NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC and the National Hockey League said on Wednesday they have extended their broadcast deal for professional hockey games through the 2008-09 season.
NBC, a unit of General Electric, has seen ratings for the games rise this year as the hockey league continues to woo back fans after a work stoppage that forced cancellation of the 2004-05 season. Ratings for the NHL “Sunday Game of the Week” on NBC were up 11 percent over last year, the network said.
NBC and the NHL first announced a two-year TV deal in 2004, then extended it last year.
“There have been positive signs for the league, both on and off the ice,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “We’re thrilled We believe this is a sport that will continue to grow.”
Under the terms of the deal, NBC will continue to broadcast the NHL’s “Sunday Game of the Week” during the regular season, using a “flexible scheduling” system that allows it to select from up to three games on Sunday afternoons.
NBC also will offer extensive coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup final, up to 15 post-season games.
Financial details of the revenue-sharing deal were not disclosed.