The NHL & Sinclair Reach Multi-Year Digital Rights Agreement, Including Direct-to-Consumer

Sinclair Broadcasting Group announced today that their Diamond Sports Group subsidiary, the technical owner of Bally Sports RSNs, has reached a multi-year agreement with the NHL to continue its digital and outer market distribution rights. The renewal allows Bally Sports to “offer streaming content, including live games, on an authenticated and direct-to-consumer (DTC) basis, to the local territories of 12 NHL teams.”

The 12 teams that are included in the deal, who play on Bally Sports RSNs, are the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Under the agreement, the RSNs are allowed to expand on post-game highlights on Sinclair’s digital news platforms, alternative feeds, and use of the NHL’s proprietary Puck and Player Tracking data in the broadcasts of the games.

“We are incredibly proud to continue to partner with the NHL, with which we have had a long and successful relationship, to bring the fast pace and excitement of hockey to local fans across the country,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our announcement today signifies the importance that both parties place on the ability for sports viewers to consume content whenever and however they choose. The advent of a DTC model will further enhance flexibility for viewers, as well as offer them a highly-personalized and engaging experience, with functionality and interactivity well beyond what is offered today.”

With Bally Sports planning to launch a DTC streaming service in 2022, securing rights to the NHL is a major step in getting the ball rolling. It remains to be seen whether NBA and MLB teams will renew with Bally Sports RSNS, as it was recently reported that the NBA’s streaming rights had expired and the RSNs only had streaming rights for 4 MLB teams/ With Bally Sports securing the digital rights to the action on the ice, they’re doing their best to adapt to the future of sports streaming.