Turner will be getting rights to some Stanley Cup Finals as part of the deal.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL will conduct a Board of Governors call later Monday to update the upcoming US TV picture. Four of the next seven Stanley Cups will be on ESPN, with the other three on Turner, per Friedman.
If the deal with TNT is finalized, next season will mark the first time since the 2005-06 season that NBC will not carry NHL games. The network reportedly pulled out of the bidding for the league’s second TV package.via New York Post
First off, just having hockey on the mothership is great. Not just for the coverage of the sport, but for the popularity of it. When NHL left ESPN in the mid-to-late 2000’s it was legitimately sad. They floated around on like Versus for a while (pour one out for Versus), and then ultimately landed on the newly rebranded NBC Sports Network.
And it’s not that NBC Sports didn’t do a great job with hockey coverage. They did awesome. But it was never easy to find. Remember watching playoff games on CNBC sandwiched in between reruns of Shark Tank? Yeah, well, it’s for that reason, I’m out.
But now that it’s on ESPN, we won’t have to check our TV Guide for what channel ABC or ESPN 2 is on – and since Turner isn’t the primary station, we probably won’t need to go hunting for TruTV either. Hockey will be easily accessible on our televisions. Kids these days have never known what that feels like.
If Turner’s NHL coverage is anything like their NBA coverage, then it’s going to be so bad ass. TNT kills it with NBA to the point where I legitimately get sad after the conference finals every year knowing every Finals game will be exclusively on ABC/ESPN. Plus, TBS’s baseball coverage is just as good – and even better in some parts – than FOX’s. So this should be awesome news for not just NHL fans but just straight-up sports fans.
Plus, if this means more Ernie Johnson, then SIGN. ME. UP. Ernie is the man and we could all use a little more of him on our TV screen. Plus, we’re all but guaranteed at least one video clip of Charles Barkley trying to skate. He’ll fall. We’ll all giggle and the clip will go viral. Is as sure of a thing as Charles slurring his R’s.
Meanwhile, Turner will be on our TV’s pretty much year-round: March for NCAA Tournament, April through June for NBA and now NHL playoffs, October for MLB postseason, and November through March for watching Family Guy reruns and The Dark Knight.
UPDATE: With this new deal, some games will be featured on HBO Max as well. So we decided to make an intro for it.