Hockey East announced its “most expansive and comprehensive media rights agreements” on Wednesday, extending its partnership with NESN, while beginning a six-year deal with ESPN this fall.
NESN will broadcast at least 50 men’s and women’s games each season, including the entirety of Hockey East’s men’s semifinals and championship at TD Garden. It is a multi-year deal, though the exact length was not specified.
The new agreement with ESPN is significant. ESPN+ will become the new home for all men’s and women’s games while ESPNU will air three games per season as well. It will also stream the entirety of Hockey East’s men’s and women’s tournaments. The women’s championship will be broadcast on an ESPN network.
This deal replaces Hockey East’s previous contract with Viacom/CBS, which aired games on CBS All-Access during the 2019-20 season and CollegeSportsLive during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns.
ESPN has dubbed itself the “Home of Hockey” with the rights to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, the ECAC, NHL and PHF. Hockey East will be the latest league to join that lineup.
“Hockey East is delighted to begin an exciting and comprehensive digital and linear partnership with ESPN,” Hockey East Commissioner Steve Metcalf said in a release. “By placing the top collegiate hockey conference on the ‘Home of Hockey,’ Hockey East can now provide our fans with the premier live-viewing experience in all of sports and allow the league to showcase the stories of our student athletes both on and off the ice.”
“ESPN is proud to add rights to Hockey East, one of the sport’s premier conferences, to our ever-growing lineup of top-level hockey leagues and events,” ESPN’s senior director of programming Dan Margulis said. “With half of the over 300 games annually dedicated to women’s hockey, we are very excited to help grow the sport across ESPN platforms.”
ESPN+ costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. The platform also includes a host of college sports, soccer leagues and original programming.
Hockey East will release its 2022-23 schedule at a later date.