NHL, Players Reach Agreement

Jul 13, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The National Hockey League and the union representing its players have reached a labor agreement, which if ratified would mean that it will play a season in 2005-06 after skipping 2004-05.

NBC has a two-year agreement to broadcast the NHL that was supposed to begin last season. Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal sports, said, “I’m delighted to hear the great news that peace has come about in our time. I’m delighted to be their partner as it moves into a new era.”

Mr. Ebersol said he expects the league to enact rule changes that will make games faster moving and higher scoring, including restrictions on the size of the equipment worn by goal tenders.

ESPN, which carried NHL games on cable, decided last month not to pick up its $60 million option to televise the games. Reportedly the league declined to cut its fee. With the labor agreement announced Wednesday, an ESPN executive said the network is not bidding on the NHL.