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BT Sport adds NHL coverage ‘to increase UK awareness’

Ice hockey’s National Hockey League is now receiving additional exposure in the UK after pay-TV broadcaster BT Sport picked up rights to two matches per week.

Rights in the UK have been held by exclusively by subscription broadcaster Premier Sports, which announced a five-year extension in September 2016.

However, the broadcaster will no longer be the sole UK broadcaster after BT Sport started airing matches last weekend.

Premier Sports said on Twitter that BT has secured two matches per week going forward in order to “increase the awareness of NHL in the UK”.

BT Sport’s coverage continued last night as the Montreal Canadiens faced the Edmonton Oilers and it will broadcast the Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators clash on Sunday (on the BT Sport ESPN channel).

Premier Sports will continue to air 15 NHL matches per week during the regular season, plus the majority of play-off matches and the Stanley Cup Finals. The broadcaster showcases its coverage across its subscription Premier Sports and free-to-air FreeSports channels.

The matches shown by Premier Sports are not available on NHL.tv, the league’s international subscription OTT service, until 24 hours after the live game.

The IMG agency advises the NHL on its international rights sales in a deal running from 2016-17 to 2020-21 and excluding USA, Canada and the Nordic countries.