Posts Tagged ‘Nordics’


It looks like Finland is going to have NHL on the TV as well now. According to Finnish magazine, Urheilulehti, the games will be shown on Viasat and Nelone Pro channels. What gives credibility to the rumours is that there have been tweets going around from sources close to NelonenPro to say that they hope to have something soon and a Swedish press release posted on the Viasat pages about the NHL.

According to Urheilulehti, the deal would cover the next five years (also the length for which Medge Consulting has the rights for). Earlier last week, EPSN America announced that it had withdrawn from the NHL in UK, Ireland and Scandinavia/Nordics. Finland, a known hotbed for hockey, has not had any NHL games shown, apart from the Premiere games that took place in Helsinki and Stockholm.

Urheilulehti says that the deal is radical change to last year as Viasat and Nelonen Pro can broadcast as many games as they want and the channels can choose which games they are going to show due to the exclusivity of the deal. This would allow the channels to broadcast games that are most interesting to their audiences and have greater flexibility among the broadcast of games. So theoretically, if Viasat and Nelonen Pro so wish, they could show a game or two every night of the week, which seems a hell of a lot better than deal than some other countries have gotten.

The deal is quite different to the one that was unveiled in the UK with Premier Sports that are going to be showing ‘up-to 10 games per week’. As for Premier sports, they have expanded the offering of the games, but majority of the games are still showing Western Conference teams and most have a start time of 3am UK time.

Medge Consulting and Viasat are expected to make an official announcement about the rights during this week, according to Urheilulehti. There has been no confirmation on what will happen with Game center live in the countries the deal will effect, and whether Viasat and Nelonen Pro will offer their own online streams as part of the package.

I guess everyone remembers that GCL was switched off in the region for the NHL Premiere games aired on Nelonen Pro and Viasat.

 

The original story can be found here (in Finnish only) http://www.urheilulehti.fi/jaakiekko/latkafanien-piina-ohi-%E2%80%93-nhl-palaa-vihdoin-suomalaiseen-televisioon#.TpwpSV5nrvY.twitter


The puck drops tomorrow and fans across the world are waiting with bated breath to watch the games. None more than the European NHL fans as the situation over broadcast rights is still up in the air. Fans have been campaigning across social media platforms to raise the issue to NHL and those involved. Even Brent Burns from the San Jose Sharks re-tweeted one of the #NHLTV4Europe tweets last night.

 

The last few days has seen Puck Daddy put a story together on the issue and even quoted the open letter I put together. I was just trawling twitter and I saw one of my followers Teemu Tammilehto (@tammarii) tweet that there is a TV agreement in place and that Game Centre Live has been blocked.

 

A thread on HF boards has users in Nordic countries saying that Game Centre Live is blocked and many other users from countries such as Germany are reporting similar problems. It would transpire that there is a broacast agreement in place for the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark) would have a TV deal in place with Viasat. But reading the comments on HF Boards, it would seem that the decision has enraged many fans (read the thread here: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=943727&page=16).

 

To me this is an encouraging step, but still a double edged sword situation. In my initial blog and the follow up I said that the NHL needs a TV deal in Europe and a presence online, but with the broadcast agreement now in place, it would appear that the online broadcasting rights are up in the air.

 

 

Users who subscribed to Game Centre Live have received the following message:

 

“Unfortunately, NHL GameCenter Live is no longer available in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. The NHL is now being broadcast in your region through Viasat.

A refund has been applied to your account. Please allow 7-10 business days to see this reflected back on your credit card statement.

NHL Web Support”

 

 

I’ve been critical of the Game Centre Live route, but don’t get me wrong, the GCL is a great product but with most internet providers failing to deliver the promised speeds, users would have hugely differing experiences with watching games. For me personally GCL would’ve been a painstaking experience, much like watching the World Championships through IIHF.com.

 

However, as Viasat now has rights to broadcast games, there is no indication whether there will be online broadcasts and to what degree. The NHL needs to have both televised and online presence globally to really market the sport. TV will provide fans like me an outlet to watch games and the Internet provides the option of giving fans the option of what games they will watch.

 

Further to the point, there seems to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel on getting the debacle sorted out, though there are many more markets that need to be covered and Medge and AMI are running out of time.

 

Apologies for the rambling nature of the post, but I wanted to get the information up ASAP. I will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as and when they happen.

 

Let’s hope that we will all be able to watch games in time for the opening face off, whether it is on TV or online. Or who knows, both.