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NBC Adds Year to NHL Deal

Apr 23, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBC Sports exercised an option to extend its contract with the National Hockey League, deciding to carry the 2008-2009 season after a resurgence in the sport’s ratings.
“There have been positive signs for the league, both on and off the ice,” Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, said in a statement. “Ratings were up this year; the Winter Classic in Buffalo was a huge success; advertising sales were healthy; and the product on the ice has never been better, led by young, marketable stars such as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.”
Hockey ratings have climbed over last year’s numbers, with NHL hockey partners NBC and Versus both experiencing increased numbers in household ratings as well as the key demographics.
NBC’s ratings rose 11% for the season to a 1.0 score, with a 33% jump in men 18-49. Versus had its own success, doubling ratings to a 0.2, and also doubling its men 18-49 scores.
“NBC has been a great partner and its innovations to the broadcasts have helped bring fans inside the game like never before,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
As part of the option, NBC will continue to broadcast the NHL “Sunday Game of the Week” during the regular season, featuring flexible scheduling to feature key games. Under the flex policy instituted this season, NBC can select from up to three games on Sunday afternoons.
NBC also will offer extensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, up to 15 post-season games in all.
The two first announced a two-year broadcast agreement on May 19, 2004, which was extended in 2007.
(Editor: Baumann)

43 Comments

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