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Discovery strikes Telia deal for SM-Liiga rights

The Discovery Networks Finland division of US media company Discovery has struck a sublicensing agreement with Finnish telco Telia for rights to SM-Liiga, the top division of domestic ice hockey.

The agreement will initially cover the 2018-19 season and will allow Discovery’s TV5 channel to broadcast some Liiga games. In addition, Telia will provide Discovery with a hockey week programme, which will include match highlights.

Antti Haajanen, sports manager at Discovery Networks Finland, said: “The ice hockey broadcasts of the Olympic Games were a huge success for TV5 so we want to continue playing ice hockey on TV5. Discovery is open to new ways of doing things. In the Olympics, we sublicensed our rights to (public-service broadcaster) YLE, and now we are building the Liiga visibly together with Telia.”

Telia acquired rights to the SM-Liiga in May 2017. Telia will hold rights for six seasons, from 2018-19 to 2023-24, and will broadcast all league matches. The Liiga consists of 15 professional clubs and is considered one of the best leagues in the world.