Last month, we talked about the NHL’s return to ESPN.
Today, we get to talk about their other new home, and one they’ve only barely been on before: TNT...or TBS...or HBO....
Look Turner owns a lot of stations, alright?
The point is that The Athletic, as well as multiple hockey and business type publications (and also the NY Post) began confirming yesterday that the rest of the NHL’s broadcasting rights for 2022 have been picked up by WarnerMedia’s television subsidiary, known only as Turner Broadcasting, to the tune of $225 Million. You should also expect to spend your new year's day on TNT, for the Winter Clsssic now makes it's home there.
The NHL will be having a Board of Governors call later today to update the upcoming US TV picture. 4 of next 7 Stanley Cups on @ESPN; 3 on Turner.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 26, 2021
The NHL actually has very little history with Ted Turner’s former media empire, as TBS only ever carried Atlanta Flames games for much of the late 70’s up until 1980 (and to let you know how much people cared about that Atlanta team, there are no local broadcasts I could find as an example that didn’t involve Atlanta being the away team), and TNT, now their flagship station, hasn’t hosted any NHL content at all.
NBC supposedly was at the table for quite awhile before backing out, creating a hole for Turner to fill. Which does mean we’re moving away from much of the NBC presentation style, as well as John Forslund, Liam, Pierre, Mike Milbury, and a host of other talents and pet peeves we got to experience over the past decade and change I suspect at least a few of them will be shuffled towards football, sent to TNT, or olympic coverage once that kicks up.
But don’t get it twisted, most of the national broadcasts will still be on ESPN, as they’re the primary partner. I imagine quite a few of the more unusual parts of the schedule may end up on TNT. There are some reports that suggest that CBS is also involved for finals games, but that is very rumor heavy at the moment, so until anything is confirmed, we’re just gonna leave it at that.
And with that, we wait with baited breath for the 2022 National TV schedule! Which network do you think Boston will be on more? ESPN or TNT?
More importantly, which Inside the NBA talent will they drag on to bamboozle with hockey’s myriad idiosyncrasies? I hope it’s Shaq. I want to watch him marvel at a toe drag.