Nbc Ices New Deal With Nhl
In a deal that suggests that NBC Sports and Olympics chief Dick Ebersol is still firmly in the driver's seat, the network has agreed to pay the National Hockey League $2 billion for rights to air its games over the next ten years. That amounts to $200 million a year compared to $75 million it pays under its current contract with the NHL. The deal was concluded even as speculation arose that Comcast, NBC's new owner, would veto another deal to air the Olympic Games if the deal became simply a loss leader -- as it turned out to be for the Vancouver Winter Olympics last year and is certain to be for the London Summer Olympics next year. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter following the announcement of the NHL agreement, Ebersol conceded, "To some degree I overbid in 2003, and the marketplace was not quite reset post the economic crisis of late [2008 and 2009]." He insisted, however, that turning a profit on multibillion-dollar sports deals "is a mandate that I've lived with for a long time."