What the new NHL TV deal may mean for YOU?

The National Hockey League and NBCUniversal have agreed on a 10-year TV deal that will keep the sport on NBC and VERSUS, which will be rebranded, through the 2020-21 season.

To win the TV rights, NBC beat out other bidders, including FOX, Turner, and the Walt Disney Company/ESPN. The deal is valued at $200 million per year according to sources, which would be a major increase from the league’s last deal.

What does it mean for you?

1) As league revenues go up, so will the salary cap, which means Ken Holland should have more money to play with over the next few years, or other teams like the Nashville Predators, may have more space to resign a player like Shea Weber.

2) The upcoming Olympics TV rights negotiations may have a major influence on whether NHL players go to Sochi in 2014. If NBC wins those broadcast rights, expect it to happen, if they don’t, who knows.

3) Every playoff game from the Conference Semifinals (2nd round) will either be on NBC and VERSUS. Also, every playoff game will be televised nationally, either on NBC, VERSUS, or another NBC/Comcast Channel. The newly branded VERSUS channel will continue to carry Game 3 and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

According to puck media guru Steve Lepore, the big losers are Regional Sports Networks, which lose coverage of the second round, and NHL Center Ice, which will lose the playoffs entirely.

What do you think? Judging by the various response on the TV coverage on our Social Media channels, fans won’t be happy to have Sidney Crosby shoved down their throats for the next decade. Though, it will probably mean more opportunities for our own Ken Daniels to establish himself on a national level, as he has recently on VERSUS.

About Jake Duhaime

Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings
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55 Responses to What the new NHL TV deal may mean for YOU?

  1. Christopher Never says:

    I don’t like Cindy Crysob. I don’t like NBC, and I especially don’t like VERSUS.
    If Ken and Mickey will be moving over to the new broadcaster, I might be able to tolerate it – but the league’s alleged anti-Wings bias seems apparent when other commentators are on the mic. Should we be seeing more broadcasting like what I’ve experienced already – expect me to watch every game I can on CBC.

    • Abby says:

      Amen to that!

    • Dan Springer says:

      Chris, total agree. If CBC every goes hi-def in the Detroit metro area, you will know where I will be.

    • Dan says:

      Right on, the nbc commentators get names of the red wings wrong all the time too. I can put up versus, other than roenick.

    • Mike G says:

      100% with you.

    • Rita says:

      This is a complete and utter shame as far as I am concerned. I agree with Christopher about obvious bias on the part of some commentators. I wish I could watch “Fox Sports Detroit” for all MY teams. I live in Maine now and am still a DETROIT FAN ! NHL Center Ice has been my home away from home. You can have those biased commentators. Don’t the Red Wings fans deserve “Honest” commentating? Yes, they do! Don’t be hating the Wings just because they’re smart and work hard to become the team of legends! They deserve it! They can pronounce the players names correctly too. Can’t say that about some can you?

  2. Tina says:

    I hate this deal. A lot of ppl do not get versus and therefore cld miss seeing the final game in its entirety as it happens. Which it IS unlikely that there wld be a sweep in the championship series but hey anythings possible. And also Why have the Nhl network if not for the big games. doesnt make sense to me. Sure theyll play replays but its not the same.

  3. Reginawing says:

    Center ice isn’t showing any of the games this year. They are very expensive when they don’t show alot of the games. Not sure what to get next year to watch the wings every game

    • adlermp says:

      I purchased the NHL Gamecenter and watched most of the games online. But you’re right, if Center Ice doesn’t show the games, and you can’t get VS, then what is the point?

    • Lori says:

      Center ice use to show the play offs till last year. but if it is on verus it is not on center ice. For the price you pay for cente ice you should get ever games even when on verus you paid enough. Not like your getting it free. I am in Fl. and the only way for me in my town to see hockey is center ice. I dont get Versus.

    • Dan says:

      I think if u get dish network you can get the fsn sports package and see the wings that way

    • Howe2Yzerman says:

      I’m in San Diego and have seen.every wings game all year. The playoff games during the 1st round have all been on Center Ice if not on Versus or NBC.

  4. adlermp says:

    I like the idea of the NHL getting greater exposure, but unless the VS channel becomes more widely available I don’t see it having that much effect in the short term. It’s nice that NBC will broadcast more games but you pretty much get the Flyers and Rangers or Penguins each week. Good teams to watch but not when it is all you get to watch.

