Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk will be the lead NHL game analyst for Turner Sports when TNT begins its seven-year broadcast deal next season, according to an industry source. Olczyk will join Kenny Albert as Turner’s top team.
Olczyk, who agreed in principle to a five-year deal, has been NBC’s lead game analyst since 2006, when he took over for John Davidson. Albert and Olczyk are expected to call the Stanley Cup Finals for NBC this season, the network’s last with broadcast rights.
Turner outbid NBC for the NHL last month, buying the league’s secondary package for a reported $225 million per year. ESPN bought the primary package in March for a reported $400 million annually.
NBC/Comcast has aired NHL games since 2005, when they were shown on Outdoor Life Network. That became Versus, which became NBC Sports Network, which will shutter at the end of the year. NBC/Comcast will turn USA Network into an entertainment/sports channel.
NBC had to give up something after doubling its rights fee for the NFL to $2 billion annually while trying to maintain its rights to the English Premier League after this season.