EIHL & FREESPORTS ANNOUNCE AMENDMENT TO TV COVERAGE

The Elite Ice Hockey League and FreeSports have announced an amendment to their scheduled list of televised games for 2018/19.

The game between Cardiff Devils and Fife Flyers, which was scheduled to be shown on Wednesday 21st November, has now been replaced by Coventry Blaze’s home game against Guildford Flames, which has moved from its original date of Wednesday 14th November.

It means that all clubs will have coverage from their home rinks through the course of the season as a result of this change.

Also changing is the date originally given for the preview show, scheduled for Tuesday 4th September at 8pm in the build-up to the new campaign and this has been pushed back until Thursday 6th September at 9pm.

Regarding the fixture change, Elite League Director of Hockey Operations Michael Hicks explained about the amendment and says Blaze’s addition was always going to happen.

“We knew when the original list went out that Coventry’s omission from it was always going to stand out and cause some level of disappointment,” he said.

“When the original TV schedule was drawn up, all teams had TV coverage, unfortunately with ice availability changes and scheduling all outside of our control, it meant the original date we had agreed for the Blaze game wasn’t suitable for all parties concerned.

“We continued to work in the background alongside FreeSports and the 11 member clubs to come up with an alternate solution.

“We had to release the original schedule of TV games, to allow the build-up to the start of the season to continue and to give ourselves and our partner FreeSports the time to prepare and promote the coverage of games.

“The TV schedule was always subject to change, which was stated at the time.  Both the network and myself were confident Coventry would be included throughout the season and since then, we’ve come to an agreement with all clubs involved that this new date was the best option.

“Cardiff, Fife and Guildford were more than happy to make way for Coventry and now we have the ice confirmed for the new date along with the agreement from the teams involved as well as the network we can now pencil this game in.

“Now that we have a solution, I want to thank all parties involved, particularly Guildford for agreeing to the switch to facilitate FreeSports as well as Cardiff, who were more than happy to step aside.

“Their assistance was invaluable in helping to make this possible and I look forward to seeing our great sport on television this season.”

Cardiff and Milton Keynes Lightning will contest the first game live on FreeSports

AMENDED TELEVISION LIST (17 total)

Sunday 16th September –

Cardiff Devils vs Milton Keynes Lightning (6pm)

Wednesday 26th September –

Nottingham Panthers vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Wednesday 10th October –

Belfast Giants vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 31st October –

Sheffield Steelers vs Coventry Blaze (7.30pm)

Wednesday 14th November –

Milton Keynes Lightning vs Glasgow Clan (7.30pm)

Wednesday 21st November –

Coventry Blaze vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 5th December –

Dundee Stars vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Thursday 27th December –

Sheffield Steelers vs Nottingham Panthers (7pm)

Wednesday 16th January –

Manchester Storm vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm) 

Wednesday 30th January –

Guildford Flames vs Sheffield Steelers (7.30pm)

Wednesday 13th February –

Challenge Cup Semi Final

Wednesday 27th February –

Fife Flyers vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Wednesday 20th March –

Glasgow Clan vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Another March Game  –

TBD (hopefully league decider etc)

Saturday 6th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Quarter Final

Sunday 7th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Quarter Final

Sunday 14th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Final

The EIHL TV schedule is here!

ELITE LEAGUE AND FREE SPORTS ANNOUNCE TELEVISED GAMES

The Elite Ice Hockey League and FreeSports have announced the games which will be televised live in the 2018/19 season.

After discussions, the list was finally agreed upon that will see cameras across all Elite League venues in the coming campaign to bring live action from 17 games to television screens, including a game in late March.

Plus FreeSports will screen a preview show on the 4th September at 8pm in the build-up to the new campaign.

Starting the coverage off will be champions Cardiff Devils hosting Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday 16th September – the night of their championship banner unfurling.

From there, FreeSports’ cameras will move to Nottingham on Wednesday 26th September, where Rich Chernomaz’s Panthers host the Devils.

Also included is a Challenge Cup semi-final, two play-off quarter finals and the play-off final, live from Nottingham on Sunday 14th April.

17 EIHL games will be shown free-to-air this season on FreeSports

As well as showing a live game every second week, FreeSports will broadcast a highlights show every week as either a standalone programme or as part of the live game coverage, keeping fans in the picture throughout the season.

