NHL, IOC Unable to Reach Olympics Media Rights Deal

The Olympic media rights deal fell through again
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The NHL and International Olympic Committee have failed to secure an expanded media rights deal for the 2022 Winter Olympics. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski broke the news on Tuesday.

NHL, IOC Fail to Reach Media Rights Deal

This new dispute over media rights is a continuation of the NHL’s debate on letting its players compete in the Olympics. If the league does allow players to participate, it will be doing so without the perks of media and marketing rights. The NHL will not have the ability to market itself in the games or use Olympic content on its website.

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NHL athletes have competed before in similar conditions. The NHL did not have the aforementioned rights in the 2014 Olympics but still loaned its players to the games. However, the NHL did not send players to the 2018 Olympics. Media rights among other disputes were some of the stated concerns.

What This Means For the Future

Whether or not NHL players will be allowed to represent their countries in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics remains to be seen. Notably, when the league released its schedule for the 2021-22 season, it included an Olympic Break to accommodate the possibility of its players participating. However, there are many variables that must be figured out before the NHL can make a final decision. The IIHF and NHLPA must agree to NHL player participation in the Olympics. The ongoing threat of COVID-19 will also factor into the equation.

The last time NHL athletes competed in the Olympics was in 2014. That year, Canada took home the gold. If NHL players are allowed to compete in 2022, Canada will presumably be the favorite again. However, in the event that the NHL doesn’t loan its athletes, European nations with separate professional leagues may have the advantage.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images