NHL Signs Scandinavian Broadcast Deal With Modern Times Group

Brian Babineau/NHL via Getty Images

The pro hockey league has started signing regional rights agreements after ESPN America lost the pan-European rights to North American games.

TORONTO – The National Hockey League has signed a Scandinavian broadcast deal with Swedish media giant Modern Times Group that will see every pro hockey league game air live on TV, mobile and broadband.

The regional deal to include Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway gets the NHL away from a pan-European broadcast deal for North American hockey games by ex-rights holder ESPN America.

After ESPN lost the European rights at the end of last year, Medge Consulting and Advisers Media International in July acquired the international media rights for the NHL, and started to resell them on in Europe.

The Scandinavian agreement covers the rights to live coverage of 1230 regular season games, and the Stanley Cup playoff rounds.

The games will stream on pay TV channels and a video streaming service, while select games will air on MTG’s free-TV channels.

"This is a landmark agreement that will deliver every NHL game to the Nordics for the first time ever," NHL COO John Collins, said in a statement.

Besides playing NHL games in Europe, the pro hockey league is looking to expand across the Atlantic, and especially in northern countries, and Germany, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic where interest in the game is strong.

Additional regional European broadcast deals are anticipated in the coming weeks.

ESPN America may still step forward to carry NHL games in select European markets.

And while MTG will employ its Viaplay online streaming system, the NHL is offering its North American online streaming technology to merge the experiences of the two services.