OTT & Digital

NHL inks Hulu deal for Stanley Cup play-offs

Digital streaming service to sponsor ice hockey league’s post-season tournament.

by Sam Carp

NHL inks Hulu deal for Stanley Cup play-offs

The National Hockey League (NHL) has announced that digital streaming platform Hulu will be a sponsor of its upcoming post-season tournament, the 2018 Stanley Cup play-offs and final.

The multifaceted agreement will lead to a national marketing campaign across all of the North American ice hockey league’s digital and social channels, while Hulu will also benefit from camera-visible, in-stadium branding within all US venues.

As part of the deal, Hulu will work with the NHL Players’ Association to create video segments showcasing the league’s stars and to create awareness for Hulu as a streaming option for the Stanley Cup play-offs.

Subscribers to Hulu’s live TV service, which is priced at US$39.99 per month, will be able to stream the play-offs on NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), CNBC, USA Network and Golf Channel. The final series will be carried on NBC and NBCSN.   

In addition, Hulu will be the presenting sponsor of NBC Sports’ NHL Live pre-game show during the Stanley Cup play-offs.

Since debuting its live TV service in May 2017, Hulu says it has found that live sports has been a significant driver behind subscription signups. The company’s agreement with the NHL comes shortly after Google’s YouTube TV sealed a deal to become the first ever presenting sponsor for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals, adding to its role as the presenting partner for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) World Series.

Keith Wachtel, chief revenue officer and executive vice president for the NHL, said: “Our main goal is to bring these memorable moments to the broadest possible audience, and partnering with a powerful brand like Hulu will allow us to drive deeper engagement with our fans.”

“Since we launched our live TV package, we’ve seen live sports drive a very large part of our growth, so we are especially excited to team up with the NHL to celebrate the 2018 Stanley Cup play-offs,” added Patrizio Spagnoletto, head of media and subscriber growth at Hulu. “With sports serving as the centerpiece for many of our live TV viewers, we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to engage fans and make sure they never miss a single moment of their favourite games.”