PREMIER HOCKEY FEDERATION ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS AGREEMENT WITH ESPN+
October 20, 2021 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – The Premier Hockey Federation announced today it has reached an agreement that makes ESPN+ the exclusive home of the PHF in the United States during the upcoming 2021-22 season. 60 PHF regular-season games, plus special events, Isobel Cup Playoffs and Championship, will be available to stream live, exclusively on ESPN+ for fans in the U.S.
The PHF season begins Saturday, November 6, with all six teams in action on Opening Weekend, including a rematch of last year’s Isobel Cup final between the Minnesota Whitecaps and the 2021 champion Boston Pride. The federation’s 60 regular-season games will be played over a 19-weekend period with all six teams competing 20 times. The schedule for each team is balanced evenly, with 10 home and 10 away contests, and four games against each opponent.
The season also includes a special outdoor game at Buffalo RiverWorks on Monday, February 21, when the Buffalo Beauts host the Toronto Six.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the PHF and most importantly for our athletes who deserve the exposure that a major network can provide,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “Partnering with ESPN+ is a significant step in our history as we continue to grow the sport with a platform that will introduce our new era to a larger audience with an enhanced standard for how our games will be delivered.”
“The Premier Hockey Federation is an exciting, up-and-coming league that we look forward to presenting to hockey fans in the U.S. exclusively on ESPN+,” said John Lasker, Vice President, Digital Media Programming, ESPN. “As the top professional women’s hockey league in North America, the PHF makes a great addition to our growing lineup of hockey on ESPN+, which now includes NCAA men’s and women’s hockey, the Kontinental Hockey League from Europe and Asia, and more than 1,000 NHL games this season.”
Production details as well as international broadcasts for the 2021-22 PHF season will be announced at a later date.
During the 2021 season the PHF, known as the National Women’s Hockey League, produced record digital viewership and engagement as part of its second year in a streaming partnership with Twitch. Landmark corporate sponsorship deals and an increased commitment from private ownership also helped the league raise its salary cap to a record figure of $300,000 per team in 2021-22.
The NWHL announced its name change and introduced a new logo on September 7, 2021. The PHF re-defines the brand based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender.
Select game times have changed since the original August release
About Premier Hockey Federation (PHF)
The PHF is the leading home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and maintains the mission to provide strong role models and fuel the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup. For more information visit premierhockeyfederation.com.
ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 14.9 million subscribers.
Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $6.99 a month (or $69.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com, or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).