Presenting the coverage is Aaron Murphy, a man no stranger to UK audiences with his previous EIHL work, the NHL and World Championships and he’s looking forward to touring the country.

“Now that we know where we’re going to be this season, it adds an extra excitement for everyone on the FreeSports team,” he said.

“There are venues I’ve yet to visit, such as Guildford and Milton Keynes and I’m looking forward to revisiting places I haven’t been to in some time.

“The fans can also start to look ahead to what’s going to happen now as a thrilling Elite League season gets ready to play out in front of our eyes.

“There’s a lot to look forward to and I’m delighted to be able to bring EIHL action to the viewers of FreeSports.”

Elite League chairman Tony Smith spoke of his pleasure at revealing the games that will be shown and he admits getting the list together had its difficulties.

He added: “We’re finally over the line as you can see from the list, there are going to be some exciting games to watch on FreeSports in the coming season.

“To get to this point, there were a lot of logistical considerations to take into account when it came to deciding which games would be shown.

“There had to be suitability from the venues and the teams, not to mention from FreeSports themselves and a number of factors came into play before agreement was reached.

“Nevertheless, I’m thrilled we’ve got there and I want to thank Richard Webb and everyone at FreeSports for their support and I’m looking forward to working with them this season.”

About Free Sports

Free Sports is currently available via Freeview (95), Sky (422), Virgin (553) FreeSat (252), TalkTalk (95), BT Vision (95) and online via the TVPlayer.

For more information, visit www.freesports.tv

Facebook: @freesportsuktv

Twitter: @freesportsuk

LIST OF TELEVISED GAMES FOR 2018/19

(Please note list is subject to change at a later date, TBC game to be added for March)

Sunday 16th September

Cardiff Devils vs Milton Keynes Lightning (6pm)

Wednesday 26th September

Nottingham Panthers vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Wednesday 10th October

Belfast Giants vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 31st October

Glasgow Clan vs Cardiff Devils (7,30pm)

Wednesday 14th November

Milton Keynes Lightning vs Glasgow Clan (7.30pm)

Wednesday 21st November

Cardiff Devils vs Fife Flyers (7.30pm)

Wednesday 5th December

Dundee Stars vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Thursday 27th December

Sheffield Steelers vs Nottingham Panthers (TBC)

Wednesday 16th January

Manchester Storm vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 30th January

Guildford Flames vs Sheffield Steelers (7.30pm)

Wednesday 13th February

Challenge Cup Semi Final

Wednesday 27th February

Fife Flyers vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Wednesday 20th March

Glasgow Clan vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Saturday 6th April

Play-off Quarter Final

Sunday 7th April

Play-off Quarter Final

Sunday 14th April

Play-off Final

A great season ahead on FreeSports with all the action from the EIHL.

 

What a season ahead!

I’ve been overseas for almost 12 years now. I love living abroad, and am fortunate to be working in a hockey job I enjoy.  In the time I have been on these shores the sport has grown,  and it is incredible to look back and see how far hockey coverage has come here!  12 years ago you’d get some NHL on NASN, some IIHF if lucky, and some domestic stuff here and there (no free-to-air hockey). Not exactly huge air-time. Fast forward to the present, coming into the 2018/19 season we will have all of the best leagues and players on free-to-air TV in the UK!

Free Sports growing commitment to hockey is great to see, and I cannot wait to get going in late August as the Champions Hockey League kicks off our biggest hockey broadcast year to date!

It will be a huge year of hockey coverage on Free Sports!

Follow Murph throughout the new season on twitter here: @MurphOnIce

An Elite Announcement for Free!

ELITE LEAGUE TO BE TELEVISED ON FREE SPORTS

  • 1 LIVE EIHL GAME EVERY TWO WEEKS ON FREE SPORTS INCLUDING PLAYOFF FINAL
  • BI WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS SHOW
  • PRE SEASON PREVIEW SHOW

Media Release: 20th July 2018

The Elite Ice Hockey League are delighted to announce a television deal that will see matches broadcast on free-to-air television on Free Sports.

The deal, signed for the next two seasons, will see a live game shown every two weeks which will also feature highlights, starting with the forthcoming 2018/19 campaign.

