Get this: even though there are no NHL games due to the lockout right now, the league is still getting TV money. That’s right, even with no games being broadcast, the NHL is still going to rake in a cool $180 million, thanks to their massive ten-year broadcasting deal with NBC.
According to Sam Cardichi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, as per the contract between the NHL and NBC, NBC is paying for “rights fees”, as in the rights to broadcast NHL games, and are not paying per-game. So, the NHL still rakes in all that TV revenue, even though there has yet to be, and may not be, an NHL game on TV this season.
However, NBC does have a little fail-safe built into the contract. Since the deal with structured with a potential lockout in mind, if there are no games played at all this year, the network will get a “free” eleventh year tacked onto the original deal, a year in which NBC won’t have to pay for the rights to broadcast NHL games.
Maybe this is why the NHL hasn’t been so hasty to put together a concise deal to end the lockout as quickly as possible.
By Arun Morace