ESPN, NHL & NHLPA Reach Agreement for 2016 World Cup

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ESPN, NHL & NHLPA Reach Agreement for 2016 World Cup

Every Game Televised Exclusively On ESPN Networks

Audio, International Rights Included

ESPN, the National Hockey League (NHL®), and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have reached an agreement for every game of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey to be televised exclusively in the United States across ESPN networks, with most games on ESPN and ESPN2. The World Cup will take place at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October 1, 2016 and will culminate with a best-of-three final. A minimum of 16 games (17 if the final goes three) will be televised.

The tournament will feature teams from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Russia. Team Europe and Team North American Young Stars will round out the field.

ESPN Audio has the rights to exclusively broadcast every game in the United States and ESPN International has exclusive rights to the more than 20 countries served by its Pacific Rim and Latin North networks.

Live access to coverage on ESPN networks is also available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider.

“We are thrilled to resume our partnership with Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League and to work closely with Gary and Don Fehr of the National Hockey League Players’ Association to make the World Cup of Hockey on ESPN a reality,” said John Skipper, ESPN President. “We look forward to presenting this compelling tournament, with national pride at stake, to fans both in the United States and internationally.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman added, “ESPN broadcast the prior World Cup of Hockey, from Air Canada Centre. Now the World Cup is returning, with ESPN broadcasting in the U.S. We are very pleased and hope our fans will be, as well.”

“We are excited to have ESPN as our broadcast partner for what is going to be an incredible tournament featuring over 150 of the top hockey players in the world,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. “ESPN’s reach and storytelling approach will expose our players’ skill and personalities, something that we know will resonate with fans as the tournament unfolds.”

The telecast schedule will be announced at a later date. ESPN last televised the World Cup of Hockey in 2004. ESPN last televised NHL games from 1992 – 2004.

About the World Cup of Hockey

The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The eight teams participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will include Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe (pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden) and Team North American Young Stars (best young players 23 and younger from Canada and the United States).

The eight teams will be divided into two Groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned Group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each Group will advance to a single game semi-final against a team from the other Group. Winners of the semi-final games will advance to a best-of-three final round. All tournament games (round-robin, semi-final and final) will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 – October 1, 2016.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities. Based in Bristol, Conn., with approximately 4,200 employees (approximately 8,000 worldwide) ESPN Plaza includes nearly 1.2 million square feet in 18 buildings on 123 acres (additional 500,000 sq. ft. rented nearby). The company is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. In 2014, ESPN produced more than 47,000 hours of live event/studio programming across platforms.

About the NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters, vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Every year the NHL entertains more than 250 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 10 million fans on its social platforms; and more than 300 million fans online at NHL.com. In Canada, the 2014-15 season marks the beginning of a landmark 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with Rogers Communications, which includes national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages. In the U.S., the NHL is in the fourth season of its 10-year agreement with NBC and NBCSN, the 10th consecutive season both networks have served as national television partners. The NHL is committed to giving back to the community with programs including: Hockey is for Everyone™, which supports nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America; Hockey Fights Cancer™, raising money for local and national cancer organizations; NHL Green™, which is committed to pursuing sustainable business practices; and a partnership with the You Can Play Project, which is committed to supporting the LGBT community and fighting homophobia in sports. The NHL received three 2014 Sports Business Awards: “Sports League of the Year,” “Sports Executive of the Year” recognizing Commissioner Gary Bettman, and “Sports Event of the Year” for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. For more information, visit NHL.com.

About the National Hockey League Players’ Association
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 15 years, more than 70,000 deserving children in 32 countries have benefited from the players’ donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $22-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.

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Dave Nagle

It was 32 years at ESPN for me as of November 2018 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals and Indy 500; Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and ESPNPressRoom.com, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.
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