<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P36XLWQ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

NHL renews local streaming deal with Sinclair

Expanded partnership first hurdle for media company's local DTC sports plan.

6 December 2021 Tom Bassam

Getty Images

US media giant Sinclair has secured a multi-year renewal of its domestic digital and outer market distribution rights agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL). 

Under the agreement, Sinclair’s wholly-owned Diamond Sports Group (DSG) is permitted to offer streaming content, including live games, on an authenticated and direct-to-consumer (DTC) basis via the Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks (RSNs).

The deal covers the local territories of 12 NHL teams: the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St Louis Blues, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The new agreement has been expanded to allow post-game highlights on Sinclair’s digital news platforms, alternative feeds, and use of the NHL’s proprietary puck and player tracking data in live broadcasts.

Chris Ripley, Sinclair president and chief executive, said: “Our announcement today signifies the importance that both parties place on the ability for sports viewers to consume content whenever and however they choose.

“The advent of a DTC model will further enhance flexibility for viewers, as well as offer them a highly-personalised and engaging experience, with functionality and interactivity well beyond what is offered today.”

The deal, a renewal of the agreement signed by Fox when it owned the RSNs, is the first hurdle for Sinclair as part of its plans to launch a direct-to-consumer (DTC) product for its Bally Sports channels.

A New York Post report last year said that Sinclair was seeking to raise US$250 million to fund the new sports streaming service and was working with investment bank LionTree on the venture.

According to the Post, Sinclair is hoping to charge US$23 a month to fans who want to stream games in the local markets where the company has sports broadcasting rights.

Sinclair’s 21 RSNs collectively air games played by 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, 16 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and 12 NHL teams.

However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has previously said that he sees the league’s digital rights as “extraordinarily valuable” and that his organisation is “not just going to throw them in [to a broadcast partnership] to help Sinclair out”.

Sinclair’s hope of launching the new streaming product for the start of next year’s MLB season has also taken a hit with the league entering a lockout with its players’ union over a new central bargaining agreement (CBA).

1 / 2news articles read

Enjoying SportsPro content? Create your account and get enhanced access to all the latest stories.


Already have an account?