It is highlighted by: exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final on ABC in four of the seven years of the agreement, with the ability to simulcast/megacast on ESPN+ and additional ESPN networks; the return of live NHL action to ESPN networks with 25 exclusive national regular-season games on ABC or ESPN; 75 national regular-season games per season produced by ESPN that will stream exclusively on both ESPN+ and Hulu; half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on ABC and ESPN each season; and coverage annually of NHL's Face-off (opening night games), the NHL All-Star Game and Skills Challenge, plus other NHL special events each season.
Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution said, "This is the kind of innovative deal that only The Walt Disney Company and our portfolio of media platforms and businesses can bring to life. The combination of streaming leadership with ESPN+ and Hulu, along with our powerhouse ABC and ESPN networks, will bring the NHL into the homes and lives of millions of passionate fans - and help create new ones. It's a hat trick that delivers incredible value to our partner, our business and consumers."
Beginning with the start of the 2021-22 season in October, ESPN+ will stream more than 1,000 live NHL games per season, including 75 national games per season produced by ESPN and streamed exclusively on both ESPN+ and Hulu, a first. Additionally, ESPN+ subscribers get truly incredible value with more than 1,000 out-of-market games now available digitally only on the industry-leading sports streaming service - making it a must-have for hockey fans. ESPN+, which topped 12.1 million subscribers by the end of 2020, nearly doubling in a year, also features "In the Crease" an exclusive original highlights show, hosted by ESPN's Linda Cohn and Barry Melrose each NHL gameday throughout the season.
The new agreement also showcases that Hulu is a truly distinctive streaming product and marks the first major sports agreement to i