    • Kevin says:

      I too have no use for versus and their anti Redwing coverage,Expect to see Syd the crying kid and Overated Alex nite after nite till they get eliminated.

  5. drimo says:

    I’d feel a lot better about it they stopped doing regional coverage. How are they to handle nights when there are 3 or more playoff games being played at the same time? If I’m a Wings fan living in NYC and a Rangers game is on NBC at the same time, am I blacked out from NBC’s regional coverage of the Rangers game? In all, it really lessens the value of my Center Ice subscription. The Pens fan living in Denver might not be able to cheer for Cindy.

  6. Nick says:

    “fans won’t be happy to have Sidney Crosby shoved down their throats for the next decade”

    I have news for you: that’s all ESPN does. If it’s NHL news, it’s Crosby news. For instance, on New Years’ Day ESPN previewed a recap of the Winter Classic by talking up Crosby, a game he didn’t even score in.

    NBC/VS is the lesser of two evils and don’t have the burden of having to promote the NBA, like ESPN.

  7. Chalupa says:

    Bettman hate for the Wings and thier fans is legendary, this only proves it.
    Hope a bus hits em. Seriously, I gotta watch Fred and Barney(jones and engblom) andthe Massengil spokesman JR for over 10 more years? WTF.
    Someone send Bettman hunting with Cheney plzkthx.

  8. Chalupa says:

    and why the hell is every NHL commercial showing some sad one year wonder beating the wings? same with this western conference BS….Illitch should lay down the law on that.

  9. Jenna says:

    I don’t like this deal at all. I have no problems (anymore) with Versus coverage. The problem with Versus is that they can’t show enough games. That was the beauty of the NHL being on ESPN during the playoffs. ESPN and ESPN2 could show up to 4 (in most cases, ALL) games per night. Versus would have been fine if they also showed games on NHL Center Ice. I can’t even fathom why they aren’t getting games. The coverage on NBC …. uuggggg. I hate the regional coverage thing. Overall I give the deal a C-/D+

  10. Philip says:

    I hate it, considering I end up blacked out on most games for the Wings…and I’m a paying subscriber to NHL CenterIce Live…and when Versus has the game…I don’t. 😦

  11. Stan says:

    Not a bad deal at all – ESPN had a chance for a long time and their coverage with Clement and Thorne was horrible. Versus isn’t actually that bad. And anybody complaining about getting Crosby, Washington and the Rangers shoved down our throats needs to realize it would be at least this bad with any other network.

    In a perfect world, they would find a way to get CBC/TSN broadcasts all over the US – their coverage is incredible

  12. Stevie says:

    Fantastic! Finally, games on tv for those of us who can’t be squeezed for pay channels!

  13. char says:

    Hopefully i read this correctly, not everyone has cable, dish or direct tv, me included…i think that home team games should be played on LOCALtv channels and not JUST cable and such….as much as i would LOVE to be at every game i can’t afford it so it would be nice to watch my home team play on tv istead of having to listen to it on the radio!

  14. Liz says:

    I like the idea that NHL games will be on TV more, but Versus isnt everywhere or apart of regular cable, and if the game is on Versus or NBC then it will be blacked out on NHL Game Center Live. Therefore, I won’t be able to watch it at all. I live in North Dakota so Detroit games do not come on NBC very often.

  15. Karen says:

    What’s the point in followin the Red Wings. Can’t get comcast in my area and don’t have Versus. Always watch on Fox sports. Seems like the NHL just keeps making it harder to watch the games.

  16. Kames says:

    I live in southern Ohio and I am a Wings fan. I dont have cable or sat. So I only get to watch the 14 games NBC shows, which 10 of them are the pens. I have no desire to watch the pens, or any other eastern team other than the Habs, which NBC wont show because they are not an american team. so I watch the games online which since I have a slow ip, it sucks. It would have been nice to see CBS get a few games, and fox just so I have a little variety on which games I can watch.

  17. Ed says:

    My DirecTV has alternate channels for Versus. Maybe they will be coming into play when playoff games are on at the same time or overlapping?

