— NEW YORK - The National Hockey League and NBC Sports today announced an extension through the 2010-11 season of their revenue-sharing partnership — one that has achieved viewership milestones, programming and production innovations, awards and critical acclaim. The joint announcement was made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports.
“The NHL/NBC partnership has been terrific. Our association has led to such technical innovations as the ‘Inside the Glass’ reporting and to such programming advancements as the extremely popular Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final was broadcast television's most-watched hockey game in 36 years, which makes clear the NHL and NBC are building an audience, are building momentum and are perfectly positioned to continue growing the game."
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL and build on all the positive momentum on and off the ice," said Schanzer. “Together, we have attained viewership milestones not seen in more than three decades. And the Winter Classic, in just two years, has become one of the highlights of the sports calendar. We strongly believe this is a league that is poised for continued growth.”
NBC Sports has achieved a number of ratings milestones including broadcasting the most-watched regular season game in 34 years (2009 Winter Classic) and the most-viewed NHL game overall in 36 years (Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals).
NBC Sports received a Sports Emmy Award for its promotion of the 2009 Winter Classic and the inaugural event garnered a Sports Business Journal Sport Business Award as Event of the Year.
NBC Sports’ 2010 NHL coverage begins on New Year’s Day with the third annual NHL Winter Classic.