The Premier Hockey Federation is coming to ESPN.
The league, formerly known as the NWHL, announced on Wednesday morning that they had agreed to an extensive broadcast rights deal with the "Worldwide Leader in Sports", making ESPN+ the exclusive home for PHF games this upcoming season.
According to the official release, ESPN+ will stream 60 regular-season PHF games during the 2021-22 campaign, including the league's Isobel Cup Playoffs and any special events scheduled throughout the year. One special event, in particular, that should be of note is an outdoor game to be held at Buffalo RiverWorks on February 21st, 2022, during which the Buffalo Beauts will play host to the Toronto Six.
This is obviously a monumental step forward for women's hockey in gaining a worldwide audience.
The PHF's prior broadcast partnership was far smaller in scope, consisting of 21 of the league's 24 games during the 2021 bubble season being streamed on the online platform Twitch. A move to ESPN+, the United States' foremost streaming service with a reported subscriber base of over 14.9 million users, opens up the league and its array of incredible talent to a far larger set of eyes that could one day usher in an entirely new generation of hockey fans.
The PHF season kicks off on November 6th, 2021 with all six teams in action.