We might take our NHL coverage for granted here in North America with Versus, NBC, TSN, Sportsnet and CBC (among others) all taking care of everything so we can see the game we love, but our friends in Europe weren’t having such an easy time.
That’s all different now for our friends in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark as MTG (Modern Times Group) has acquired the rights to broadcast the NHL to all the Nordic countries in Europe and will show every game in some form to all those countries. The deal breaks down pretty well for fans across Scandinavia.
MTG has the rights to show live coverage of all 1230 regular season games as well as every Stanley Cup playoff game 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.
That means games being viewable on TV and the Internet. Just imagine being over here and having to sweat things out waiting for a broadcast deal to be cut like this. With so many players coming from these countries (around 10% of the NHL hails from here) that’s a lot of people with a vested interest in the game.
Just think if Swedes couldn’t watch half of the Red Wings lineup or Henrik Lundqvist, the Finns were denied Teemu Selanne, Norwegians couldn’t gaze upon Mats Zuccarello, or Danes were held back from Frans Nielsen or Peter Regin. That’s no good. It also won’t be an issue anymore.
Now we’ll all get to work on our Swedish and Finnish (and Norwegian and Danish) to have some fun with you guys in your native language. Where’s that online translator again…