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NHL, ESPN reach seven-year U.S. broadcast deal

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1 hour ago, grandmaster said:

Still no info on how much this deal is. I believe NBC was paying 200M per year before this new contract. 

Was it $200 million per year or over the term of the contract? I think it was over the term of the contract. $200 mil is $6.5 mil per team per year. That's to much. That said, going into these contract talks there were numbers as much as $600 million being floated for the combined USA rights. Content is king so I am hoping for big things.   

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Yes, Hockey Fans, The Iconic ESPN NHL Theme Music Will Be Back:



Today, ESPN announced a landmark new agreement with the National Hockey League. While the agreement is new, one part of ESPN’s NHL coverage that starts this fall will feel nostalgic for longtime hockey fans.


For its live NHL game telecasts, ESPN will be bringing back the iconic ESPN NHL theme music that was first introduced to viewers in 1992 as the theme on ESPN’s National Hockey Night. Created by composer Bob Christianson, the theme fired up NHL fans through 2004, and has continued to make occasional appearances ever since.


The music, which brings back fond memories for many, is currently the theme for the nightly ESPN+ program In the Crease, hosted by Linda Cohn, and it also has been used on ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four since 2014.


The launch of the hockey music in 1992 was just the latest of many projects Christianson had done for ESPN.


“When ESPN first started, a good part of the music that was on ESPN was mine, maybe even the majority,” he said. ““I had baseball, NCAA basketball, NBA basketball, hockey.


“They liked what I did,” he said. “Almost always it was a competition. It would be me and whoever else they worked with, and I’d do two or three demos and send it to them, and if they liked it, then I got the gig. My relationship with the people at ESPN was good in the sense that at least I got asked to compete.”


Christianson told Front Row in 2014 that he estimated he spent 25 hours composing the NHL theme music, which included recording hockey sounds at a Buffalo Sabres game.


The NHL music’s longevity is pleasing to Christianson, whose career has touched not only sports but also television programs such as HBO’s “Sex and the City.” He has composed more than 30 sports themes for different networks.


“I’ve written so many sports themes, and some of them I’m really happy with, and some of them not, but that’s one of the ones that I’m really happy with – it just came out really good,” he said. “It did what it was supposed to do.”


So much so that fans will hear it again this fall.


“As excited as we are about our new agreement with the NHL, we’re also very excited that we will be bringing back the ESPN hockey theme music that is very familiar and iconic to hockey fans,” said ESPN Senior Vice President, Production and Remote Events, Mark Gross. “We’re in the very early stages of getting ready to launch our coverage, but there was never a question as to what the music would be.”


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5 hours ago, PunjabiCanucks said:

May increase the cap just in time when Horvat, Boeser, Miller , Hoglander, Poldkozin are due for a raise.


Sign hughes petey long term now so we their %cap decreases come time

Bettman in announcing the deal again confirmed flat cap for a while.  Could maybe be even through the full 6 years of the CBA per Friedman a few months back citing league projections (they already knew the rights were up and likely had estimates of the new deal).  



It appears there won’t be much movement for the NHL’s salary cap over the coming seasons.


During a press conference Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked when the league’s new media rights deal with ESPN would have an impact on the NHL’s salary cap. In response, Bettman said the salary cap will likely remain stagnant as part of the four-year collective bargaining agreement extension with the NHLPA.


“As part of that, the salary cap is basically going to be flat until we recover the overpayments through the escrow that we’ve built up both in the return to play from last season, which obviously had to be concluded under different circumstances, and this season we’re obviously… there’s a major escrow building up because of the fact that there’s no attendance,” Bettman said.


Attendance or lack thereof, Bettman added, directly and indirectly accounts for roughly half of the league’s revenues.


“So I think everybody is focusing on a flat cap or a near-flat cap for the immediate future,” he said.


The upper limit for the salary cap this season is listed as $81.5 million. The number was unchanged from the 2019-20 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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I am reading that it looks like the NHL is also going resign with NBC or move to Fox.  That on top of the ESPN deal is amazing news the for the NHL, way more $$ and it will increase the leagues visibility.  Hopefully everyday Americans will be able to recognize NHL stars like they can with NBA, and NFL stars.

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15 hours ago, Squamfan said:

lol nope flat cap for 4 years,



It could actually be flat for more than 4 years.  In his answer Bettman refers to the 4 year CBA extension but there were 2 years left on the existing one.  The CBA runs through 2025/26 with an automatic extension through 2026/27 if the escrow balance is not evened out.


There was some delay to get the season going in part because the league wanted to increase escrow which players were adamantly opposed.   It suggest that their latest projections show worse numbers than in the summer when they approved the CBA MOU.  The league knew that the TV deal was up and had certainly included an estimate of the deals in their projections of revenue to set escrow.  The cap is not going to increase until players pay back their share of the losses.


Video of Bettman’s answer on the cap: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/gary-bettman-espn-tv-deal-will-impact-nhls-salary-cap/

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On 3/10/2021 at 8:05 AM, Patrik Laine said:

The deal will also raise the cap. 

Not for a while.  The new formula uses a 2 year average, so this year and next year season are still token to have depressed revenue as there is pretty much no chance all arenas will be allowed to be full even starting next season. That means the season AFTER next (2022-23) will still have this awful revenue year as part of the calculation to keep the cap down.  That means 2023-24 will be the very first chance for the cap to rise.


Then the players also have to start paying back the owners the billion dollars they now owe by virtue of getting overpaid this year, and that will keep the cap down longer.

Plus the cap was already artificially inflated even before Covid by the players using their escalator clause and then their money being clawed back in escrow.


It is unlikely that the cap rises at least more than a token amount for several years. 

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