A Closer Look at the 12-Year $5.2 Billion Deal Between Rogers and the NHL



Late last year, Rogers and the NHL signed a 12-year $5.2 billion broadcast deal which gives the Canadian carrier rights to all games in Canada.

In addition to giving Rogers exclusive rights to all playoff and Stanley Cup Final games, the agreement also gives the carrier exclusive rights to special events such as future NHL All-Star Games. The deal also guarantees that there will no longer be any restrictions when viewing a game from a specific region.

Even though the deal may look like a media play for both companies, it is much more. Rogers has invested billions of dollars to enable customers to stream every NHL game directly on their smartphone.

Rogers CEO Guy Laurence hopes that the deal with the NHL will be a key part in restoring the carrier’s image and the relationship it has with its customers. In April, Laurence said:

“Customer service is a journey, not a destination. We’ve actually fallen behind on that journey in terms of meeting customer needs.”

President of Rogers Media Keith Pelley said:

“The bottom line is, this is a monumental commitment… and a promise we’ve made to Canadians that we’re going to give them far greater (NHL) coverage than they’ve ever had before. That’s the expectation. Now we have to build on that…and to gain unwavering trust.”

Rogers is trying to use the deal with the NHL to help boost its wireless business, which accounted for 57 percent of the company’s revenue in 2013. In its July earning report, Rogers reported that the company had lost 33,000 cable subscribers, however they gained an addition 38,000 wireless customers. At a conference last month, Laurence said:

“We fundamentally believe that Canadians will consume huge amounts of content on their mobile phones. In order to facilitate that, you need big pipes in the sky, spectrum… that’s what we bought.”

Alan Middleton, executive director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre and marketing professor at York University, said:

“What you’re seeing is a company trying to evolve from general communications to a content manager. If Rogers is more associated with bringing you the stuff you want in the way you want it, then it begins to take the sting out of ‘Oh, that’s Rogers that gouges us on our telephones and cable.’ The reframing of the business gives Rogers the opportunity to overcome the negatives they’ve had forever on customer service.”

Over the past couple of years we have seen many people remove their cable subscription in favour of a streaming solution like Netflix, which is especially true in today’s younger generation.

The 2014-2015 NHL season is set to start on Wednesday, October 8. Do you think the deal with the NHL is going to help Rogers in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

[via The Star]


  • Annoyed in MTL

    In Quebec if we now want to watch Canadiens games we have to have RDS,RDS 2 and TVA Sports 1 and 2. Thanks Rogers for increasing my cable bill.

  • bspence88

    Does my phone plan give me free streaming of games??

  • Nick

    Every Rogers customer will get access to Rogers’ new NHL streaming service for free until the end of this year, at which point the carrier will start charging a monthly or yearly fee.

    Please keep in mind you are still paying for data when you are streaming live NHL games, so if you are on a cellular connection streaming a game will consume a lot of data.

  • bspence88

    Thanks for the info. I can watch my Canucks in Toronto from anywhere now. Sweet!

  • jfmartel

    Blame the Habs who gave the contract to Bell…

  • Billdozer

    I don’t understand how they can allow us to stream every game to our smart phones when they don’t even have a data plan to back that up. So I can watch what 3-4 games a month and I’m over my 6gb data cap which I pay $116 a month for because they just increased it $5 not long ago as if it wasn’t high already. Thanks Robbers, thank you very much. How about using those big pipes of yours to give us an affordable data plan so we can actually watch these hockey games or you may as well broadcast 1 game a week so I can stay under the cap.

  • FragilityG4

    So are they going to black out the Leafs games on TSN?

  • hungry hippo

    dude, stop giving your money to them and complaining. people like you are the reason they can over charge. I hate reading comments from your kind, its annoying.

    solution: switch carriers, or …….. suck it up and stop fuelling the flame

  • gtasscarlo

    I would prefer not being forced to go to a $125 plan to keep 6GB. That’s more better for me then an NHL Deal.

  • Billdozer

    I would love to switch carriers. Problem is there are no reliable ones yet besides the big 3 and unless I wanna use my iphone 6 on a weak network there isn’t much choice.

  • Annoyed

    I blame Videotron for forcing me to have 4 channels to watch 1 team

  • ticky13

    I mean, there’s also this thing called wifi, like in hotels or at workplaces that people can use to watch games on their tablets.

  • Billdozer

    Well for me personally my work does not have public wifi and I get lots of downtime so for me it doesn’t make sense. If I’m at a hotel or a friends place or somewhere that does have wifi. There is also a TV. Anyways I’m talking about all this spectrum they own. The “big pipes” as they call it and how they offer a service which their big pipes can’t or won’t provide. Wifi is not always available or practical. Stop defending crummy Canadian cell phone data plans. You know it’s true.