The NHL extended its partnership with NBC through next season, with an option for the 2008-09 season.The agreement, announced Tuesday, will allow NBC to select from a minimum of three games on Sunday afternoons. Two weeks before, the network will pick one matchup as the “Game of the Week” to be shown nationally. The other two games will be televised locally.
In addition to regular-season games, NBC will continue to broadcast select playoff games on Saturdays and Sundays and Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup finals in prime time.
“In under two seasons, NBC has significantly elevated NHL broadcast coverage in the U.S.,” commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We’re delighted to have extended our partnership and look forward to next season’s scheduled innovation, aimed at delivering the best possible action to hockey fans.”The deal comes one day after the NHL and Canada’s CBC announced a six-year agreement. ( per associated press)
Pittsburgh fans will not be happy with the NHL’s decision to extend NBC’s deal as many are furious for NBC leaving the Pens game Sunday afternoon in the third to show the Rangers – Islanders game. NBC has done a exceptional job compared to Versus with their coverage of the game the past 2 years. The dreams of ESPN returning as the NHL premier outlet were dashed when the NHL announced a three year extension with Versus in January following the All-Star game, so this is the best the NHL can do at the moment. The downfall of this agreement is it would have been nice to see NBC pick up Games 1-7 in the Stanley Cup finals and pick up the All-Star game. Overall i do not have a problem with the NHL extending NBC’s deal.