins land of TV sports activities behemoths with NHL rights deal

TNT joins land of TV sports activities behemoths with NHL rights deal

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A second of silence, please, for the NHL on NBC.

The community has been a beautiful steward of the sport, however its 16-year relationship with the league will finish with the completion of the Stanley Cup Finals in July. Starting subsequent season, ESPN and Turner Sports activities will share TV protection for seven seasons.

Faucet your stick for the peacock, which gave us Doc Emrick, out of doors video games and “Contained in the Glass” reporters. Or break your stick over your knee when you think about the fowl additionally gave us Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire and eight:30 p.m. CT begins.

Total, NBC and NBCSN gave us tons of video games to observe with high quality broadcasting and manufacturing, to not point out fond reminiscences of Out of doors Life Community and Versus, the precursors to NBCSN, which shall be shuttered on the finish of the yr. The NHL wanted to hit refresh and air its video games on a number of networks, like each different main American league does.

After ESPN purchased the NHL’s main package deal for a reported $400 million per yr, Turner outbid NBC for the secondary package deal, paying a reported $225 million per yr. In accordance with Sports activities Enterprise Journal, NBC provided $100 million. Apparently, the community was prepared to maneuver on, too.

NBC not too long ago doubled its rights price for the NFL to $2 billion yearly, and it needs to keep up its rights to the English Premier League after this season. The community additionally reupped with the PGA Tour in March 2020. NBC determined one thing needed to give, and it was hockey.

ESPN has been there and performed that with the game. It most not too long ago carried the NHL from 1992 to 2005, relinquishing its rights after the 2004-05 season was canceled due to a lockout. We already know the community’s famed NHL theme music will return, however we don’t know who shall be calling the video games. The expectation is that longtime hockey man Steve Levy will function the community’s high play-by-play voice, however his “Monday Night time Soccer” duties might current conflicts for the primary half of the season.

We do know who will kind Turner’s high crew on TNT: Kenny Albert and Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk. Turner wasted no time making certain that NBC’s high expertise joined its crew, giving peace of thoughts to NHL followers who is likely to be leery of the hockey neophyte’s broadcast high quality.

However Turner isn’t any novice with regards to sports activities broadcasting, significantly with its eye for shoulder programming. Its “Contained in the NBA,” with host Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, is among the finest sports activities reveals ever. The community additionally has assembled some nice MLB pre- and postgame casts through the years, most not too long ago together with Johnson, Chicago native Curtis Granderson, Pedro Martinez and Jimmy Rollins.

For its NHL present, Turner might choose from NBC’s expertise roster, which incorporates hosts Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen and analysts Anson Carter, Keith Jones and former Blackhawk Patrick Sharp. However NBC isn’t shedding sports activities, simply its sports activities community, and a few of that programming will transfer to USA Community subsequent yr. So there won’t be a mass exodus from NBC to TNT like there was when Fox swiped NFL rights from CBS in 1993 and a bunch of CBS individuals adopted.

Turner additionally might enterprise into Canada and attempt to pry some huge media varieties from the house of hockey. The issue with hockey, although, is that there aren’t many big-name personalities amongst former gamers, resembling Barkley and even Martinez, to attract American viewers.

May Blackhawks nice Jeremy Roenick be capable to rehabilitate his picture at TNT? Roenick, who was fired by NBC for making inappropriate sexual remarks about Tappen, would match that controversial, opinionated function. He might be entertaining when he was at NBC.

As for TNT’s sport schedule, the favored assumption is that Wednesday evening will stay hockey evening, because it has been for years on NBCSN. Logic dictates that TNT gained’t need the NHL to go up towards soccer Friday by way of Monday, and the community has devoted Tuesdays and Thursdays to the NBA. That leaves Wednesday, which solely would require transferring AEW Wrestling to a brand new evening.

Nonetheless Turner handles hockey, its sports activities portfolio has by no means been higher, and that features TNT’s years carrying NFL video games on Sunday nights for the primary half of every season from 1990 to ’97. Take a look at Turner’s lineup of huge occasions in 2022:

  • NHL Winter Basic
  • NBA All-Star Weekend
  • NCAA Match, together with Ultimate 4 and championship
  • Stanley Cup playoffs, together with convention last
  • NBA Western Convention finals
  • American League playoffs, plus MLB video games Tuesday nights as a part of new contract

Say hiya to the nation’s latest sports activities behemoth. Who would’ve thought that the NHL would put Turner excessive?


  • Beth Mowins will name her first regular-season video games on Marquee Sports activities Community when the Cubs host the Pirates at 1:20 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Alongside Jim Deshaies, she’ll turn into the primary lady to name Cubs video games within the common season. Mowins, who has broadcast for ESPN since 1994, referred to as one spring-training sport remotely from Wrigley Area.
  • The Bulls make their second and last ESPN look Friday, after they host the Celtics at 6:30 p.m. Corridor of Famer Mike Breenwill name the motion with analystJeff Van Gundyand reporterAriel Helwani.“NBA Countdown”will precede the sport at 6.
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