01 December 2011
The National Hockey League continues to spread across Europe. After reaching a television deal with MTG about six weeks ago, the league announced today that they've secured yet another television deal - this time in Russia. The new deal with All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) will be able to broadcast multiple games per week. The games will be split amongst the network's channels Rossiya 2 and Sport 1. I would imagine that most of the games that will be shown will have DET/PIT/WSH/NJD teams in action, given they each hold a prominent Russian star. Secondary choices might fall to the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche. The terms of the deal were not disclosed at the release, although keep an eye out as I'm sure revenue projections will leak within the coming weeks.
From John Collins - NHL COO:
"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. 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."
This deal comes at a time were the NHL is furiously trying to promote their games on the international stage. Russia was a primary target for the NHL, given that the hockey headlines are filled with KHL news. The new deal will hope to build further popularity of the NHL in Russia - calming some of the hype surrounding the Kontinental Hockey League.
A full listing of the NHL's worldwide broadcast partners: