NHL signs on with NBC/Versus for 10 more years
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NHL games will remain on Versus and NBC for an additional 10 years, the league and the networks announced Tuesday.
NBC and Versus will televise 100 regular-season games nationally, and there will be a new Thanksgiving Friday game on NBC. The agreement, according to sources who are familiar with the new contract but are not authorized to speak publicly, is worth $2 billion over the 10-year contract.
Under the deal, NBC will televise a national game of the week and the Winter Classic, and Versus will also have a game of the week and keep coverage of the All-Star game.
Versus and NBC will carry all the Stanley Cup playoffs games nationally. Also, the conference semifinals will be carried exclusively on the two networks.
Dick Ebersol, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, also said that Versus will be renamed sometime in the next 60 days in a way that will make it clear that the network is now affiliated with NBC.
According to the NHL, television ratings have risen 84% over the last four years.
-- Diane Pucin