NHL awards ’16 World Cup broadcasting rights to ESPN, Sportsnet and TVA

50 Comments

On Wednesday, the NHL announced that U.S. broadcasting rights for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey have been awarded to ESPN.

From the league:

The deal covers all tournament games – round-robin, semi-final and the best-of-three final – for the 2016 tournament and includes exclusive rights on television and radio, with most games to appear on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN International gains the exclusive rights in over 20 countries served by its Pacific Rim and Latin North networks. Additionally, live access to coverage of the event on ESPN networks will be 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 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.”

“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.,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We are very pleased and hope our fans will be, as well.”

As for the Canadian broadcasting rights, Sportsnet has been awarded the English-language rights and Quebec-based outlet TVA the French-language rights. More on those announcements here.

The 2016 World Cup will take place in Toronto from Sept. 17-Oct. 1, and will be comprised of eight teams: Canada, U.S. Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Team Europe and Team North American Young Stars.

Per the release, teams will be divided into two groups, with the top two from each group advancing to a single-game semifinal. From there, the two winners will meet in a best-of-three finale.