FreeSports snaps up GB men's rights in five-year deal
Great Britain's men's ice hockey team will have their top matches shown on free-to-air television over the next five years, after FreeSports, the new sister free-to-air channel of UK pay-TV broadcaster Premier Sports, acquired the rights.
Great Britain were promoted last season with five victories from five and will now compete in the second-tier IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group A in 2018.
The six-team tournament runs from 22 to 28 April and will take place in Budapest, with Great Britain's matches against Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland and Slovenia all to be shown live on FreeSports.
FreeSports, which launched on 31 August, is available in more than 18 million homes in the UK on the Sky, BT, TalkTalk, Freeview and FreeSat platforms, but there is as yet no carriage agreement with cable operator Virgin Media.
Premier Sports has become the established home for ice hockey in the UK. It holds rights to North America's NHL until 2021, and shows 15 games per week during the regular season, of which 11 per week can be shown exclusively. It also held exclusive rights in the UK to September's World Cup of Hockey, and shows action from the Champions Hockey League, the pan-European ice hockey clubs competition, and the Swedish Hockey League.
Matches from all of these leagues have also been shown on the FreeSports channel in recent months.