NHL Extends Contract With NBC Until 2010-11 Season

John VukovicContributor IIJuly 17, 2009

NEW YORK - JANUARY 14:  Hockey great Mark Messier appears at the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Plaza on  January 14, 2006 in New York City. Rockefeller Plaza was turned into the broadcast home of the NHL on NBC launching NBC sports Inaugural season as the broadcast home of NHL hockey.  (Photo by Brad Barket/ Getty Images)

NBC and the NHL announced that they were extending their contract through the 2010-2011 season.

They will broadcast nine games a year, starting with the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston on New Years Day, 2010. Bettman says it is basically the same deal that started in 2006, in which, instead of paying for broadcasting rights, NBC shared some advertising revenue.                                                                           

"We are both very happy with the relationship we have. We are delighted with the coverage NBC has given us," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

"We"re thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL and build on all the positive momentum on and off the ice together we have achieved viewership milestones not seen in more than three decades." said NBC sports president Ken Schanzer. "And the winter classic in just two years has become one of the highlight of the sports calender."

Sounds very exciting, but the truth of the matter is it is only nine games, and the NHL doesn't get anywhere near the TV ratings of other major sports. However, they also have a contract with Versus, formerly known as OLN, for 54 games a year.