NEW YORK -- Less than a month after signing a TV deal
with Comcast, the NHL has inked a long-term radio contract.
On Monday, the NHL announced an exclusive 10-year, $100 million
agreement with XM Satellite Radio. The network will become the
league's exclusive satellite radio broadcast partner in 2007.
XM Satellite Radio, which has over 4.4 million subscribers, will
begin broadcasting NHL games on opening night, October 5.
Last month, the league announced a multi-year pact with cable
giant Comcast, which will televise at least 58 regular-season
games on its Outdoor Life Network. XM Satellite Radio will
cover over 1,000 games per season, including the All-Star Game,
the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final.
"We're delighted to have XM as our newest satellite radio
partner," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "At this exciting
time in the league's history, a new partnership with XM allows
us to offer hockey fans unprecedented NHL coverage on the
nation's largest satellite radio service."
XM will create a dedicated NHL radio channel, which will be
available in Canada through its partner Canadian Satellite
Radio. CSR, which is funding a portion of the agreement,
recently was approved by the Federal Cabinet as a licensed
distributor of satellite radio in Canada.
"We are thrilled about the National Hockey League's decision to
partner with XM Satellite Radio," XM president and CEO Hugh
Panero said. "The clear winners of this partnership are the
millions of hockey fans in the U.S. and in Canada who are
incredibly passionate about their favorite NHL team and who will
now be able to follow them regardless of where they call home."