Viasat Retains Hockey Rights for Baltics


STOCKHOLM: Viasat Broadcasting has renewed its exclusive pay-TV broadcast rights for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in the Baltics, along with adding online rights to its agreement.

The agreement takes effect with the start of the 2012-2013 season and carries on through the end of the 2014-2015 season. The rights—covering Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—were acquired from KHL-Marketing through its UFA Sports agency.

Viasat Broadcasting will air more than 180 KHL games every season on its Viasat Sport Baltic channel. Viasat will also air the home games of the Latvian KHL team, Dinamo Riga, live on its free-TV channel TV6 in Latvia.

Kaspars Ozolins, the CEO of MTG Baltics, commented, “It is another major step for Viasat in the Baltics to have prolonged and expanded the rights for this popular sports property as we always aim to provide our viewers with the best sports events available. Ice hockey is enormously popular in Latvia and KHL is the strongest hockey league in Europe. Latvia’s Dinamo Riga is the country’s most high profile sports team due to their consistent strong achievements in the KHL.”

“In our three-year cooperation, Viasat Broadcasting has proved to be a highly professional and reliable partner,” added Natalia Chaykovskaya, the head of the TV projects department at KHL-Marketing. “Both TV6 and Viasat Sport Baltic have the latest technological equipment and a clear vision of ‘what hockey should be.’ They also boast a talented team of commentators so they exceed the demands and requirements of KHL in regards to the quality and content of transmissions. The new deal more than doubles the amount of KHL games broadcast in the Baltics. This should be a big driver for growth of popularization of both KHL and the sport of ice hockey in the region. Apart from broadcast coverage, our partner plans to exploit various promotion instruments to strengthen Dinamo Riga’s brand, the club’s games and KHL itself.”