NHL, union reach tentative agreement

Pact to end 113-day lockout; schedule details undecided

Besides the players and owners, who have now settled their differences, few are as happy that the NHL is ready to return than NBC.

Last year the Peacock signed a $2 billion deal that lasts 10 seasons, with the vast majority of games telecast on the cabler’s NBC Sports Network. Live programming is a hot commodity in the age of delayed DVR viewing, and the loss of hockey to the net was significant.

With games wiped out since October, the league is hoping the abbreviated season could begin Jan. 15 or 19, with each team playing 48 or 50 games.

The league has already lost its high-profile Winter Classic matchup, which was set to take place at the University of Michigan’s football stadium in early January.

Said NBC Sports exec producer Sam Flood, “We are counting the seconds until the season begins so we can get back to doing what we love: telling the story of the annual quest to win the Stanley Cup.”