According to the latest annual Forbes report, 29 of the 30 NHL franchises showed a solid increase in value from 2013.
The Toronto Maple Leafs top the list of NHL teams valued at $1.3 billion. The Rangers were next with a valuation of $1.1 billion. The Montreal Canadiens also eclipse the $1 billion mark. These numbers sound good, yet they pale in comparison to the $2 billion for which NBA Los Angeles Clippers were recently purchased.
The New York Islanders enjoyed the largest jump in value over the last year with an increase of 54% from 2013. Yahoo Sports noted that the increase in the team’s worth was likely due to a pending move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn from the Nassau Memorial Veterans Coliseum in Uniondale.
The flailing Florida Panthers, which showed a drop of 21%, stand as the exception to a thriving league. The team ranks last in valuation at $190 million, followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets ($200 million), Carolina Hurricanes ($220 million), and Arizona Coyotes ($225 million).
Overall the news is very good for NHL team owners. Yahoo Sports reported that the teams enjoyed an average increase of 18.6% over the past year to an all-time high average of $490 million. Forbes reported that the swelling in team valuations was “[f]ueled by a new Canadian media deal with Rogers Communications that begins with the 2014-15 season.”
The new deal will augment the NHL’s coffers by $4.6 billion over the next 12 years. Rogers will have the rights, according to Forbes, “to all NHL games in Canada, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, on all of its platforms, in all languages, is worth 2.6 times more annually than the league’s previous Canadian deals.”
Significantly, the agreement represents a breakthrough for the NHL by more closely resembling media contracts that the NBA, NFL and MLB enjoy. Up until now most of the NHL media agreements were regional in scope.