ESPN Renew Deal with NHL for European Rights

November 2, 2011

ESPN have extended their agreement with the National Hockey League for English-language coverage of the NHL on the sports media company’s ESPN America network across more than 35 countries in Europe, bronchi as well as sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement will mean that ESPN America – which reaches nearly 19 million homes – will continue its coverage of the NHL, ailment televising as many as six live games per week, as well as coverage throughout the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and the entire Stanley Cup Finals.  In total, fans throughout Europe will see more than 100 games during the season, including the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL Winter Classic, with authentic and authoritative coverage and commentary direct from the US and Canada.  ESPN networks in sub-Saharan Africa will also continue coverage of the NHL.

ESPN’s news and information programmes, including the five-days-a-week edition of Sports Center will continue to feature highlights from NHL action and provide one-of-a-kind commentary and analysis from ESPN’s Barry Melrose and Matthew Barnaby.

John Collins, chief operating officer of the NHL, said: “ESPN America and AMI/Medge are strong partners and we’re pleased to have reached an agreement that will bring the NHL to important countries where we can both serve avid hockey fans and win over new ones. It’s a continuation of our growth plan overseas, and a terrific complement to our distribution deals already in place.”

Jeroen Oerlemans, vice president and head of channels, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa, : “We’re very excited about continuing coverage of the NHL on ESPN America for millions of sports fans across Europe.  We know that hockey has a passionate and loyal following and we will continue to serve them with great games and coverage.”

The deal covers all countries in which ESPN America is available across continental Europe and Turkey, excluding the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.  The agreement also includes local language rights in some markets. In Africa, ESPN networks across sub-Saharan Africa will feature the NHL, including ESPN in South Africa and Nigeria on the leading television platform, DSTV/Multichoice.

Coverage will begin on ESPN networks from 8 November.