  18. Johnny G says:

    Fox Sports has always had the best coverage. Ken and Mickey are the best. Ken Daniels has won “Broadcaster of the Year” the last 2 years in a row. Versus coverage is a close second. But NBC coverage always seems like they are a fish out of water…like they aren’t really hockey fans, aren’t very sure how to broadcast it well, but are hoping to “fake it ’til they make it.” However, in the last couple years, all participating networks have been lax in their coverage of any pushing, shoving, or even some fighting that occurs, especially if it occurs at a stoppage in play. They tend to put the camera on the bench, put up some statitistic graphic, or go to commercial. The fans at home want more complete coverage. If these networks don’t have the stomach or willingness to air ALL aspects of the sport, then leave it to a network that does!

    • lsawasky says:

      Your middle initial must b ‘G’, ’cause Johnny B Good in your remarks above. I have Charter cable and absolutely HATE it when the “NETWORK” takes a Saturday or Sunday game away from Fox Sports Detroit HD and Ken and Mickey. I spend a lot every month for HD specifically for the Wings games, the network outlets here in Northern Michigan don’t even have HD transmitters (or whatever) and the network audio really sucks, too. I don’t know what to do about this pending deal, but I ain’t too happy about it.

  19. Mick Whitcomb says:

    I have to say that I really enjoy having the games available to me through Versus and NBC; I really enjoy being able to watch the Red Wings even though I’m in a region in which the only channels that show NHL hockey happen to be NBC, Versus and Fox Sports Ohio on cable (which, I mean, c’mon, what kind of Wings fan wants to watch the Jackets?)

    I know that Versus may not be available to everyone, but it’s a great NHL-broadcasting channel. I really like it more than Fox Sports, which practically has an entirely different channel for each and every team on the league. They’re very inconvenient when money is short and you can’t have each one, not to mention the stunningly high odds of a game being blacked out on satellite TV. I find that it’s nice to be able to have a channel that I can flip on just to watch a hockey game after a long day at class, whether or not it is a Wings game.

    However, there are other of both pros and cons to such a big television deal:

    -I might be a huge Wings fan, but I hate unfairness. When Phoenix gets a call that just doesn’t make sense to me, I straight up say that it shouldn’t have been called–in a sense, the same goes for television announcers. Sure, I love Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, but I don’t think that they should get more air time on Versus than what they already receive. The whole “anti-Wings” bias mentioned in some previous comments could potentially become an “anti-every-team-other-than-the-Wings” bias. It may just be me, but I’ve noticed this a little bit already!

    -Versus isn’t really the easiest channel you can find in basic cable packages. And, unless your big game happens to land on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon, you might be left with no way to watch it (This -especially- made me angry whenever FS Detroit would be blacked out so that Versus could air it themselves!)

    I think that, if NHL and NBC really want this to work, they’re going to have to arrange some changes to make viewer experience satisfactory. Might I suggest easier availability of the channel Versus on local cable and satellite providers, as well as maybe more early afternoon games and more game sharing between networks? Please, cut down the blackouts and raise the availability of games to us viewers.

    Considering the potential for a 2011-12 season NFL lockdown, next NHL season may be a great time to test out a more available viewing schedule for the league and for NBC/Versus.

  20. Hockey fan's wife says:

    If we can’t get Mickey and Ken, we prefer CBC. We want to watch the game not listen
    to some self proclaimed expert on the sport. ABC, CBS and NBC seem to think these
    “experts” are what the audiences prefer. NOT SO!!! Senior citizens, handicapped and
    those who cannot afford pay channels seem to be the ones to suffer. Too bad there are
    so many of us.

    • Cari says:

      I agree 100%. Those guys who think they know everything are a bore to listen to. I could care less on what they think the players are going to do next.

  21. Mary R says:

    locally we get Fox Sports for 90% of our Wings games and prefer to watch them there, if NBC covers a game they usually get the regional screwed up and fans in Upper Michigan get the Rangers or something.

    Also, we travel alot and find that many of the hotels do not get Versus in their cable packages. In the best of both worlds Versus will add an alternate channel, drop the fishing shows and get down to all hockey, all the time!!

