NEW YORK (November 30, 2011) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK | RTR) today announced the signing of an agreement giving the Russian broadcaster the rights to telecast live NHL® games.
VGTRK | RTR will show multiple games per week, which will be shared between their free-to-air channel Rossiya 2 and their sports channel Sport 1. Rossiya 2 is received by a potential 80 million viewers and Sport 1 by 3.5 million, making this deal a significant addition to the League’s International TV distribution.
“Providing NHL games on television in Russia is important given that some of the League’s biggest stars such as Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin were born, grew up and began their hockey careers there,” said John Collins, NHL chief operating officer. “This agreement is one way we are providing fans throughout Russia with the NHL content that they demand and the ability to follow their hometown heroes throughout their NHL careers.”
The addition of VGTRK | RTR as a broadcast partner follows a number of distribution agreements reached this season with international broadcasters throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as the landmark distribution partnership between the NHL and MTG to provide live coverage of all 1,230 regular-season games and every Stanley Cup® Playoffs game throughout the Nordic region, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. For a complete listing of international broadcast partners, click here.
In July of 2011, Advisers Media International (AMI) and Medge Consulting secured the international media rights for the NHL. The rights cover international markets tendered by the NHL, including Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to marketing the NHL’s media rights, AMI and Medge have also been appointed to develop the international brand and profile of the NHL and develop and market new events.