Premier Sports is to be the exclusive UK television partner to the newly formed Champions League Hockey competition for the next three seasons.
The subscription sports channel, which broadcasts exclusively on Sky and Virgin Media, has announced coverage of up to 25 live games from the newly formed pan-European ice hockey league.
Starting in August, the inaugural 2014/2015 CHL season represents a massive step forward for the sport of ice hockey in Europe, bringing together the powerhouses of European club hockey in a group stage and knockout tournament format that will run alongside respective national leagues
In total there will be 25 game nights, featuring 44 clubs from 12 different countries spread over 11 groups, and Premier Sports will be there every step of the way with coverage beginning in late August, running through to the CHL Final, which is scheduled for the February 3, 2015.
The Nottingham Panthers will represent the UK’s EIHL and Premier Sports will have live coverage of all six of their group stage games against Hamburg of Germany, Lukko Rauma of Finland and Lulea of Sweden.
The agreement was closed with Infront Sports & Media, the exclusive media and marketing partner for the Champions Hockey League.
Richard Sweeney, General Manager of Premier Sports commented, “The creation of this tournament signals a new dawn in European Club Ice Hockey and it is great that it will be shown alongside the NHL on the ‘Home of Hockey’ in the UK.
“Our Ice Hockey coverage now runs from August to June and is expected to feature over 600 games from the NHL, EIHL, IIHF World Championships and CHL making us a must have addition for every Ice Hockey fan.”
Bruno Marty, Executive Director Winter Sports of Infront, added “The Champions Hockey League is a Pan-European tournament – meaning that it involves teams from all over Europe, and at the same time reaches out to viewers all over the continent.
“In this spirit, we are striving to boost the sport not only in the established, but also in emerging ice hockey markets.
“Premier Sports will extensively feature the games of UK participant Nottingham Panthers and is the ideal partner to help proliferate ice hockey and the CHL, as it offers top-level club ice hockey to its viewership.”
The new competition is fully owned and operated by the European Ice Hockey Club Competition Ltd (EICC) which includes, as its shareholders, 26 Founding Clubs from six national Founding Leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
The inaugural season will see 44 clubs from the founding national leagues: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland take part, including the respective national champions and regular season winners. Also, champions from certain Challenge Leagues will be invited as wild cards.
The group stages for the 2014/15 CHL season runs from August to October, with the Playoffs taking place from November to February 2015. Premier Sports will have live coverage of all the key matches.
Premier Sports has been running since 2010 and offers fans in the UK an opportunity to receive wall-to-wall coverage of variety of niche sporting events.
Its current portfolio is made up of over 1,000 live events per year and includes NRL and Four Nations rugby league, as well as regular ice hockey, motorsport, GAA and South American football.
For further information on how to subscribe to Premier Sports, visit premiersports.tv.
.Nottingham Panthers fixtures live on Premier Sports Friday 22nd August Nottingham v Lukko – 19:00 Sunday 24th August Nottingham v Lulea – 13:35 Friday 5th September Lukko v Nottingham – 18:30 Sunday 7th September Lulea v Nottingham – 14:35 Tuesday 23rd September Nottingham v Hamburg Freezers – 19:30 Tuesday 10th October Hamburg Freezers v Nottingham – 18:30 November 4-12 Last 16 December 2-10 Quarter Finals January 13-21 Semi Finals Tuesday 3rd February Final