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NHL added to Viaplay’s UK streaming offering in five-year rights deal

Nent-owned subscription service adds to ice hockey offering to air 1,400 games annually.

26 April 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Live coverage includes every regular season game, as well as post season and other marquee events
  • Streaming platform to launch in UK in second half of 2022

Viaplay, the Nordic Entertainment Group-owned (Nent) streaming service, has added the National Hockey League (NHL) to its UK content offering.

Viaplay is due to launch in the UK in the second half of 2022 and the streaming platform will show up to 1,400 games from the NHL every year until the end of the 2026/2027 season, having signed a five-year rights deal.

The NHL agreement includes live coverage of all regular season games, as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup final. Other marquee events included are the Winter Classic, All-Star Game, Stadium Series, Heritage Classic and Global Series.

The agreement extends Viaplay and the NHL’s partnership to ten European markets. Regions covered include the Baltics, after the pair signed a deal in March 2021 that runs until 2026.

Viaplay has also added to its sports offering with the Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW), agreeing a deal to broadcast 12 live events from the Poland-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion annually until 2025

Viaplay’s tie-up with KSW, which features a mix of Polish and international fighters, means the two are now working together in 11 countries. The first KSW event shown on Viaplay in the UK will be in late 2022.

The announcement coincided with Viaplay securing exclusive UK rights to the 2024 and 2028 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship and the Champions Hockey League (CHL) from 2023/24 to 2027/28. Rights for International Skating Union (ISU), European Handball Federation (EHF), European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), International Ski Federation (FIS) and World Athletics events were also snapped up.

Nent added at the time that Viaplay plans to develop a broad offering in the UK over time that combines live sports with premium original Nordic content. Its launch in the UK will take the service’s footprint to 12 countries, with at least 16 countries planned by the end of 2023.

“We’re already expanding Viaplay’s UK sports line-up with more long-term rights that put us firmly on the map,” said Peter Nørrelund, Nent Group’s chief sports officer.

“We have worked with the NHL for 19 years in our Nordic markets, which proves the quality of our coverage. KSW is one of our fastest-growing partnerships and will be broadly available in the UK for the first time. These deals are great news for UK sports fans – and there’s more to come.”

David Proper, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of media and international strategy, added: “Viaplay has been an outstanding partner and key stakeholder in the NHL’s strategy to deliver the game to as many fans as possible throughout the world. 

“We look forward to building on our shared commitment to bring the world’s best hockey players to a broader audience and are thrilled to have expanded our relationship with Viaplay.”

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