Sources: NHL, ESPN reach seven-year U.S. broadcast deal

A TV camera is seen prior to a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks in January 2017. (Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Significant murmurs surfaced Tuesday that the NHL has sewn up one-half of its new U.S. media rights package.

ESPN is believed to have reached a seven-year deal to become one of the league’s media partners starting next season, according to multiple league and industry sources.

There was no confirmation from the NHL on an agreement that is expected to see ESPN get the rights to broadcast four Stanley Cup Finals between 2022 and 2028, plus streaming rights for Disney.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately available, nor was it clear which other media company would split the package with ESPN.

NBC currently pays $200 million annually for exclusive U.S. media rights that expire after this season.

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