NHL’s New Deal With Turner Does Not Impact EA’s NHL Series, At Least Not Yet
On Tuesday, the NHL announced a blockbuster TV rights deal with Turner, but this new agreement will have no bearing on EA’s NHL franchise, at least not for current or past games. A spokesperson for EA Sports told GameSpot that NHL 21 and any past games are not impacted by the new rights deal with Turner. Whether or not EA is planning any changes for this year’s inevitable NHL 22 remains to be seen, however.
“We’re excited for our partners at the NHL on their new deal with Turner Sports but today’s news doesn’t impact EA Sports NHL 21 or any past games of the franchise. We look forward to sharing details on the next iteration of the EA Sports NHL franchise at a later date.”
We have followed up with EA in an attempt to gain some insight on what could happen for NHL 22, though it’s unlikely the company will comment given the game hasn’t been officially announced yet. The company subsequently declined to comment further.
The NHL also has a TV rights deal with ESPN that, like the Turner deal, is expected to kick in for the next NHL season.
EA’s NHL games are known for trying to replicate the TV NHL experience, so it will be interesting to see how this year’s game may incorporate the NHL’s new TV partners.
The NHL had worked with NBC Sports for years before this, but the game series had been backing away for some time already. For example, NBC’s premier NHL commentators, Eddie Olycyk and Mike “Doc” Emrick, were dropped for NHL 20 and beyond. The current commentary team in NHL 21 is comprised of James Cybulski and Ray Ferraro.
If history is any indication, NHL 22 should be announced sometime around June.