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Since Comcast acquired the rights to the NHL in 2005, the All-Star Game has aired on cable when NBCSN was originally known as OLN, then as Versus, changing to NBC Sports Network when Comcast took over NBC and know NBCSN.
Last year’s NHL All-Star Game was the most-watched on OLN/Versus/NBC Sports Network/NBCSN since Comcast/NBC acquired the rights with an average audience of 1.595 million viewers.
NBC hopes to continue the NHL All-Star Game’s momentum by transferring it from cable to broadcast TV. In addition, with young stars like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, NBC hopes showcase them to a new audience.
“As the NHL celebrates its Centennial, we’re excited to bring the pace and energy of the NHL All-Star Game to a network-television audience for the first time in more than a decade,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “This move, combined with the addition of games featuring rising young stars like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, as well as our upcoming ‘Star Sunday’ matchups, continues to illustrate our commitment to showcase the best talent in the NHL and grow the game of hockey in America.”
The last time NBC aired the NHL All-Star Game was in 1994 when it was in Madison Square Garden in New York. The Peacock used to broadcast the NHL’s showcase between 1990-94 in a contract that for the All-Star Game only.