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ESPN Remains Interested in the NHL

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From Bloomberg News

ESPN, which in April declined its $60-million option to telecast the NHL this season, is now interested in matching any deal the league makes for broadcast rights, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

Comcast Corp., the biggest cable operator in the U.S., is close to a two-year agreement for more than $100 million to show NHL games the next two seasons on its Outdoor Life Network.

ESPN released a statement that said: “We have a matching right and remain interested in continuing our relationship with the NHL, as long as the deal is commensurate with the value of the rights being offered.”

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When ESPN declined its $60-million option, officials said the games weren’t even worth half that. The league received $600 million over five years under its previous contract with ESPN and ABC that expired after the 2003-04 season.

ESPN doubled ratings mostly showing college basketball in place of hockey on ESPN2 last season.


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