LAVAL, QC – On Tuesday, the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball Advance Media (MLBAM) announced a six-year digital media rights partnership. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed but there are some reports that indicate that the NHL will be receiving $100 million a season. That amount will be considered as hockey-related revenue and will impact the salary cap.
“It’s really all about the fans and giving them the ability to not only continue to connect with the game, in what up until this point had been unprecedented ways, but to look to the future and our ability to create even richer content with even better access,” Commissioner Bettman said. “It’s transformational, to say the least. We think it’s the type of deal that the ever-evolving technology age requires.”
“One of the most important things that any sports league or a commissioner of a sports league can do is make sure that you deliver to your fans your content, your games, in the best possible way,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We believe MLB Advanced Media has been a leader in this space, that we have developed creative ways to serve our fans in multiple platforms. And we think in partnership with the NHL we will provide that same technology, that same service that will be of benefits to NHL fans over the long haul.”
As part of the partnership, MLBAM will run the following properties for the next six years:
- NHL.com, mobile application and 30 team individual websites. League and teams will keep editorial control on the content. The new look is expected to be ready in January 2016.
- GameCenter Live and Centre Ice. MLBAM will not run these services in Canada as they are managed by Rogers.
- NHL Network. The NHL Network studios will be inside the MLB Network headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey as of the start of the 2015-16 season.
John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer, had great words about MLBAM’s ability to bring MLB fans closer to the game. “Baseball has done a great job in building up BAM as an industry leader, and getting more fans to experience the game in new ways is what we do,” Collins said. “MLBAM is going to allow us, on the production and technology fronts, to be in front of the curve, because of their scale, on a lot of these opportunities as it relates to hockey.”
If you haven’t already, I recommend visiting MLB.com and downloading the MLB At bat mobile application to get an idea of what is coming for hockey fans. NHL fans should be expecting more statistics available especially real-time. If you recall, during this year’s NHL All-star game, the players jersey’s included a microchip that monitored speed and location. NHL.com added advanced stats in February, therefore it is clear that the league has an appetite to provide more data to fans. MLB.com offers a free live broadcast every day. It would be interesting to see if the NHL follows that model.
I think this partnership will be a win for NHL fans and I am looking forward to see the results of this partnership.
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