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Swiss Ice Hockey Federation signs UPC as new main rights partner

The Swiss Ice Hockey Federation has awarded its media rights for the five seasons from 2017-18 to 2021-22, with telecommunications company UPC and public-service broadcaster SRG SSR clinching contracts.

UPC will be the SIHF’s new main partner having secured rights to club competitions National League A and B, Regio League and the Swiss national teams. UPC will exploit the rights through its new sports channel MySports, which will be available through its network and partner companies of SuisseDigital, the trade association of Swiss communication networks.

SRG SSR will offer highlights of the National League A, as well as certain games live from the quarter-final stage of the playoffs. The public-service broadcaster will also televise all home matches of the Swiss men’s senior team.

The SIHF said the deals with UPC and SRG SSR are worth an average of CHF35.4m (€32.8m/$36.2m) per season. It added the production costs will be covered by its broadcast partners, with the revenue distribution model between the federation and clubs yet to be decided.

Florian Kohler, chief executive of SIHF, said: “The new TV contracts lead Swiss ice hockey into a new financial dimension. This is an important step in the development of our sport.”

The SIHF has awarded its rights after UPC’s rival telco Swisscom last week said it had lost its contract with the federation. The SIHF issued a rights tender on May 2 for rights from the 2017-18 season.