NHL Set To Lose Another Major Partner

Published February 25, 2023 at 12:40
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Over the past few weeks, the NHL has encountered significant challenges with two of its primary broadcast partners, despite NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proclaiming the league to be in its healthiest state ever.

The marketing teams of the Seattle Kraken, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights received news that added to their already busy schedules. Warner Bros. Discovery has notified professional sports teams whose games are broadcasted on three of its regional sports networks that it will cease operating the channels and withdraw from the business.

Bad News For Gary Bettman As The NHL Is Set To Lose Another Major Partner.



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These three regional sports networks were acquired by Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. in its acquisition of control over WarnerMedia assets from AT&T Inc. The company warned teams via a letter on Friday that the business would not have sufficient cash to pay upcoming rights fees, which are due to the teams by the end of March. Should an agreement not be reached, the networks may seek chapter 7 bankruptcy litigation.

Last week, the NHL released a statement asserting that it is closely monitoring the situation with regional sports networks and is committed to finding a solution to grant fans access to games. This announcement follows the news that Bally Sports will also be exiting the network business in the next month, possibly leaving up to 11 teams without regional TV deals.

The NHL has seen a decline in viewership numbers over the last few seasons due to various ways of watching games, leading teams to search for new ways to connect with fans and distribute content. Although it is a challenging time for the NHL and its teams, it offers an opportunity for innovation and adaptation in a constantly evolving media landscape.


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