ESPN Toys With NHL Following Recent Decision

Published July 30, 2023 at 8:39 PM
BY WADE MESSIER
     
While many fans had optimism when ESPN signed their lengthy television broadcasting rights contract with the NHL, that optimism has since ceased. The sports broadcasting giant has repeatedly put NHL hockey on the back burner, leaving a sour taste in fans' mouths.

Unfortunate Circumstances



ESPN has already tried and failed to successfully promote NHL hockey once before, and while many would've moved on, they didn't. They re-entered the game of hockey after the NHL's previous deal expired, and negotiated a long-term deal for the television rights to NHL games.

While you would think this means they'd be promoting the game to their many viewers, they've consistently passed on the sport for prime time slots in favor of other leagues, and the most recent is truly embarrassing.



Despite not showing NHL hockey on their main channel, ESPN has been broadcasting Professional Pickball Association matches on their main channel, which garners hundreds of thousands if not millions of viewers daily.

Long Road Ahead



It gets worse from there, however, as ESPN's deal with the NHL lasts through the 2027-28 season.

This means that hockey will likely fail to grow over the next five years or so, leading to a drop off in viewership and a decrease in popularity in favor of other major sports, such as soccer (MLS).

While we as fans can only hope otherwise, it doesn't look good for the game of hockey.

As Seen on Twitter
SHOULD ESPN HAVE EVER GOTTEN THE NHL'S TV RIGHTS?
JULY 30      95 ANSWERS
YES99.5 %
NO8690.5 %
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