2016 World Cup of Hockey broadcast rights awarded to Sportsnet, TVA in Canada; ESPN in U.S.

The NHL and its players association announced a 2016 reincarnation of the World Cup of Hockey its third edition, and the first in 12 years. And as insults to the international game go, they may have taken the biscuit. Indeed, its easy to imagine they ruined the tournament at a stroke.

ESPN, which has not aired NHL games since 2004, will have the exclusive rights in the United States.

The NHL and NHL Players Association were not bound to current media agreements for the tournament.

The league and players will split all profits 50/50, with the tournament expected to generate north of $100 million in revenue.

Rogers is in the first season of a $5.2-billion, 12-year deal to broadcast the NHL. Despite that, there was some thought TSN would push to get back into the game for the World Cup.

But Sportsnet and TVA will have the games for the tournament that runs from Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016.

World Cup jerseys could feature corporate logos, but Gary Bettman in no rush to put ads on NHL sweaters

Without a doubt, this tournament is going to be one of the biggest and best events in 2016, Scott Moore president of Sportsnet and NHL properties for Rogers said in a statement. The countrys passion for the game has never been stronger, and it will be incredible for Canadians to experience this event on home ice. This world-class event will enrich our industry-leading hockey offering and continue our strong partnerships with the NHL and NHLPA.

In the U.S., NBC is in the middle of a US$2-billion, 10-year contract with the league. But that didnt stop the league from going back to ESPN.

ESPN broadcast the prior World Cup of Hockey, from Air Canada Centre. Now the World Cup is returning, with ESPN broadcasting in the U.S., NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. We are very pleased and hope our fans will be as well.

This tournament features a different format from the 2004 edition. The 2016 tournament will have eight teams: Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Team Europe and the North American Young Stars.

Those teams will play round-robin games in two groups of four before four qualify for the semifinals. The two teams left will play a best-of three final.
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