NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL) and Modern Times Group (MTG) today announced the signing of a multi-year deal giving the Scandinavian broadcaster the rights to telecast every NHL game live via television, mobile and broadband throughout the Nordic region, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
MTG has the rights to show live coverage of all 1230 regular season games as well as every Stanley Cup playoff game each season on its pay-TV channels and Viaplay online multi-screen video streaming service across the Nordic region. Certain games also will be made available on MTG's free-TV channels.
Swedish viewers will be able to watch live NHL® games on hockey pay-TV channel Viasat Hockey and premium pay-TV channel Viasat Sport, with selected games also shown on free-TV channel TV10.
Norwegian viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on hockey channel Viasat Hockey and premium pay-TV channel Viasat Sport HD, with selected games also shown on free-TV channel Viasat 4.
Danish viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on premium pay-TV channel TV2 Sport, which MTG operates together with TV2 Denmark.
Finnish viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on hockey channel Viasat Hockey and the Nelonen Pro sports channel, which are owned by Sanoma Media in strategic cooperation with MTG.
All of the games will be available over the internet on the Viaplay service in each country and, when several games are being played at the same time, Viasat satellite pay-TV customers will be able to choose between coverage on the channels mentioned above and the Viasat Xtra channels. The coverage also will include for the first time a new NHL-produced daily highlights show, which will be begin airing in the coming months.
"This is a landmark agreement that will deliver every NHL game to the Nordics for the first time ever," said John Collins, NHL Chief Operating Officer. "In combination with the local-language NHL.com websites launched at the start of the season, this distribution partnership gives NHL fans in the Nordic countries unprecedented access to our games and our players. It's a win for NHL hockey and a win for our fans."
Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of MTG, commented: "The NHL is the most-watched ice hockey league in the world and attracts large TV audiences in the Nordic region, as well as stadium audiences when the games are played here. This reflects both the popularity of the sport and the fact that a number of Nordic ice hockey stars play in the League. This is a key sports right for us and this is the first time that we have secured the rights exclusively on a multi-platform and multi-country basis."
More than 25 percent of NHL players hail from outside of North America, with 10 percent originating from Sweden, Finland, Denmark or Norway alone. There are more Swedes playing in the NHL this season than ever, including NHL All-Stars such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Lundqvist, Daniel and Henrik Sedin. As part of the season launch celebration, the NHL opened the 2011-12 season in this territory with the New York Rangers playing the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, and the Anaheim Ducks playing the Buffalo Sabres at Helsinki's Hartwall Areena.