NENT lands five-year IIHF World Championship rights deal in Norway
By Jonathan Rest
Nordic Entertainment Group, the regional media giant, has landed rights in Norway to the next five editions of ice hockey's annual IIHF World Championship.
The 2019 competition, which will be staged in Slovakia between 10 and 26 May, will be shown across the Viasat 4 and Viasport channels and streaming service Viaplay.
All of Norway's matches - they face Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Austria and Italy in the group stages - and all knockout games will be shown on Viasat 4 and Viaplay. The remaining matches will be shown on Viasport and Viaplay.
Viasat 4 showed all of Norway's matches at last year's IIHF World Championships in Denmark when a one-year deal was agreed between Infront and Modern Times Group, which NENT was formally spun out of last month.
NENT has acquired the rights from Infront, the international sports agency that is the media and marketing partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation to 2023.
Vegard Klubbenes Drogseth, chief executive of NENT Group, said: "Sports content brings together viewers in front of the TV screen, and we are very pleased with the rights we have now secured. The rights to the ice hockey World Cup fit perfectly into the series of newly acquired winter sports rights and otherwise the strong hockey rights we offer on NENT Group's channels and platforms."
Last week, NENT swooped for rights across the Nordic region to Alpine and Nordic World Cup and World Championships skiing events with effect from 2021, also in a deal with Infront.
NENT shares IIHF World Championship rights in Sweden to 2023 with SVT, the public-service broadcaster. NENT's linear channels and pay-TV's Viasat Hockey will televise the 2020 and 2022 tournaments (they showed the 2018 event), while SVT will carry the 2019, 2021 and 2023 editions. Viaplay will stream matches from every tournament.
In Denmark and Finland, IIHF World Championship rights are held by commercial networks TV2 and MTV Oy, in six-year deals that also expire in 2023.