The current overseas broadcasting deal expires after Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks have concluded battle for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup.
An interesting summer lay in store then, no more so than for UK fans who have not always enjoyed the best coverage through Premier Sports.
Hence my surprise then when Rob Smith Surtees (something of an expert in the broadcasting rights of sports) alerted me to the fact that Premier Sports were emailing current and previous subscribers with their hockey coverage for next season.
Headlined “Over 600 Hockey Games Next Season On Your Home For Hockey” the below image has the “NHL” and “On the Fly” brand logos indicating that Premier Sports have secured the rights to broadcast the National Hockey League for next season at least..
An old email sent by mistake?
Doesn’t look that way, as the image shows the two teams competing for the 2016 Stanley Cup and also the “DEL” logo for the German Hockey League. The latter is something that Premier Sports does not currently cover and appears to be another addition.
So this the NHL on PS a done deal? Well apparently not, as unconfirmed sources say that there are still issues to be resolved.
On another note, the image also features the ‘Elite League” logo and the deal for next season is yet to be confirmed either, though it’s likely to do so.
***Upon release of this article I was informed by a subscriber who recently left PS, that the company urged said subscriber to stay, stating that PS had the rights for the NHL next season (2016/17)***
Back on October 6, 2015, it was announced that the International Media Group (IMG), and the National Hockey League have signed a multiyear agreement to market and distribute global media rights for the NHL outside the U.S., Canada and Nordic countries, beginning with the 2016-17 NHL season.
Link to a full article I wrote about that is here: http://wp.me/p2gDti-mj
So if indeed a deal has been struck with Premier Sports, this begs many questions.
How many years?
Will signal problems and blackouts be eliminated?
Will intermissions be featured or HNIC return as a feature?
Will there continue to be the conflict between the NHL’s official GCL product and Premier Sports coverage?
Time will only tell but it’s appears that Premier Sports may have dropped the ball a little by prematurely releasing this email.