MTG acquires exclusive distribution rights to NHL ice hockey

October 20 2011

Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG’ or ‘the Group’), the international entertainment broadcasting group, today announced that it has acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the National Hockey League (NHL) in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland from Medge Consulting. The rights include, but are not limited to, exclusive live coverage on free-TV, pay-TV and the internet, until the end of the 2015-16 season. MTG has held rights to NHL games since October 2009.

MTG has the rights to show live coverage of approximately 1,300 NHL games each season on its pay-TV channels and Viaplay online multi-screen video streaming service across the Nordic region. Certain games also will be made available on MTG’s free-TV channels.

The launch of the 2011-12 NHL season included the New York Rangers playing the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, and the Anaheim Ducks playing the Buffalo Sabres at Helsinki’s Hartwall Areena. All three games were distributed live on Viasat channels and Viaplay.

Swedish viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on ice hockey pay-TV channel Viasat Hockey and premium pay-TV channel Viasat Sport, with selected games also shown on free-TV channel TV10.

Norwegian viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on ice hockey channel Viasat Hockey and premium pay-TV channel Viasat Sport HD, with selected games also shown on free-TV channel Viasat 4.

Danish viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on premium pay-TV channel TV 2 Sport, which MTG operates together with TV 2 Denmark.

Finnish viewers will be able to watch live NHL games on ice hockey channel Viasat Hockey and the Nelonen Pro sports channels, which are owned by Sanoma Media in strategic cooperation with MTG.

All of the games will be available over the internet on the Viaplay service in each country and, when several games are being played at the same time, Viasat satellite pay-TV customers will be able to choose between coverage on the channels mentioned above and the Viasat Xtra channels. The coverage will also include a NHL-produced daily highlights show.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of MTG, commented: “The NHL is the most watched ice hockey league in the world and attracts large TV audiences in the Nordic region, as well as stadium audiences when the games are played here. This reflects both the popularity of the sport and the fact that a number of Nordic ice hockey stars play in the League. This is a key sports right for us and this is the first time that we have secured the rights exclusively on a multi-platform and multi-country basis.”

“This is a landmark agreement that will deliver every NHL game to the Nordics for the first time ever,” said John Collins, NHL Chief Operating Officer. “This distribution partnership gives NHL fans in the Nordic countries unprecedented access to our games and our players. It’s a win for NHL hockey and a win for our fans.”

“We are excited that for the first time all of the NHL games will be broadcast by Viasat. More games than ever before will be shown across all of the Nordic countries, including a highlights programme and makes this agreement one that will benefit NHL fans for many years to come.” said Peter Liljestrand, co-owner of Medge Consulting.

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