SBD/October 20, 2011/Media

NHL Finalizes First TV Distribution Deal In Europe With Multiyear Deal For Scandinavia

The NHL has finalized its first television distribution deal in Europe, inking a multiyear deal with Stockholm-based Modern Times Group that includes rights in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The agreement gives MTG the rights to broadcast all 1,230 regular-season games as well as the Stanley Cup Playoffs live on its pay-TV channels and Viaplay online multi-screen video streaming service in the region. Games will also be available on MTG’s free TV channels. Terms of the deal are not known. The deal ends months of negotiation between MTG and the NHL’s European rights partner Medge Consulting, which purchased the rights to sell NHL content in Scandinavia in July. The league has yet to sign distribution deals in Russia or other countries in continental Europe. British company AMI purchased the rights to sell the league’s content in European countries other than Scandinavia in the same deal with Medge Consulting. Previously, the NHL’s distribution rights in all of Europe were controlled by ESPN America. Under the MTG deal, Viasat will show games in Sweden on its premium pay-TV channel Viasat Sport, with select games being shown on the free channel TV10. Viasat will also show games on its pay and free channels in Norway and Finland. In Denmark, MTG’s pay channel TV2 Sport will show games. All of the games will be available over the internet on the Viaplay service in each country. “The NHL is the most-watched ice hockey league in the world and attracts large TV audiences in the Nordic region,” said MTG President & CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht in a release.
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