The National Hockey League

Case Solution

Robert F. Higgins, John Masko, James Weber
Harvard Business School ()

In 2015, National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman considered two important decisions: whether to expand the league to a new city and whether signing a digital media rights agreement with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) should be completed. . The expansion required a careful balance between the needs of existing teams and parallel fan bases in the US and Canada. Between two potential expansion cities, Las Vegas, NV and Quebec, QC, Bettman would have to choose whether to expand to one or both. If the NHL were to accept MLBAM’s offer, it would be one of the sport’s first digital media rights deals and the first time a major sport has outsourced its digital media production to another. This case also examines the history of the National Hockey League and the working relationships between the league and its players.

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