In New York this afternoon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a six-year digital media-rights partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media.
The deal means NeuLion (TSX:NLN) is out as the NHL’s digital media partner. The NHL said NeuLion would help facilitate the transition to MLBAM.
“NeuLion has been a great relationship and we have been well-served by them,” said NHL COO John Collins. “In many respects, they should share a lot of the accolades about getting us to this point, building the value that ultimately someone is stepping up and paying such a significant fee for.”
Collins talked about what the league hoped to gain from the new partnership.
“Baseball has done a great job in building up BAM as an industry leader and getting more fans to experience the game in new ways is what we do,” he said.. “MLBAM is going to allow us, on the production and technology fronts, to be in front of the curve, because of their scale, on a lot of these opportunities as it relates to hockey.”
MLBAM will serve as the distribution arm for GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice subscription services in the United States and certain international markets. The NHL Network will relocate its operations to studio space inside the MLB Network headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
Shares of NeuLion were halted at 11:59 PST, pending news. The stock was 47.4% to $0.80 at the time of the halt.