With a sports division now established, Fox decided to seek broadcast rights agreements with other major sports leagues. On September 9, 1994, Fox was awarded the broadcast television rights to the National Hockey League in a $155 million bid (amounting to $31 million annually);[10] as a result, it became the first broadcast network to be awarded a national television contract to carry NHL games, which longtime NHL Commissioner John Ziegler had long thought to be unattainable[11] (NHL games had not aired regularly on a national broadcast network – outside of select championship and All-Star games, and time buy basis airings of ESPN telecasts on ABC from 1992 to 1994 – since NBC's telecast of the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals, as networks were not willing to commit to broadcasting a large number of games due to low viewership). Again, Fox outbid CBS, which wanted to secure the rights as a result of losing the NFL to Fox, for the NHL package. Fox lost the NHL rights to ABC Sports and ESPN in 1999.
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