NEW YORK - Yandex, one of Europe's largest internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, has entered into an agreement with the National Hockey League to broadcast all NHL® games in Russia, via its streaming platform. The multiyear deal begins with the 2019-20 season, which opens on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
"By partnering with the NHL, one of the world's leading sports leagues, we can better connect some of hockey's biggest fans with their favorite teams and players. We are delighted to work with the NHL to offer viewers in Russia a more accessible and innovative way to watch games for free," says Leonid Savkov, Chief Commercial Officer of Yandex. "We are also excited to provide new opportunities for advertisers to reach millions of hockey fans viewing the games."
Yandex operates one of Russia's leading online streaming platforms, offering millions of viewers live streaming of Russia's top television channels, sports programming, and cultural events. Viewers can also use Yandex to stream on-demand TV series, movies, and blogger content. Beginning with the 2019-20 NHL season, Yandex will broadcast regular season games, as well as the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, for free. Viewers can watch NHL games with Russian commentary through the Yandex homepage and via Yandex apps for mobile devices and Smart TVs. Russian hockey fans will soon have convenient options to watch games featuring 2019 Stanley Cup champions Vladimir Tarasenko and Ivan Barbashev of the St. Louis Blues, as well as other Russian NHL stars such as Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Yandex is an industry leader in Russia and a uniquely compelling platform to deliver NHL games and our star players to hockey fans across the country," said David Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of International and Media Strategy. "This partnership is the result of Yandex and the NHL's shared commitment to provide content that will engage passionate fans and offer the potential to reach an even broader audience."
Yandex provides fans with an interactive streaming experience while watching the games. Viewers will be able to react to everything that happens on the ice by live chatting and using the reaction emojis. NHL games and highlights will also be available to watch on-demand after the live broadcast, plus viewers can subscribe to receive notifications about the games.
Advertisers can sponsor broadcasts of the games to promote their products and services to a large Russian audience. As Russia's largest search company and digital advertiser, Yandex is well-positioned to connect brands with the country's millions of hockey fans online. Last year Yandex users performed over 93 million hockey-related queries on Yandex's search engine, and Russian NHL players rank among the most searched athletes on Yandex.
Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) is a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning. Our goal is to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. Since 1997, we have delivered world-class, locally relevant search and information services. Additionally, we have developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe. Yandex, which has 34 offices worldwide, has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2011.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 31 Member Clubs and proudly welcomes its 32nd franchise, based in Seattle, for the 2021-22 season. Each team roster reflects the League's international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports - the Stanley Cup®. Gary Bettman has served the NHL as Commissioner since February 1, 1993 and has guided the world's top professional hockey league to more than $5 billion in annual revenues and partnerships with more than 40 blue chip corporate sponsors. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 151 million followers - league, team and player accounts combined - across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at NHL.com. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN and the NHL Network in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, Viasat in the Nordic Region and CCTV and Tencent in China. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TV™. Having entered the esports world in 2018, the League hosts the NHL Gaming World Championship annually, drawing record digital streaming audiences during the 2019 campaign. Fans are engaged across the League's digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio; and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League's inception, powered by SAP. The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities through the sport of hockey by increasing youth participation and engagement; fostering positive family experiences; promoting inclusion, positive culture and leadership; and supporting sustainable community impact.