Amazon in Discussions to Acquire NHL TV Rights from Rogers

There is a big shift in how Canadian viewers might view NHL games sooner rather than later. A report which has now been widely circled, Amazon Prime Video is closing in on the rights to a package of nationally broadcasted NHL games in Canada. A seismic splash by Prime Video means that the streaming platform would be the first to allow those using its services to view hockey more easily. This marks yet another impressive addition to Prime Video’s sports inventory and a potential snowball effect into other larger moves the company will attempt to make regarding sports TV rights.

As per TheStreamable.com, there are a few things that this entire deal means:

  • Rogers Communications could sell Amazon a package of Monday night NHL games, both in the regular season and playoffs.
  • This would be a two-season deal which sees the deal run until the national broadcast rights for the NHL in Canada would be for sale again.
  • The pursuit of NHL rights in Canada provides another sign that Prime Video wants to own the TV rights to as many marquee North American sports as they can acquire.

Rogers Communications signed a 12-year deal worth $5.2 billion with the NHL for national broadcast rights in Canada back in 2014-15. As of right now, there is an indication that Rogers is looking to offload Monday games for the remainder of the regular season and all of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games. This is due to what is called cord-cutting and a secondary factor that Canadian teams are consistently incapable of competing for a Stanley Cup which massively affects their ratings.

While that is the business mindset, having 25 American NHL teams and just seven Canadian NHL teams plays a massive factor in Canadian teams not competing every year for a Stanley Cup. The last time that we had a Canadian team compete for the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Canadians who faced the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. Before Montreal’s appearance that year, it was the Vancouver Canucks who made the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Ten years split between the previous two teams to appear in the Stanley Cup Final and now 30 years since the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup. That 1993 team also happened to be the Montreal Canadians.

The decline in ratings, specifically in Canada, could prompt the NHL to strike a deal to have a streamer like Prime Video carrying more Canadian NHL games when it’s time to find a new home for the national broadcasting rights. The United States has a firm deal in place to broadcast games on ESPN and TNT until the 2027-28 season has concluded. The NHL could either pursue a streaming partner and/or find a brand-new home for their national broadcasting rights in Canada.

This could mean that the NHL and the heavily restricted viewership that has been imposed throughout North America. Hockey fans want to watch hockey. Hockey fans don’t want to be restricted from watching their favourite teams. The changes of potentially bringing the NHL to a streaming service could change the entire landscape before we know it. What are your thoughts? Do you think the NHL should consider moving Canadian broadcasting to Prime Video entirely? Let us at Inside The Rink know your thoughts!

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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