The National Hockey League has signed the largest-ever media rights deal in its history, and the counter-party is Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI). In a press conference held by both entities this morning, it was announced that Rogers will pay C$5.232 billion ($4.96 billion) for the Canadian rights to broadcast all of the league's games, including the playoffs and the Stanley Cup final. The deal kicks off with the 2014-2015 season, and will run for 12 years.
Rogers will also hold multimedia rights to the games and will stream them live through the Internet and mobile devices, and over satellite radio.
The move is part of a broader strategic effort for the company. It quoted CEO Nadir Mohamed as saying that for Rogers ,"sports content is a key strategic asset, and we've been investing significantly to strengthen our sports offering to Canadians."
The company also announced that it had signed multi-year, sub-leasing agreements with national broadcasters CBC and TVA Sports for those networks to air selected regular- and post-season games. The financial terms of those arrangements were not disclosed.
The NHL-Rogers deal is subject to approval by the league's board of governors, which will next meet on Dec. 9 and 10.