It was announced by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday that the NHL and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media company of Major League Baseball, have entered into a six-year digital rights partnership that will create “a fully integrated global hub of digital content that encompasses video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy, apps, along with statistical and analytical content,” per the NHL’s release.
With an emphasis on deeper access into the game and telling the stories of NHL players, MLBAM and the NHL will collaborate on developing new digital products and platforms while enhancing current offerings.
MLBAM, already the streaming-video provider for HBO, ESPN and World Wrestling Entertainment (among others), closed a deal with the NHL to run GameCenter Live, Centre Ice, the NHL Network, NHL.com and the individual team websites for the next six years. (The video rights are worldwide, minus Rogers-controlled Canada and the Scandinavian countries.)
So, how does this affect you?
First, much to the relief of teams, players and agents, it will provide a revenue boost at a time the salary cap is flattening. According to several sources, the deal was first presented to the Board of Governors at the June meeting in Las Vegas. NHL COO John Collins would not confirm these figures, but word is the league valued the deal at $200 million per year.
As shown in the videos embedded in Friedman’s article, this partnership should greatly advance the television and video that had previously been produced by the NHL and the NHL Network, along with corporate partner Neulion. The emergence of the partnership will overlap with the continued roll-out of NHL.com’s advanced stats portal.
More details, courtesy of the NHL:
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to distribute live, out-of-market NHL telecasts in the United States and certain international markets, including via the NHL GameCenter LIVE subscription service.
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to distribute live, out-of-market telecasts via the NHL Center Ice subscription service in the United States to cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasters.
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to operate the NHL Network as an agent for the NHL. The NHL Network’s daily on-air operations will be based out of MLB Network’s headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
NHL, Major League Baseball Advanced Media form transformative digital-rights partnership (NHL.com)
NHL-MLB media partnership looks like big win for hockey fans (SI.com)
NHL, MLB Advanced Media announce ‘revolutionary’ six-year partnership (The Hockey News)
NHL Teams Up With MLB’s Insane Media Team, Which Could Be Awesome (Gizmodo)
What to expect from the NHL/MLB Advanced Media partnership (Puck Daddy)