|Broadcast area||United States|
|Headquarters||Secaucus, New Jersey, United States|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
|Owner||National Hockey League (84.4%)|
|Sister channels||Golf Channel|
|Launched||October 1, 2007|
|DirecTV Now (Grandfathered Plans Only)||Internet Protocol Television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol Television|
|FuboTV||Internet Protocol Television|
NHL Network is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is a joint venture between the National Hockey League (which owns a controlling 84.4% interest) and NBCUniversal (which owns the remaining 15.6%). Dedicated to ice hockey, the network features live game telecasts from the NHL and other professional and collegiate hockey leagues, as well as NHL-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries.
Launched on October 1, 2007, the NHL Network was developed out of a joint venture between the NHL and cable provider Comcast, as part of a broadcast rights agreement that resulted in the NBC Sports Network (then known as Outdoor Life Network) acquiring partial cable television rights to regular season, and Stanley Cup playoff and finals games from the National Hockey League. It became the third sports-oriented cable network devoted to programming from and controlled by one of the Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, following the National Basketball Association-owned NBA TV (which launched in March 1999) and the National Football League-owned NFL Network (which launched in November 2003); Major League Baseball would launch its own sports channel, MLB Network, on January 1, 2009.
On June 1, 2015, The Globe and Mail columnist David Shoalts reported that NHL Network in Canada would cease operations on September 1, 2015; national media rights to the NHL in Canada had been acquired by Rogers Communications beginning in the 2014–15 season, and the Bell Media employees who managed the network's Canadian arm on behalf of the NHL were laid off that July.
In August 2015, it was announced that the NHL had reached a six-year deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) to take over the management of the NHL's digital properties, as well as NHL Network. Operations and production of NHL Network's programming was shifted from Toronto to the Secaucus, New Jersey facilities of MLB Network. There has been minor talent sharing between the networks, and MLB Network cross-promoted an NHL Stadium Series game at Coors Field by building a scale hockey rink in its Studio 42 (which itself is designed to resemble a scaled baseball field). For much of the 2015–16 season, NHL Network studio programs originated from redecorated versions of MLB Network's existing studio sets (enabled by a lack of major overlap between the two leagues' regular seasons). In April 2016, coinciding with the start of the playoffs, NHL Network introduced its own 1,200 square-foot set, "The Rink".
The network will continue to operate under the league's new television contract consortium of ESPN and Turner Sports beginning with the 2021–22 season (which excludes NBCUniversal). NHL Network will continue to nationally air selected games not broadcast by either ESPN or Turner.
SiriusXM NHL Network Radio launched in 2013.
Comcast, owners of the league's former cable partner NBCSN, is also the largest cable television provider in the United States. The company was contractually obligated to carry NHL Network on its systems by the summer of 2007 at the latest, so it would be available in time for the 2007–08 NHL season. Both Comcast and the NHL had an option to terminate their contract after the 2006–07 season, which would have voided Comcast's obligation to launch a U.S. version of NHL Network, but opted to proceed with the launch.
Since its official launch in the United States, the NHL Network announced on October 8, 2007 that it would begin being carried that month on Cablevision, Charter, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Xfinity and Time Warner Cable through carriage agreements that were struck with each of the providers. DirecTV has aired NHL Network on channel 215 since October 31, 2007.
NHL.com announced on January 12, 2009 that AT&T U-verse would begin carrying the channel. This was followed on June 2, 2009 with the announcement that NHL Network and Comcast had reached an agreement to carry the channel on the provider's Digital Classic Tier, which increased subscribership of the channel from the then-estimated two million subscribers in its placement on the "Sports Entertainment" tier to over 10 million on its Digital Classic package.
In 2016, Sling TV became the first over-the-top media service to offer NHL Network.
In 2011, AT&T U-verse refused to carry NHL Network over a planned increase in retransmission payments.
The NHL Network originally shared some programming with its now-defunct sister network in Canada, with the main differences in programming between the two networks being the carriage of domestically targeted commercials and live game telecasts. For those live NHL games aired throughout the season, they are primarily simulcasts of feeds from one of the team's regional rightsholders or Canadian rightsholder Sportsnet, including CBC-aired Hockey Night in Canada coverage on Saturday evenings. In 2021, the network introduced its first original broadcasts, the NHL Network Showcase, which is modeled after MLB Network's MLB Network Showcase, and air on weekend afternoons.
Until the 2021–22 season, NHL Network also carried selected first round games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
NHL Network has also aired other hockey leagues and events, such as the American Hockey League, college hockey, and the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Current on-air talent includes:
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