ABC/ESPN Boosts NHL's Sponsors List

A strong upfront TV advertising market under a new seven-year NHL TV contract with Walt Disney’s TV networks and platforms has pulled in a big roster of marketers.

This includes NHL official league marketing partners -- Apple, Discover, Dunkin, EA Sports, GEICO, Honda, Jägermeister, MassMutual, Navy Federal Credit Union, New Amsterdam Vodka, SAP and Verizon.

Major deals also include a presenting sponsorship with Expedia for 25 ABC and ESPN regular-season linear TV games, and a pre- and post-game presenting sponsorship with Verizon.

Other big deals include first- and second-period intermission presenting sponsorships for Lexus and Discover, respectively.

A roster of other major in-game and studio sponsor deals include Expedia, Fidelity, Goodyear, Lexus, Progressive, Procter & Gamble; Subway and Taco Bell.

This year, there will be a total of103 exclusive regular-season games on ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC -- with 18 games on ESPN, 10 games on ABC and 75 games on ESPN+ and Hulu.



In addition, ESPN+ will have exclusive coverage of more than 1,000 out-of-market NHL games available throughout the season.

ESPN will air four of the seven Stanley Cup Finals, with three being aired by Turner Sports. Turner and ESPN will also split the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Disney’s ESPN last aired the NHL game in 2004. Since then, it has been with NBCUniversal.

Last year on the NBCUniversal TV networks (NBCSN; NBC Television Network, USA Network, and CNBC), and the NHL channel, the NHL pulled in $240.5 million in total national TV advertising for regular/postseason ad inventor, according to estimates.

This was for a shortened season, which ran January 13 through July 7, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic disruption.

It was the last season of NBCU’s 16-year run with the NHL.

Big advertisers last season on NBCUniversal networks included Lexus, Honda, Geico, Discover Card, Volkswagen, New Amsterdam Spirits, T-Mobile, Subway, Liberty Mutual and the Navy Federal Credit Union.

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