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NHL, Disney reach seven-year multi-platform broadcast deal

March 10 (Reuters) - The National Hockey League and Walt Disney Co have agreed to a seven-year TV, streaming and media rights deal that will bring games to ABC, ESPN and streaming platforms, the two organizations said on Wednesday.

The partnership, which will begin with the NHL’s 2021-22 season, is highlighted by exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final on ABC in four of the seven years of the agreement.

In total, there will be 100 exclusive regular-season games per season across ESPN’s networks and streaming platforms.

Additionally, the NHL’s out-of-market streaming package, with more than 1,000 games, will be available for fans to stream only as part of an ESPN+ subscription.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the deal, which includes digital, highlight and international rights, “groundbreaking” and one that would allow the league to benefit from the power, reach and influence of Disney.

“It sets a new standard in delivering our game to the most passionate and tech-savvy fans in sports in the ways they now demand and on the platforms they use,” Bettman said in a news release.

ESPN and ABC will have exclusive live coverage of one Conference Final series and half of all first-round and second- round playoff games in each season of the agreement.

Throughout the regular season, 25 games from the NHL schedule will be carried live, exclusively on ABC or ESPN.

The deal will also see 75 national regular-season games per season produced by ESPN that will be streamed exclusively on both ESPN+ and Hulu.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney

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