Further to that, there will be a bi-weekly highlights show on Wednesdays, during the weeks there isn’t a live game and fans can also look forward to a pre-season preview show to air before the campaign.

Elite League chairman Tony Smith says it’s a step in the right direction with the league enjoying some great coverage recently.

“I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree a deal with Free Sports to show free ice hockey to fans on television,” he said.

The EIHL will be on free-to-air TV!

“With the success of the Great Britain national team, one of our young players, Liam Kirk, drafted to the NHL and the standard increasing every year, it’s something we were keen to tie up.

“Free Sports’ relationship with the sport, particularly in this country, is a healthy one and I’m pleased to see the Elite League join that stable in helping promote top level ice hockey from the UK.

“I want to thank Free Sports for their professionalism in these negotiations and on behalf of the league, we’re very much looking forward to working with them.”

Spearheading the coverage will be presenter Aaron Murphy, a man well known to fans of the Elite League and will be the man behind the mic again.

Murphy has a wealth of experience in commentary, including covering matches at the Winter Olympics, the NHL and at the World Championships.

But as a fan of the Elite League, he’s delighted to be back on board and is excited about what the season may hold as the EIHL heads for the home of ice hockey.

“It’s brilliant to see the EIHL coming back to our TV screens, joining a great stable of hockey alongside the CHL, NHL, KHL, SHL and IIHF events on Free Sports,” Murphy said.

“The league has been getting better every year, with the level on the ice now at a point where huge European teams in the CHL are defeated by EIHL clubs regularly.”

Paul Adey will join Murph to call the EIHL broadcasts!

“For fans to be able to see more of that in the domestic competition is a positive step forward. On the back of the Team GB success as well, it’ll be nice for people to see those players suit up for their club as well as the National side.

“I can’t wait to get back calling the games, as I always enjoyed broadcasting the EIHL in the past. This new chapter will be fantastic on free to air TV and we aim to expose the league to new viewers who will hopefully become part of the passionate fan bases of all 11 teams.“

“It’s going to be a fun season, with plenty of storylines and excitement, and we can’t wait to get going on Free Sports.”

Richard Webb, operations director at Free Sports, added: “Our Ice Hockey coverage on Free Sports continues to grow and we’re delighted to have the Elite Ice Hockey League on board.”

“Our channel has showed a wealth of ice hockey over the past 12 months including monumental successes for the GB Ice Hockey team, at senior, u18s and u20s level.”

“This is great deal for the fans to enjoy even more of the best British ice hockey has to offer and we can’t wait for the new season.”

Free Sports, a relatively new channel launched last August is dedicated to giving every home in the UK access to live, free sports and continues to grow with the acquisition of the EIHL rights.

This week, Free Sports announced they will be available on Virgin TV from Saturday July 21st with the channel now broadcast on every platform in the UK.

About Free Sports

Free Sports is currently available via Freeview (95), Sky (422), Virgin (553) FreeSat (252), TalkTalk (95), BT Vision (95) and online via the TVPlayer.

For more information, visit www.freesports.tv

Facebook: @freesportsuktv

Twitter: @freesportsuk

Gold, pure Gold!

What an incredible moment. What an incredible achievement. A look back at one of the most important moments in GB hockey for decades! Great Britain vs Hungary, complete highlights of the history and magic from Budapest 2018:

You can follow Murph on twitter here: @MurphOnIce

Moving On Up…

All any team or athlete can ask for – after all the hard work and preparation – is a chance to have destiny in your hands. Whatever the goal or ambition, to be in the final day of a competition, with Gold and Promotion to the top level in your sport as the reward…that is a dream scenario! GB had that scenario at the 2018 Division 1A World Championships in Budapest. A point against the hosts Hungary, & they would clinch Gold and a trip to the World Championships in 2019! Here’s a look back to April 28th 2018:

You can follow Murph on twitter here: @MurphOnIce

On the Verge of History!

What a great competition in Budapest! Great Britain came into the Division 1A World Championships as the lowest seed, and not many people gave them a chance for a medal. Well there was something special in the air, something just felt good around the group. Great Britain beat Italy for the first time since 1952 on April 27th! It put them in Gold Medal and Promotion position heading into the final day in Hungary…here’s some of the big moments!

You can follow Murph on twitter here: @MurphOnIce