NHL Network is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is a joint venture between the National Hockey League (which owns a controlling 84.4% interest) and NBCUniversal (which owns the remaining 15.6%). Dedicated to ice hockey, the network features live game telecasts from the NHL and other professional and collegiate hockey leagues, as well as NHL-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries.
The channel's headquarters and studios are located in the Secaucus, New Jersey facilities also utilized by MLB Network.
Launched on October 1, 2007, the NHL Network was developed out of a joint venture between the NHL and cable provider Comcast, as part of a broadcast rights agreement that resulted in the NBC Sports Network (then known as Outdoor Life Network) acquiring partial cable television rights to regular season, and Stanley Cup playoff and finals games from the National Hockey League.
The NHL Network originally shared some programming with its now-defunct sister network in Canada, with the main differences in programming between the two networks being the carriage of domestically targeted commercials and live game telecasts; NHL Network in the U.S. primarily carries broadcasts from Canadian national rightsholders (such as CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet, and formerly TSN), while the Canadian feed primarily carried games from U.S. broadcasters. The channel also picks up simulcasts of games from regional rightsholders; live games on NHL Network that involve U.S. teams are non-exclusive, and are blacked out in the markets of U.S. teams involved in favor of local broadcasters.
Logo used from 2009 to 2011. The league hired Ascent Media to manage and distribute the channel, through its publicly traded subsidiary, Ascent Media Network Services. When it launched, the NHL Network became the third sports-oriented cable network devoted to programming from and controlled by a major sports league, following the National Basketball Association-owned NBA TV (which launched in March 1999) and the National Football League-owned NFL Network (which launched in November 2003); Major League Baseball would launch its own sports channel, MLB Network, on January 1, 2009.
Logo used from 2011 to 2012. On June 1, 2015, The Globe and Mail columnist David Shoalts reported that NHL Network in Canada would cease operations on September 1, 2015; national media rights to the NHL in Canada had been acquired by Rogers Communications beginning in the 2014–15 season, and the Bell Media staff members who managed the network's Canadian arm on behalf of the NHL were laid off that July.