ESPN and the NHL signed a big seven-year contract, as the Worldwide Leader is set to broadcast the world’s biggest hockey league beginning in 2021. Sean McDonough, one of the most popular play-by-play announcers that ESPN has, will have the network’s top gig for the league.
McDonough is one of the more versatile voices on ESPN’s roster, will be the No. 1 NHL play-by-play broadcaster for the network, as first reported by Andrew Marchand. He will call the Stanley Cup Finals as well.
Steve Levy will host hockey studio programming, and call games for the network, as has been expected. John Buccigross, Bob Wischusen, and Leah Hextall will also be in the mix to call games.
ESPN has been building out an impressive roster of analysts as well. Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, Brian Boucher, Kevin Weekes are among those joining the network, while Barry Melrose remains ESPN’s hockey stalwart.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) June 29, 2021
Per ESPN’s release, Linda Cohn will also have a major role in SportsCenter coverage, as well as hosting In the Crease on the ESPN+ platform.
“This new and groundbreaking lineup will bring the NHL to an expanding legion of passionate fans,” said ESPN’s Jimmy Pitaro says. “We set out to put together a roster that would excite, engage and educate the entire range of fans – from diehard to casual – while inspiring the next generation. With this lineup, we believe we have done just that. We could not be more excited to welcome this talented and diverse group to the ESPN hockey family.”
ESPN last broadcast NHL Hockey in 2004, finishing a 12-year agreement with the league. Returning to the world’s biggest sports network is a nice coup for the league.