Tuesday, August 09, 2005

NHL about to get new TV deal

PHILADELPHIA (CP) - The NHL is on the verge of signing off with a new U.S. cable TV partner, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Comcast has formally submitted a two-year bid in excess of $100 million US to televise NHL games beginning this fall, sources directly involved in the discussions told the Inquirer in Tuesday's edition.
The deal calls for Comcast to televise two games a week nationally. The cable giant plans to put the games on its on its Outdoor Life Network, which is also available in Canada.
Comcast submitted its bid over the weekend, according to the Inquirer. The NHL could act on it by this weekend. The company is a major owner of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Comcast spokesperson Tim Fitzpatrick declined Monday to comment on the network's interest in the NHL. The NHL also declined when reached by the Inquirer.
If the NHL approves the deal, the contract will be forwarded to ESPN. In April, ESPN opted not to renew its $70-million option to televise the NHL for 2005-06 and 2006-07, but ESPN retains the right to match the new offer, a source told the Inquirer. ESPN has carried NHL games in the United States since 1985.
The NHL also has a national broadcast deal with NBC but needed a new cable partner after ESPN withdrew in April.

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