North American ice hockey’s NHL has deepened its ties with Sportradar after hiring the international sports data intelligence and digital content service provider to power the league’s international streaming service.

The new tie-up has seen the pair work together ahead of the 2022-23 season to launch an updated version of NHL.TV, the league’s subscription service for fans outside the US and Canada, which, in addition to live games, offers fans “team-specific personalization features” like on-demand videos and extra highlights.

As part of the partnership, Sportradar will now also provide its over-the-top (OTT) solution to help the league “manage its end-to-end workflow of NHL.TV” going forward.

It will help the NHL to manage the backend of NHL.TV and frontend applications (including both web and mobile), as well as help with user interface design and third-party integrations.

Sportradar chief operating officer Ed Blonk said: “Today’s sports fans expect a viewing experience that is highly personalized and tailored to their unique interests.

“By utilizing our truly dynamic and trusted data-driven, end-to-end OTT solution, which has been developed and refined over the last 15 years, NHL.TV has the ability to meet and exceed viewer demands.

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“We look forward to working closely with the NHL to deliver an innovative product that will deepen fan engagement now and in the future.”

The new deal strengthens the relationship between the two parties after they entered into an exclusive 10-year distribution agreement covering betting and streaming data rights in June 2021.

That agreement, which is reported to be worth over $250 million, sees Sportradar serve as the sole distributor of NHL data to both sportsbooks and media outlets, in both the US and international markets.

The sports data firm also distributes live streams of games to betting operators and collaborates with the league to secure betting sponsorships with overseas firms. 

The two parties first started working together in 2015, with the partnership initially focused on integrity and data-based services.

Stephen McArdle, NHL senior executive vice president for digital media and strategic planning, said: “Similar to our North American fan base, NHL international fans are extremely tech savvy and expect a premium digital viewing experience.

“Sportradar’s refresh of NHL.TV for certain international markets will help provide fans around the world with a more personalized and enhanced experience with the game, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with Sportradar to deliver a best-in-class international direct-to-consumer platform.”

The NHL 2022-23 regular season started on October 7 and will end in June 2023.

Image: Derek Leung/Getty Images