Deal includes option for 2008-09 season

NEW YORK -- The NHL extended its partnership with NBC through next season, with an option for the 2008-09 season.

The agreement, announced Tuesday, will allow NBC to select from a minimum of three games on Sunday afternoons. Two weeks before, the network will pick one matchup as the "Game of the Week" to be shown nationally. The other two games will be televised locally.

In addition to regular-season games, NBC will continue to broadcast select playoff games on Saturdays and Sundays and Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup finals in prime time.

"In under two seasons, NBC has significantly elevated NHL broadcast coverage in the U.S.," commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "We're delighted to have extended our partnership and look forward to next season's scheduled innovation, aimed at delivering the best possible action to hockey fans."

The deal comes one day after the NHL and Canada's CBC announced a six-year agreement.