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Turner Gets 3 Stanley Cup Finals & Winter Classic

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

Kate Constable

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Having announced a seven-year deal with the NHL on Tuesday, Turner officially joined ESPN as one of the league’s TV partners. The deal will begin this fall with the 2021-22 season.

According to Awful Announcing, Turner did not release the yearly fee their paying but noted that Sports Business Journal estimates the total cost at $1.575 billion over the seven years, or $225 million per year.

When adding the $400 million per season that ESPN is paying, the NHL is raking in $625 million per year, which is more than double what NBC – who had been the league’s only national TV partner for the last 10 years before being replaced – and ESPN had currently been paying, as noted by Awful Announcing.

A report by Sportico notes that “TNT will televise the three Stanley Cup Finals not already claimed by fellow newcomer ESPN, as well as the Winter Classic.”

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

TNT will also have streaming and simulcast rights for HBO, although Sportico notes that WarnerMedia News & Sports chairman Jeff Zucker and his team won’t rush into bringing hockey “over-the-top.”

“We’re really focused on the Turner networks, TNT and TBS, given their full distribution,” Zucker said during a call with sports reporters on Tuesday. “We’re excited to have the optionality to put these games on HBO Max as well, and that will happen in years to come as HBO Max continues to grow. We’re going to skate where the puck is going… but it’s not imminent, and it’s not going to happen this year.”

The report also notes that Turner is assembling a studio show and NHL broadcast team but, between the NBA, MLB and March Madness games, it’s undecided as to which night will serve as the weekly hockey telecast.

An NHL studio show similar to Inside the NBA is also in the works, according to Sportico.

“Obviously, there’s a style to Turner Sports, and we want to bring that same approach to the NHL,” Zucker said, before saying that the show that bows next fall will be “innovative, fun and dynamic.”

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Notre Dame Expects Next Media Rights Deal to be Worth $60 Million Annually

Notre Dame is reportedly seeking $75 million per year, while Sports Business Journal figures the school would get closer to $60 million.

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris Coduto

There are still a few more seasons until Notre Dame starts the process of hammering out a new media rights deal, but it’s believed the FBS independent could have its next partner shelling out more than double what NBC is currently paying.

NBC, which appears to be a front-runner alongside CBS to be one of the key rights partners in the Big Ten’s new contract, currently pays $25 million each year for rights to Fighting Irish football according to Front Office Sports.

Notre Dame is reportedly seeking $75 million per year, while Sports Business Journal figures the school would get closer to $60 million.

Viewership for Fighting Irish games was reportedly down 48% year-over-year for the 2021 season, averaging 2.5 million viewers. The year before that, the pandemic season in 2020, viewership for Notre Dame was its best since 2005.

Notre Dame remains an independent in football, but is in the ACC for its other programs. The Fighting Irish do play some ACC schools in football. With NBC and the Big Ten apparently becoming new partners, it’s believed that Notre Dame would then have more Big Ten opponents in football.

The current contract between the school and NBC ends in 2025.

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Robert Griffin III Replaces Randy Moss on Monday Night Countdown

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program.

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Robert Griffin III
David Becker, Getty Images

With Monday Night Countdown set to lead into Thursday’s preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, ESPN announced their lineup for the show.

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program. Robert Griffin III will join Booger McFarland and Steve Young as the show’s main analysts.

They will be partnered with Suzy Kolber who returns for her sixth year as the show’s host and news breaker Adam Schefter.

It was reported in July that analyst Randy Moss would not be returning to the show, opting instead to focus solely on Sunday Night Countdown.

The first regular season action featuring Monday Night Countdown will be on Monday, September 12 when the Seahawks play the Denver Broncos.

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Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

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The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

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