NHL On HBO Max Might Not Come Soon

NHL broadcasts have a new home on Turner's networks, but HBO Max might be some time off.


The National Hockey League has reached a new TV rights deal with Turner Sports, and as part of it, games will air on HBO Max, though it might not happen soon, if it ever does at all. The press release announcing the deal mentions that live broadcasts and simulcasts will come to HBO Max, meaning you can flip between The Sopranos and the NHL, if you want to.

In a call with media attended by Deadline, WarnerMedia's Jeff Zucker said you shouldn't expect NHL games to come to HBO Max soon. "We're going to figure that out now," he said. "What we're excited about in this deal is that we have that flexibility and optionality. "But it's not imminent and it's not going to happen this year, in this calendar year. Our emphasis in the year ahead will certainly be on TNT and TBS. In the years to come, I think you'll see HBO Max and those digital platforms be a different part."

It would be the first live sports programming on HBO Max, but it's not the first deal of its type across streaming. NBC's Peacock service has deals for the Premier League, WWE, and the Olympics.

The NHL's deal with Turner will bring NHL games to TNT and TBS, along with rights to broadcast NHL games "to authenticated subscribers across all WarnerMedia platforms."

Up to 72 regular season games each year and the NHL Winter Classic are part of the new deal. Turner is also getting the Stanley Cup Final for three of the seven years of the deal, half of the Stanley Cup playoffs each year, and more.

Turner is the second new TV rights partner for the NHL. In March, the NHL and ESPN reached a seven-year deal for TV rights. Both the Turner and ESPN deals begin for the 2021-2022 season.

NBC Sports was the previous home for the NHL on broadcast TV, but it dropped out of the rights negotiations.

It remains to be seen if the NHL's new rights deals with ESPN and Turner have any impact on EA Sports' NHL series. GameSpot has contacted the publisher in an attempt to get more information.

Turner's deal with the NHL is said to be worth $225 million per season, according to The Athletic. It's just the latest major TV broadcast deal to be announced this year, after the NFL announced a $110 billion rights deal.

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