Canadian telecommunications company Rogers Communications has acquired broadcast rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey national team ice hockey tournament, according to the Globe and Mail.
The Canadian newspaper said a rights auction for the return of the World Cup was held earlier this month, with pay-television sports broadcaster TSN bidding between C$28m (€19.4m/$24.1m) for the two-week tournament.
According to the Globe and Mail, TSN executives believed they had the highest bid but were informed by North American ice hockey league the NHL, which is operating the World Cup alongside the NHL Players’ Association, that Rogers was the winner.
“We were told the rights were being awarded to Rogers,” Phil King, president of CTV programming and sports at the pay-television sports broadcaster’s parent company, Bell Media, said. “As far as we can tell, they (Rogers) seem to have a quasi right to match.”
In November 2013, Rogers acquired multi-platform rights in Canada for the NHL in a 12-year deal, from 2014-15 to 2025-26 – a deal that left Bell Media and TSN in the cold.
The NHL confirmed at the weekend that the World Cup of Hockey would be resurrected in 2016, with the event’s return set to be hosted in the Canadian city of Toronto.
The World Cup and its predecessor, the Canada Cup, have been held seven times since 1976 through to 2004, with the rebirth of the national team competition one of the key items on the NHL’s agenda in recent months.
All tournament games will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 to October 1 next year. The eight competing teams will include Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the USA, along with a ‘Team Europe’ and ‘Team North American Youngstars.’