A little bit of break news here: NHL’s new television home appears to be ESPN…and TNT?
It appears that Turner jumped into the fray within the last 48 hours, as this is a huge change from recent reports. First, it looked like NBCU was trying to retain the rights to NHL and move them to the USA Network. When WWE NXT moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays on the USA Network, those stories appeared to be linked. Then it was revealed by new WWE executive Nick Khan that NXT moving nights was NOT due to NHL potentially coming to the USA Network for Wednesday nights at all. It just made more sense. In fact, Khan then revealed that he was under the impression that NBCU was not even keeping NHL at all! Not USA Network, not NBC, nothing…
That led to speculation that ESPN/Disney would get the majority of the games with FOX also in on the bidding. However, as noted below, that was not viable either.
Credit to Andrew Marchand here with the story, along with others. Full thread can be found on Twitter and the New York Post for the scoop.
CBS had no interest, and FOX wasn’t budging from their offer. Somehow this led to Turner getting involved. A huge shock and even more shocking is the fact that Andrew mentioned the possibility of HBO Max jumping into the sports world. Wow! Big news for the streaming service right there. Ultimately, the report notes that we will learn the full details and television schedule late Monday night as everything is still up in the air.
For wresting fans, this is a huge 180. A few months ago, it was believed that NHL would be booting NXT from their Wednesday night spot on the USA Network. Now it looks like Turner is going to grab the rights to the National Hockey League, which makes me wonder if AEW Dynamite will stay on Wednesday nights on TNT. Typically, the NHL does very well for their Wednesday night games. Quite the pickle for Turner to decide which show stays or goes…or how to sort this whole mess out. It is certainly a GOOD mess to have, no doubt…but still a mess.
Time will tell on this developing story. Stay tuned.
By Justin Watry (TWITTER: @JustinWatry)