The National Hockey League and NBC Sports extended their revenue-sharing partnership through the 2010-11 season, and the network’s coverage of the league will resume on New Year’s Day 2010 with the third annual NHL Winter Classic, in which the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins will take to the ice in Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
Under the current deal, NBC aired the most-watched regular-season NHL game in 34 years with its telecast of the 2009 NHL Winter Classic, in which the Detroit Red Wings prevailed over the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Game seven of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, in which the Pittsburgh Penguins captured the Cup, was also the most-viewed NHL game overall in 36 years.
NBC also debuted “Inside the Glass,” a reporter position between the teams’ benches first introduced by NBC hockey producer Sam Flood.
“The NHL/NBC partnership has been terrific,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Our association has led to such technical innovations as the ‘Inside the Glass’ reporting and to such programming advancements as the extremely popular Winter Classic. Game seven of the Stanley Cup Final was broadcast television’s most-watched hockey game in 36 years, which makes clear the NHL and NBC are building an audience, are building momentum and are perfectly positioned to continue growing the game.”