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Infront agrees five-year Champions Hockey League rights extension

Image: Infront

The Infront agency has secured a fresh five-season extension to its contract as the exclusive media and marketing partner of European club ice hockey competition the Champions Hockey League.

The agreement will run from 2023-24 to 2027-28 and follows a six-season extension that was signed in June 2016. The contract includes media and sponsorship rights, overall venue management, digital services and management of broadcast production.

Infront has represented the CHL rights since the league launched in 2014-15 with 44 teams (before expanding to 48 clubs for its 2015-16 campaign).

The CHL deal comes after Infront signed a 10-year extension to its media and sponsorship rights sales agreement with the IIHF in September. That new IIHF contract runs from 2024 to 2033 and is worth over CHF500m (€449m / $499m) in guaranteed payments and the provision of comprehensive media, marketing and digital services.

Infront agreed the renewal with the CHL’s 33 shareholders. Champions Hockey League AG/Ltd is comprised of the 26 clubs, the International Ice Hockey Federation and shareholder leagues in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

Bruno Marty, senior vice-president of ProSports at Infront, said: “This agreement confirms our leading position on the global ice hockey stage as the premier source for premium rights and properties. Infront has been part of the CHL’s DNA from the start and its continued growth is something we aim to build on through this new agreement.”

Peter Zahner, CHL president, said: “Signing another five-year extension is a very strong message for fans and media – it first of all shows that Infront strongly believes in our product, but it also demonstrates the big commitment of all our shareholders and partners who will continue to work hard on establishing the CHL as Europe’s greatest hockey competition.”

Going into the 2019-20 CHL season, Infront had secured 26 broadcast deals covering 63 territories. The CHL’s international broadcast footprint is often extended towards the end of the season as a handful of additional broadcasters come on board for the play-offs.

The total of 26 broadcasters was down on the 29 broadcasters (covering 65 territories) that were in place ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.