NeuLion Details NHL Digital Deal

NeuLion, a maker of live and on-demand digital video distribution systems, said it has signed a letter of intent with the National Hockey League to provide “transitional services” and support NHL’s various digital properties, inducing NHL GameCenter Live, for the league’s 2015-2016 season.

Per this presentation detailing NeuLion’s Q3 results, the value of the deal for the 2015-2016 season is in excess of $11 million.

According to the LOI, signed on November 3, NeuLion will also render consulting services to the NHL regarding digital media and technology issues for four years, starting Oct. 1, 2016. The value of the consulting services over that four-year span is $4 million. NeuLion also noted that the LOI “is subject to the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement.”

Update: The new deal comes about three months after the NHL signed on MLB Advanced Media unit will run hockey’s digital video businesses, league and team websites and the NHL Network cable channel.

For Q3, NeuLion posted GAAP revenues of $21.9 million, up 80% from $12.2 million in the year-ago quarter.  NeuLion said Digital Platform revenue rose  17%, to $14.3 million, in Q3 2015. DivX (the video encoding/delivery specialist acquired by NeuLion in January for $62.5 million) and MainConcept revenue was $7.6 million for the period. MainConcept is NeuLion’s software development kit for HEVC/H.265, a next-gen video encoding scheme that is 50% more efficient than MPEG-4/H.264.

NeuLion also posted a consolidated Q3 net loss of $3.1 million (1 cent per diluted share), versus net income of $200,000 (0 cents per diluted share) in the year-ago period.

Of recent note, NeuLion scored a multi-year deal with the UFC that includes the powering of UFC.TV, including pay-per-view events, and a rebuild and relaunch of UFC Fight Pass, its subscription-based OTT offering.  It also renewed deals with the NFL and NBA, and powered the live and on-demand streaming of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches for Universal Deportes.  

"In our seasonally light third quarter we continued to deliver strong gains in both sales and profitability, and further demonstrated the earnings power of our business model," said Kanaan Jemili, NeuLion CEO, in a statement.