NHL Shops Foreign TV Rights To Live Hockey Games

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The National Hockey League is betting European, Middle Eastern and African TV audiences will take to Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin as it shops the international rights to its live telecasts.

TORONTO – TV hockey where there’s no ice?

The National Hockey League clearly believes countries where the game is no winter sport still want its TV product.

The pro league on Monday unveiled a tender process for international media rights to live hockey games to be sold throughout Europe and the hot tropics of the Middle East and Africa.

The NHL said Evolution Media Capital will conduct an open auction for the foreign rights to live NHL games covering the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons.

The open bidding process will run from May 17 to June 8.

The NHL believes hockey is already making inroads overseas, given 26 percent of its players come from outside of North America, and with the league increasingly staging regular season games and exhibitions in Europe.