US media giant Walt Disney and its US sports broadcaster ESPN will show North American ice hockey’s NHL in 109 countries globally for the upcoming season under the new long-term partnership with the league.
The broadcaster will provide NHL coverage across Australia, New Zealand, South America, the Caribbean, parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Coverage will be on Walt Disney’s linear channels and streaming platforms, including Star+, ESPN Play and the ESPN App, depending on the region, and will feature more than 1,400 games from across the regular season and playoffs, the Stanley Cup finals, All-Star weekend, Winter Classic and Stadium Series.
In Spanish-speaking South America and Brazil, Disney and ESPN coverage of the NHL will be available on the recently launched Star+ streaming service and on ESPN channels.
Star+ is Walt Disney’s new general entertainment and sports streaming service which was launched in Latin America on 31 August. It will also show the NHL in Mexico and Central America.
ESPN channels in Spanish-speaking South America and Brazil will televise at least two NHL games per week throughout the season.
In Europe, ESPN Player will provide complete coverage of every NHL game each season in Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, as well as Cyprus, Malta, Romania, San Marino and Vatican City.
Fans in the Netherlands will also be able to watch the NHL on ESPN networks.
In Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, ESPN and ESPN2 will televise a minimum of two regular-season NHL games per week, while every game will be streamed on the ESPN app.
Additionally, NHL studio programming will be available on ESPN channels and the ESPN App, with extensive highlights across ESPN platforms throughout the season.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, ESPN will show the top ice hockey league on both the ESPN Africa network and ESPN Player with two games per week during the regular season.
ESPN Player will deliver extensive coverage of the NHL season and is available in 52 countries and territories across sub-Saharan Africa.
In the Caribbean, ESPN’s coverage of the NHL will be on both ESPN Play and ESPN networks.
ESPN landed rights to the NHL for seven years starting with the 2021-22 season back in March.
It will be the first time the league has been screened by ESPN since 2004, and the agreement is reported to be worth in the region of $2.8 billion.
In the US, the NHL will be shown in the linear ESPN channels as well as sister platforms ESPN+, ABC and Hulu.
The 2021-22 season will begin on 12 October with Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the season opener.