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Viasat acquires NHL rights

Modern Times Group-owned pay-TV group Viasat has acquired the rights from sports broadcaster ESPN to broadcast coverage of the National Hockey League (NHL) in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

Coverage of the NHL will begin in October at the start of the 2009-2010 season. The games will be broadcast on Sweden’s new ice hockey channel, Viasat Hockey; on Viasat Sport in Norway; and on Viasat channels in Finland and Denmark. The agreement includes five exclusive NHL matches every week during the regular season between October and April, news and highlights from all NHL matches, and co-exclusive rights with ESPN America to all of the Stanley Cup Playoff games between April and June.

The agreement also provides live online streaming rights to all NHL matches for Viasat OnDemand in conjunction with ESPN360, ESPN’s broadband service.