Hockey East Inks ESPN Deal, Extends NESN Partnership
Hockey East has reached a new six-year media rights agreement with ESPN and ESPN+ that will bring games from one of collegiate hockey’s premier conferences to ESPN’s television and streaming platforms. The agreement will feature the 21 NCAA Division I teams across the men’s and women’s leagues, beginning this fall through the 2027-28 season. The agreement includes over 300 games annually with all contests available on ESPN+ and features three games on ESPNU each season.
“Hockey East is delighted to begin an exciting and comprehensive digital and linear partnership with ESPN,” says Hockey East Commissioner Steve Metcalf. “By placing the top collegiate hockey conference on the ‘Home of Hockey,’ Hockey East can now provide our fans with the premier live-viewing experience in all of sports and allow the league to showcase the stories of our student athletes both on and off the ice.”
Streaming on ESPN+ will be all men’s and women’s home games throughout the season as well as the entirety of both the men’s and women’s postseason tournaments. The Hockey East Women’s Tournament Championship is set to be televised annually on an ESPN network.
“ESPN is proud to add exclusive rights to Hockey East, one of the sport’s premier conferences, to our ever-growing lineup of top-level hockey leagues and events,” says Dan Margulis, senior director of programming, ESPN. “With half of the over 300 games annually dedicated to women’s hockey, we are very excited to help grow the sport across ESPN platforms.”
This agreement further solidifies ESPN and ESPN+’s commitment to the sport of hockey across its television and streaming platforms, which already includes the NHL, ECAC and the NCAA men and women’s Frozen Four championship events. ESPN+ continues to establish itself as the new “Home of Hockey,” covering more than 1,000 NHL games this season, along with every game from the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF), over 350 games of the ECAC, and now the forthcoming Hockey East agreement.
The Hockey East Association has also reached a multi-year extension of its partnership with NESN as part the league’s most expansive and comprehensive media rights agreements in its 38-year history. The agreement extends the longest-running partnership in Hockey East history, dating back to the founding of both entities in 1984.
Under the extension, NESN is set to televise at least 50 Hockey East games each season. The slate will include some of the top regular season match ups and postseason contests from the men’s and women’s leagues. Additionally, the men’s semifinals and championship game from TD Garden will continue to enjoy full weekend coverage from NESN.
“Hockey East is proud to continue its long-standing relationship with NESN, one of the strongest partners of the league throughout its history,” says Metcalf. “Extending our relationship with such an iconic New England brand was an easy decision as Hockey East aims to deliver the best viewing experience possible to its fans each season. We look forward to working with NESN to create new and dynamic ways for Hockey East to reach our dedicated fan base.”
“NESN’s affiliation with Hockey East dates back to our founding in 1984 and the conference has continued to deliver exciting competition every season since,” says Sean McGrail, NESN’s president and CEO. “Hockey East programming is an integral part of our network and how we serve our New England sports fanbase, so we are incredibly excited to have extended our partnership once again.”
Hockey East will also continue to enjoy coverage throughout the hockey season on NESN, featuring player and coach interviews within NESN’s programming. In 2021-22, NESN and Hockey East debuted episodes of Hockey East: My Story, a collection of video features that highlighted the background of players in the men’s and women’s leagues and giving fans an inside look into the life of those who compete in Hockey East both on and off the ice.