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MTG seals NHL extension, picks up World Cup of Hockey rights

Modern Times Group, the multi-territory commercial and pay-television broadcaster, has signed a five-year extension to its rights deal in the Nordic region for North America’s NHL ice hockey league, while it has also acquired rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey national team event.

The fresh NHL contract runs until 2021 and includes broadcast and online exclusivity for games across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

MTG has held NHL rights since 2009, and will own the exclusive Nordic rights to all regular-season games, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Final and other key events such as the Winter Classic, Stadium Series and All-Star game.

Subscribers to MTG’s online streaming service Viaplay will continue to be able to watch all games live. The top games will also be shown live on MTG’s pay-television sports channels including the dedicated pan-Nordic Viasat Hockey channel and TV3 Sport in Denmark. NHL games can also be broadcast on any of MTG’s 10 Nordic free-to-air channels.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and chief executive, said: “The NHL is a great league with a huge and loyal fan base in the Nordics. Our channels and sites are home to thousands of hours of a wide range of live sports every year, and we are making premium content like the NHL available on multiple screens so as to grow the community further.”

MTG has also sealed an agreement with the NHL and NHL Players’ Association to broadcast the return of the World Cup of Hockey, a two-week tournament taking place in Toronto, Canada from September 17 to October 1 next year.

With 121 Nordic players under contract with the NHL – including 77 from Sweden – the tournament will be played between national teams from the US, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, as well as two all-star teams in the shape of ‘Team Europe’ and ‘Team North American Youngstars’. The event will be staged after a 12-year hiatus.