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The Globe and Mail

NHL finally has its television house in order overseas

NHL Commissioner Bettman announces that the Flyers will host the Rangers in the 2012 Winter Classic hockey game to be played on January 2 at Citizens Bank Ballpark during a news conference at the ballpark in Philadelphia.


The NHL finally has its television house in order overseas.

A report in the Sports Business Daily says the league will announce later Thursday it has nailed down 10 final media-rights contracts to give it complete coverage in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. On Wednesday, the NHL announced it struck a deal with ESPN to televise games in 35 countries in Europe and Africa.

The NHL was without full coverage overseas this season because it decided not to renew a contract with ESPN when it expired at the end of last season. The league contracted two outside companies, Advisers Media International and Medge Consulting, to cut individual deals with carriers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. When the new deals could not be completed in time for the start of this season, many European viewers were left without access to games on television.

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Now that ESPN signed on again, NHL games will be available in those 35 countries in Europe and Africa beginning Nov. 8. The other European, African and Middle Eastern deals are with various carriers and all of the details were not immediately known.

The Sports Business Daily reported several live games per week will be shown in the United Kingdom on Premier Sports and in Ireland on Setanta Sports. There are also deals in place in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and France.

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