  22. Mike from Saginaw says:

    So far during the playoffs versus has been blacked out, not fox sports detroit, on dish here. As for announcers, turn the sound down and tune in to the Wings radio broadcast. It can be a little funny at times because of the delay between the action being heard on the radio & the televised version (a second or 2 difference).
    Think the league was looking at $$$ and doesn’t really care about the fans or real national coverage.
    Hopefully Cindy will have to retire and we won’t have him shoved down our throats any longer.

  23. Bettman H8R says:

    Local coverage will suffer, that’s a definite. NBC and VS both have MAJOR shortcomings when it comes to covering hockey. CBC won’t be digital/HD until later this year. Gary Bettman has done everything he could to single-handedly destroy the sport he claims to love so much. Expansion into markets like Florida, California(not the Kings), Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta, and allowing Winnipeg, Quebec, and Minnesota to move were the dumbest moves in the history of ALL sports.

    This TV deal, while providing revenue for the league, will kill viewership among true hockey fans. Those that loyally follow their teams from preseason to the cup finals will be hurt the most. We don’t want to see out of market games, especially those featuring the so-called “faces of the league”. The broadcast teams are terrible, Pierre couldn’t analyze his way out of a paper bag, and JR is ant-everyone that isn’t him. Fox screwed up hockey coverage when they had a deal by dumbing it down and putting little puck tracers and glimmers so “casual fans” could enjoy the games.

    The way to save this league, and make it a ton of money, is a multi-faceted process. First, contract the league. Second, realign the conferences to rejuvenate the best rivalries in hockey. Third, put teams back where they belong. Canadian hockey teams account for 60% of all revenue in the league. Give Winnipeg the Jets, Quebec the Nordiques and things can only get better.

  24. ncn says:

    NBC needs to show more games on local air TV forget VS i have listened to the wings on the radio all season just to be able to see them on TV come playoff time.. NBC needs way more coverage on the local level shouldnt have to have cable to watch local teams……

  25. Karen says:

    I’m soooooooooooo disappointed. I now feel – if I want to watch my Wings – that I have to swallow the bullet and subscribe to Versus. Way to go, NHL. Just push your viewers farther away.

  26. Dan says:


  27. nick says:

    Lousy decision by the NHL. Non Hockey Fans need a geiger counter or devining rod to even find the Verses channel. 10 more years of being #4!!!

  28. jeffmancini says:

    i as well as almost everyone else am extremely disappointed in this deal…espn has a few channels which means more games can be watched.. i live in maryland and am a huge wings fan, but unfortunatley only get to watch a few games a year cause the rangers or pens r on, and i despise both teams,actually if the wings are not on i dont even care about any other team!!!!!!!!versus has 1 channel that they use in my area i c that they have others but dont use them, y because they just want to show shit teams, and the fact of the matter, in my opinion is that the wings r and will always be america’s team, for the NHL!!!!i go to a caps game when they play detroit and i kid u not there is more wings fans then caps fans… which is pretty awesome because it actually makes it feel as i am at the joe, which i really get to do now, as i still have my family there, but if a visiting team has more fans at the game then the home team then it should show that detroit is the most liked team in the nhl… so take from this one thing and one thing only, play more wings games and announce the players correctly.. i hate vs and i hate the nhl for signing a deal like this… if anyhting i think they should hve signed a deal for next year to have the games on both espn and vs, see who is watched more then give that channel the deal….GO WINGS

  29. omcdurham says:

    I’m OK with it (broadcasting deal). I get CBC feeds through NHL Network on Saturdays, Versus games on weeknights, and NBC on weekend afternoons, plus I can get FSDetroit on Directv.ESPN fumbled the ball when they let go of the NHL broadcast rights, now the NHL has turned Versus into THE American outlet for hockey, a great boost to a channel that was mainly about fishing and bicycling!

  30. Niklas W says:

    I can feel you guys, here in Sweden it’s practically impossible to get footage of the games without having a satellite (if you want it legally), and you just can’t have those when living in a appartment.
    Our regular packages and stuff just won’t give the networks that i’d really like to have, like FSD or such, and the live center doesn’t work for us either, so there’s no alternative there. (Not like it would be, now that they cut off the playoffs there.)
    Like, once a month or maybe every other month we get coverage of the NHL, but it’s only the very early games that are played on the east coast, so it’s never a DRW game unfortunately.

    From a Swede who do not find a whole lot of enjoyment by watching SEL, and want to watch the Red Wings.

