Viaplay will launch in the UK later this year having secured a growing number of live sports to accompany its library of films, dramas and children’s programmes.
Under the terms of the NHL deal, up to 1,400 games from the US ice hockey league will be shown on Viaplay. From late 2022 through the 2026-2027 season, NHL fans in the UK will be able to stream every regular season game live on Viaplay, including all NHL Saturday and NHL Sunday games, together with the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Final and other marquee events, including the NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Stadium Series, NHL Heritage Classic and NHL Global Series.
Viaplay has also secured the rights to show 12 live KSW MMA events annually until 2025.
Based in Poland, KSW feature top Polish and international MMA competitors. Viaplay and KSW are now working together in 11 countries, and the first KSW event shown on Viaplay in the UK will be in late 2022.
Viaplay is operated by Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) and is currently embarking on a large-scale global expansion. Last year, Viaplay originally announced its intention to launch in the UK with a mix of drama, film, children’s and factual content. At the time, there was no mention of sport. Since then, Viaplay has been busy acquiring a range of live sport for the service. In March, it unveiled the first set of live sports to come to its UK service. At the time it said it would focus on sports “with an established Nordic connection”.
Pricing, device availability and launch date are yet to be confirmed. But the NHL season is due to start in October 2022.
Peter Nørrelund, NENT Group Chief Sports Officer, commented:
“We’re already expanding Viaplay’s UK sports line-up with more long-term rights that put us firmly on the map. We have worked with the NHL for 19 years in our Nordic markets, which proves the quality of our coverage. KSW is one of our fastest-growing partnerships and will be broadly available in the UK for the first time. These deals are great news for UK sports fans – and there’s more to come.”
David Proper, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Media & International Strategy, added:
“Viaplay has been an outstanding partner and key stakeholder in the NHL’s strategy to deliver the game to as many fans as possible throughout the world. We look forward to building on our shared commitment to bring the world’s best hockey players to a broader audience and are thrilled to have expanded our relationship with Viaplay.”