The NHL and Elisa Corporation, the leading Nordic communications services provider, announced a partnership Tuesday to deliver special NHL content to Finnish fans of the NHL that are also subscribed to Elisa Viihde, the most popular IPTV service in Finland.
As an official sponsor of the NHL in Finland, Elisa will offer its Elisa Viihde customers the popular NHL GameCenter 2010 application via IPTV and smartphones with a significant added value for Finnish NHL fans -- at a click of a button, Elisa Viihde subscribers will have access to a wide selection of content specifically focused on more than 30 Finnish-born players competing in the NHL, including Saku Koivu
, Tuukka Rask
, Miikka Kiprusoff
, Kimmo Timonen
and Antti Niemi
The first of its kind for any major American sports league, this partnership serves a market that is quickly growing -- despite being several hours ahead of North America, visitors from Finland to NHL.com have increased by 40 percent since 2009. At the same time, IPTV consumption is growing and mobile device penetration in Europe is significantly greater than in North America.
This exclusive partnership eliminates the inherent access constraint of this time-shifted Finnish audience, delivering the video, statistics and other NHL content they demand.
"With more than 25 percent of NHL players hailing from outside North America, we're seeing strong new business opportunities internationally," said John Collins, the NHL's chief operating officer. "It is our goal to shorten the distance between the NHL and its fans, regardless of where they live, and provide them with relevant content."
NHL GameCenter 2010 delivers the best tailored NHL experience for Elisa IPTV customers, providing Finnish NHL fans with star moments from Finnish players, including condensed versions of all NHL games just hours after a completed game. In addition, NHL GameCenter 2010 includes live scores; live in-game stats for every team and player; a live ice tracker that shows the locations of goals, hits and saves on a virtual hockey rink; game photos; a full-season schedule; NHL standings; NHL player profiles; archived results and stats for the current season; searchable content; a complete complement of video from the prior night's games, and a personalized experience.
"Elisa wants to provide exclusive unique TV features with content for NHL fans. This is a wonderful addition to the services provided to the Elisa Viihde customers. Elisa is a pioneer and forerunner in IPTV services, and we wish to offer our customers new and unique features. We believe that the new services will make the viewing experience even more entertaining and versatile, and viewers will have the opportunity to get more out of their TV," said Elisas Vice President Mikael Rönnblad.