NHL Teams With Major League Baseball for Digital Distribution

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The six-year rights deal, starting in 2016, will see MLB run the hockey league's streaming businesses.

The National Hockey League has turned to Major League Baseball to stream its league games.

The digital media deal, which will bring the hockey league $1.2 billion in rights revenue over six years, will see Major League Baseball Advanced Media replace NeuLion as the operator of the NHL’s digital operations, including the league's streaming services.

The deal hands MLBAM the rights to distribute live out-of-market games, including through the NHL GameCenter LIVE and NHL Center Ice subscription services in the U.S. and certain international markets.

MLBAM will operate NHL.com, the league's seven native language sites, the websites of the league's 30 teams and NHL digital apps. The deal was unveiled by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

"We couldn't have North America better covered than with the power of NBC, Rogers, TVA and MLBAM — an incredible convergence of technical, creative and production talent that is great news for our fans," Bettman said on Tuesday in a statement.

Rogers Communications controls the broadcast and digital rights to the NHL in Canada as part of a separate 12-year deal, and NBC Sports has a U.S. rights deal with the hockey league.

MLBAM will also operate the NHL Network, with its daily on-air operations to be based out of MLB Network's headquarters in New Jersey. The MLB division will launch its NHL presence in January 2016, with former digital partner NeuLion assisting through the transition period.

Aug. 4, 5:20 p.m. Updated with financial terms for the six-year digital rights deal.

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