The NHL drops the puck on its 2019-20 season in less than a month, and now it has a free streaming outlet in hockey-mad Russia.
The league said today that it has inked a deal for Yandex — one of Europe’s largest internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia — to broadcast all NHL games in that country via its streaming platform. The multiyear deal begins when the regular season opens on October 2 and includes the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Yandex also will provide fans with an interactive streaming experience while watching the games. Viewers will be able to react to everything that happens on the ice by live chatting and using the reaction emojis. NHL games and highlights also will be available to watch on-demand after the live broadcast, plus viewers can subscribe to receive notifications about the games.
“By partnering with the NHL, one of the world’s leading sports leagues, we can better connect some of hockey’s biggest fans with their favorite teams and players,” said Leonid Savkov, Chief Commercial Officer of Yandex. “We are delighted to work with the NHL to offer viewers in Russia a more accessible and innovative way to watch games for free. We are also excited to provide new opportunities for advertisers to reach millions of hockey fans viewing the games.”
Said David Proper, the NHL’s EVP International and Media Strategy: “Yandex is an industry leader in Russia and a uniquely compelling platform to deliver NHL games and our star players to hockey fans across the country. This partnership is the result of Yandex and the NHL’s shared commitment to provide content that will engage passionate fans and offer the potential to reach an even broader audience.”