The National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, MLB's interactive and online broadcast arm, have come to terms on a deal that would give the NHL access to the same Emmy award-winning production assets that the MLB enjoys. The six year deal would effectively create "a fully integrated global hub of digital content that encompasses video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy, apps, along with statistical and analytical content." Basically, all the cool stuff that baseball fans enjoy at MLB.com is coming to hockey fans at the start on next year.
So the deal is this: MLBAM will get distribution rights to all live out-of-market games, including everything broadcast through GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice. What's more, MLBAM will also now run NHL.com and all of its subsidiary team sites and any associated apps. However the NHL and its individual teams will retain editorial control over what gets published. In return, MLBAM will provide the NHL with studio space and production resources. MLBAM is expected to take over the revamped NHL sites in January 2016.
"As the market leader, MLBAM is uniquely qualified to assist us in giving hockey fans a richer, more immersive experience with the game," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "MLBAM is also the right partner because they have the expertise to help us deliver new and exciting products to our fans, who crave compelling digital content. We couldn't have North America better covered than with the power of NBC, Rogers, TVA and MLBAM – an incredible convergence of technical, creative and production talent that is great news for our fans."
[Image Credit: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (L) and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (R) -- NHLI via Getty Images]