NHL Network (U.S. TV network)
|Launched||October 1, 2007|
|Owned by||National Hockey League (84.4%)
NBCUniversal (Comcast) (15.6%)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Where the NHL Gets Hockey|
|Headquarters||New York, New York
Secaucus, New Jersey, United States
|Dish Network||157 (HD/SD)|
|DishHD (Taiwan)||6365 (HD)|
|Time Warner Cable||312|
|Verizon FiOS||587 (HD)
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
NHL Network is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is owned as a joint venture between the National Hockey League (which owns a controlling 84.4% interest) and NBCUniversal (which owns the remaining 15.6%). Dedicated to ice hockey, the network features live game telecasts from the NHL and other professional and collegiate hockey leagues, as well as NHL-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries.
The NHL Network has studios in New York, NY, from which it produces NHL Live and in Secaucus, New Jersey, from which it produces NHL On The Fly and NHL Tonight.
Launched on October 1, 2007, the NHL Network was developed out of a joint venture between the NHL and cable provider Comcast, as part of a broadcast rights agreement that resulted in the NBC Sports Network (then known as OLN) acquiring partial cable television rights to regular season, and Stanley Cup Playoff and Finals games from the National Hockey League.
The NHL Network originally shared some programming with its former sister network in Canada, with the main differences in programming between the two networks being the carriage of domestically targeted commercials and live game telecasts (for example, the Canadian version may show games televised in the U.S. on NBCSN, while the U.S. version airs Hockey Night in Canada games shown in Canada on the Rogers family of networks and CBC, as well as Rogers Hometown Hockey during non-NBC game days). Live games on NHL Network that involve U.S. teams are non-exclusive, and are blacked out in the markets of U.S. teams involved in favor of local broadcasters.
The league hired Ascent Media to manage and distribute the channel, through its publicly traded subsidiary, Ascent Media Network Services. When it launched, the NHL Network became the third sports-oriented cable network devoted to programming from and controlled by a major sports league, following the National Basketball Association-owned NBA TV (which launched in March 1999) and the National Football League-owned NFL Network (which launched in November 2003); Major League Baseball would launch its own sports channel, MLB Network, on January 1, 2009.
On June 1, 2015, The Globe and Mail columnist David Shoalts reported that NHL Network in Canada would cease operations on September 1, 2015; national media rights to the NHL in Canada had been acquired by Rogers Communications beginning in the 2014-15 season, and the Bell Media staff members who managed the network's Canadian arm on behalf of the NHL were laid off that July.
In August 2015, it was announced that the NHL had reached a six-year deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) to take over the management of the NHL's digital properties, as well as NHL Network. Operations and production of NHL Network's programming was shifted from Toronto to the Secaucus, New Jersey facilities of MLB Network. There has been minor talent sharing between the networks, and MLB Network also helped to cross-promote an NHL Stadium Series game at Coors Field by building a scale hockey rink in its Studio 42, which itself is designed to resemble a scaled baseball field. For much of the 2015-16 season, NHL Network studio programming originated from re-themed versions of MLB Network's existing sets—which would have otherwise been underused as much of the NHL regular season falls during the MLB offseason. In April 2016, coinciding with the start of the post-season, NHL Network introduced a dedicated, 1,200 square-foot arena-themed set.
Comcast, owners of the league's current cable partner NBCSN, is also the largest cable television provider in the United States. The company was contractually obligated to carry NHL Network on its systems by the summer of 2007 at the latest, so it would be available in time for the 2007–08 NHL season. Both Comcast and the NHL had an option to terminate their contract after the 2006–07 season, which would have voided Comcast's obligation to launch a U.S. version of NHL Network, but opted to proceed with the launch.
Since its official launch in the United States, the NHL Network announced plans on October 8, 2007 to begin being carried that month on Cablevision, Charter, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Xfinity and Time Warner Cable through carriage agreements that were struck with each of the providers. DirecTV has aired NHL Network on channel 215 since October 31, 2007. Going forward, any provider that already carries NHL Center Ice was expected to begin carrying NHL Network on one of its programming tiers. Some providers offer NHL Network's high definition simulcast feed, which broadcasts all live games in HD.
NHL.com announced on January 12, 2009 that AT&T U-verse would begin carrying the channel. This was followed on June 2, 2009 with the announcement that NHL Network and Comcast had reached an agreement to carry the channel on the provider's Digital Classic Tier, which increased subscribership of the channel from the then-estimated two million subscribers in its placement on the "Sports Entertainment" tier to over 10 million on its Digital Classic package. Internationally, the network began to be distributed in Taiwan in 2010 on satellite provider DishHD.
- National Hockey League – NHL Network broadcasts up to 80 regular season NHL games six days a week. Saturday games broadcast by the network are sourced by Canadian television network Rogers Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada telecasts.
- NCAA Hockey – The network holds broadcast rights to live NCAA college hockey games, which air Friday nights during the season.
- World Junior Championship – A preeminent worldwide junior tournament held annually that features national hockey teams from 10 countries in an elimination contest for a gold medal.
- Minor League Hockey – NHL Network maintains broadcast rights to live and tape-delayed coverage of American Hockey League (AHL) games.
- Memorial Cup – The network runs the annual junior hockey tournament, in which league champions from the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) compete for the Memorial Cup championship trophy.
- NHL Tonight (formerly NHL on the Fly) – NHL Network's signature show, which covers on- and off-ice NHL news with highlights, interviews and analysis. Airs nightly at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- NHL on the Fly (formerly NHL on the Fly: Final) – This program covers on- and off-ice NHL news with highlights, interviews and analysis. Airs nightly at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time or after each day's scheduled games are completed. The series debuted on December 26, 2011.
- NHL Live! – A two-hour program that features interviews with NHL players and insight from NHL insiders (such as Bob McKenzie, Kevin Allen and Ed Olczyk). The program also shows viewers voicing their opinions from social media on noteworthy news from the day. Broadcasting live from Studio K at MLB Network Studios, the program airs weekdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- Sportsnet Hockey Central at Noon - Talk program hosted by Daren Millard and features analysts Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean
- Top 10 – A countdown program focusing on hockey-related topics, from great performances to memorable moments.
- Frozen in Time – A retrospective program that features a look back at the greatest moments in the NHL from players, teams, and special events.
- Classic Series – A collection of highlights from a past Stanley Cup Playoff series.
- Vintage Games – NHL Network airs archived broadcasts of past NHL games in their entirety from the game's original broadcaster.
- Pioneers – A profile series in which NHL legends discuss their groundbreaking careers.
- "The NHL/MLBAM deal is worth $1.2 billion over six years, involves equity, NHL Network shift". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- Shoalts, David [dshoalts] (June 1, 2015). "Bad news last week for about 20 staffers at NHL Network Canada. They were told league is closing Canadian operation Sept. 1." (Tweet). Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "What we know about the NHL on TV, radio and streaming media in 2015-16". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "MLB and NHL Networks to cross-promote this weekend's NHL Stadium Series game in Denver". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
- "NHL Network unveils new hockey-themed set "The Rink"". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- Media Week
- Sports Business Journal
- DishNetwork.com(CenterIce Package)
- "AT&T U-Verse TV channel lineup scores NHL Network and NHL Network HD". NHL.com. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
- Comcast to Carry NHL Network on Digital Classic Tier, Broadcasting & Cable, June 2, 2009
- The Puck Stops Here: NHL Net Goes Dark On U-Verse Multichannel News October 1, 2011