  31. Marshall says:

    I want FDS! NOT VERUS! Ken & Mickey are the best. Big mistake ever!

  32. Sue says:

    This stinks and I agree with all the comments, the announcers on Versus and NBC can’t pronounce the players names correct and they always play down the Wings. When they talk about Sid the kid, I swear they think they are talking about God. The Wings deserve to have local announcers who know the team and can pronounce the players names. I LOVE KEN AND MICKEY!!!!!! This whole thing STINKS!!!!!

  33. Don Hayduk says:

    Drop versus and just use NBC. Versus stinks

  34. Justin says:

    I watch most games online if it’s not on TV. The quality is crap, but you can usually get every game. The other alternative is buying tickets and going to the games… Might be cheaper than paying for TV games that are blacked out anyway.

  35. Diane says:

    I ABOSLUTELY HATE THIS NEW DEAL!!! I live in CA and am a lifelong, born in Detroit, Red Wings fan. I PAY for NHL Center Ice every year. WHY? So that I can watch MY team on Fox Sports Detroit. I want to listen to Ken & Mickey – they are the best. I don’t want to have to listen to all these other jokers who don’t give our team any credit and don’t give us the off ice coverage. If I’m willing to pay for NHL Center Ice, then I should be able to watch FSD for all games, including playoffs. How stupid is it? When the Red Wings are playing in Anaheim or LA, which is 200 miles from me – the game is blacked out or they transfer me to another channel and then I don’t get local commentators. I do like the idea of the salary cap going up. But, come on. GIVE ME MY LOCAL FOX SPORTS DETROIT ALL YEAR, INCLUDING PLAYOFFS.
    Diane, Ramona, CA

  36. Marsha from Albuquerque says:

    Born and raised in Detroit, mother and her family all born and raised in Quebec, hockey is in my DNA. I have been a Wings fan all my life and thanks to DISH and the NHL sports ticket have been able to see almost all of the games here in New Mexico. I’m not sure what I think of the new deal, I’ll wait and see. If all else fails, there is one sports bar (Stone Face Tavern) here in Albuquerque that actually features hockey, and they are very friendly.

  37. Phil in Raleigh NC says:

    This deal sucks! Everyone hates the NBC and VS announcers! I would pay the same price as NHL Center Ice just to get FSD-HD!

  38. Lise P. says:

    Great! Now we will only see the drop of the puck about 20% of the time!! It kills me that both NBC & Versus don’t see this as a crucial thing to show the fans. Also…why the hell do they stay with a game from a different channel in OT and not show the beginning of the game scheduled?!? Oh and Versus…figure out how to put the score up so you can see the points for BOTH teams! Sheesh!!! Not happy with the hockey coverage by either of these jokers.

  39. Cari says:

    I dislike Doc Emrick as an announcer. I don’t know what I’ll do if I am forced to listen to his voice for every Red Wing game. Please tell me I won’t lose Ken & Mickey as announcers. I want Fox Sports Detroit!

  40. Frank says:

    Well so much for HOCKEY in Detroit. Obviously the owners don’t get a rats behind about the TV fans. Versus is almost tolerable BUT could anything be worse than the NBC team. My God, their bias against anyone other than Sid the Crying Kid is so blatant. Their time reviewing any play that Detroit makes versus any opponent is horrid. Detroit Scores and your lucky to see the replay, an opponent scores and you go back far enough to see what they had for breakfast two weeks ago. Soooolong TV hockey it’s Radio only from now on!

  41. K-Dog says:

    Holy crap do these guys suck as Hockey commentators! My sons Mini Mite team could do a better job. They could at least pronounce players names properly. I am also kind of tired of the bias of other teams – such as how they discuss SJ during this series. I see them pick their favorite in every match up – Wings playing or not.

    Mike Emrick is just plain bizarre – no really, he bothers me in ways that serial killers do in slasher movies. The other thing is there use of pet names for each other – what gives with that? I never thought I would hear Roenick use them with another man. Do these guys get together for pajama parties after the games- wait, I don’t want to know the answer to that question.

    Come on guys, give me something besides the obvious and at least try to make it a little interesting. I guess what else can we expect from an organization being run by NBC. I only hope their contract is up next year. Hence the reason I haven’t watched any programming on NBC in years.

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