NHL Settles International Television Agreements

NEW YORK (November 3, 2011) – The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the addition of eight broadcast agreements that will provide live game coverage of the NHL® in countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Hockey is a global sport, with more than 25 percent of our players hailing from countries outside of North America,” said John Collins, NHL chief operating officer. “Through these new distribution partners, our local-language websites which launched overseas at the start of the season and our digital streaming game product NHL GameCenter Live, we are making it easier for our passionate international fan base to follow their favorite teams and players as well as the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

The following agreements have been reached:

· CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA – NOVA Sport has secured the rights to show live NHL® games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels this season in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

· UNITED KINGDOM / IRELAND – Premier Sports (UK) and Setanta Sports (Ireland) have secured the rights to show live NHL games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels this season in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

· PAN-EUROPEAN and SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – ESPN America has secured the rights to show live NHL games in Pan-European countries as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa this season. Full list of countries included in this deal are: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa.

· PORTUGAL – Sport TV has secured the rights to show live NHL games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels for the next five seasons in Portugal.

· FRANCE – Canal Plus Sports has secured the rights to show live NHL games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels, as well as online for the next five seasons in France.

· MONACO, FRENCH-SPEAKING SWITZERLAND, SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA and other FRENCH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES – Canal Plus Sports has secured the rights to show live NHL games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels for the next five seasons in Monaco, French-speaking Switzerland, Sub Saharan Africa and other French overseas territories.

· SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – Setanta and Zulu Sports have secured the rights to show live games on free-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels for the next three seasons in Sub-Saharan Africa.

· MIDDLE EAST (including TURKEY, CYPRUS and ISRAEL) – Fox Sports has secured the rights to show live NHL games on fee-to-air, pay and cable/satellite channels, as well as online for the next three seasons in the Middle East.

These agreements follow the recent landmark distribution partnership between the NHL and MTG to provide live coverage of all 1,230 regular-season games as well as every Stanley Cup Playoff game via television, mobile and broadband throughout the Nordic region, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

NHL GameCenter LIVE™ − the NHL’s subscription service that lets fans watch live, out-of-market games online, is also widely available to fans overseas. Streaming up to 40 out-of-market games per week (blackout restrictions apply), NHL GameCenter LIVE is specifically designed for those displaced fans looking for a robust, in-game NHL viewing experience.

In July of 2011, Advisers Media International (AMI) and Medge Consulting secured the international media rights for the NHL. The rights cover international markets tendered by the NHL, including Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to marketing the NHL’s media rights, AMI and Medge have also been appointed to develop the international brand and profile of the NHL and develop and market new events.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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