Festive Hockey on Viaplay!

Lots of great Christmas hockey this December on Viaplay! Join me for live and exclusive Viaplay Elite League action, two CHL Quarter-Finals, and of course the Spengler Cup Semi-Finals, and the Spengler Final New Years Eve! Plus live NHL every night…spend the Holidays with us on Viaplay. Here’s some of the games coming up:

You can follow Murph on twitter all hockey season long @MurphOnice

Premier Sports Elite League becomes Viaplay Elite League

Viaplay and the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) have announced that starting 1 November, the Premier Sports Elite League will be rebranded as the Viaplay Elite League. The change follows Viaplay’s recent acquisition of Premier Sports.

This season, Viaplay will show live EIHL league games as well as the rebranded Viaplay Challenge Cup final and the Viaplay Playoffs weekend.

The first live match on Viaplay following the rebranding is on 9 November from the Utilita Arena Sheffield, as the Sheffield Steelers host Coventry Blaze.

Viaplay launched in the UK on 1 November and offers UK viewers a unique combination of live sports, Viaplay Originals and curated third-party content. All Premier Sports pay-TV and free-TV channels have received Viaplay branding from the same date.

New Voices, annual Offer Code, and lots of hockey action this season on Premier Sports!

Premier Sports have announced today their opening live Premier Sports Elite League and Challenge Cup fixtures with over 500 Ice Hockey games set to be broadcast across the channels from the Elite League, Challenge Cup, NHL and IIHF. 

The opening fixture will be the fiercely contested Scottish derby as Dundee Stars host Fife Flyers from the Dundee Ice Arena in the Challenge Cup on Thursday 15 September. The following Wednesday, Premier Sports’ cameras will be live from the Planet Ice Altrincham as Manchester Storm welcome Guildford Flames and at the end of September, Coventry Blaze host Cardiff Devils in the Challenge Cup before the NHL season returns at the beginning of October.

This season, there will be new additions to the Premier Sports talent team as former GB internationals Colin Shields and Angela Taylor will be joining the coverage alongside lead presenter and six-time Olympic broadcaster Aaron Murphy and former GB International as a player, and league-winning coach with Belfast 2013/14 Paul Adey.

Colin Shields is the Great Britain all-time leading goalscorer with 42 goals, the Belfast Giants all-time appearance leader with 611 games as well as the being the Giants all-time leading goalscorer with 245 goals. His legacy at Belfast Giants is so big his number 19 jersey is retired. 

Angela Taylor is currently the Team GB Women’s under 18 coach and was Team GB captain during 2011-2013 with 46 caps at international level. Taylor played professionally in Switzerland from 2010-2018 where she spent six seasons with ZSC Lions scoring 113 goals and winning the Swiss championship five times.

Premier Sports are delighted to team up with a new facilities partner QTV to bring fans coverage of the Premier Sports Elite League throughout the season.

New and returning customers to Premier Sports can avail of a new annual offer this year of £80 on Sky and the Premier Player by using the promo code ELITE80. The offer will cover the full Premier Sports Elite League season and the every live game on NHL, totalling over 500 games over the course of the year. Customers who avail of this offer will also get access to all of Premier Sports’ other coverage including LaLiga, Scottish Cup Football, United Rugby Championship, Rugby League Championship and more.

Opening live fixtures on Premier Sports:

15 September – Dundee Stars v Fife Flyers – Challenge Cup

21 September – Manchester Storm v Guildford Flames – Elite League

29 September – Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils – Challenge Cup

6 October – Sheffield Steelers v Guildford Flames – Elite League

21 October – Cardiff Devils v Belfast Giants – Elite League

9 November – Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze – Elite League

17 November – Coventry Blaze v Dundee Stars – Elite League

7/8 December – Challenge Cup Quarter Finals

14 December – Challenge Cup Quarter Finals

27 December – Cardiff Devils v Coventry Blaze

Many more live fixtures are to be added for 2023 including all teams, plus live and exclusive Challenge Cup Final coverage, and the entire Playoff Final Weekend.

Premier Sports Elite League

Premier Sports becomes official broadcast and sponsorship partner of the UK Elite League

The Elite Ice Hockey League and Premier Sports are delighted to announce an exciting partnership to further grow the professional game in the United Kingdom.

Premier Sports will become headline sponsors of the Elite League for the next three years and extend their support as the exclusive television partner of the UK’s top ice hockey league.

In total, 27 live games will be broadcast during the 2021/22 Premier Sports Elite League season, including 23 league games, the Premier Sports Challenge Cup Final and Premier Sports Playoff Finals Weekend. Fans can tune in on Sky, Virgin Media, or online using the Premier Sports Player with all the coverage brought to viewers by Aaron Murphy, a 5 time Olympic play-by-play broadcaster, with over 900 hockey games broadcast on TV. He will be ably joined by Paul Adey, former GB International as a player, and league winning coach with Belfast in 2013/14 and Chris Ellis who is starting his 22nd year covering hockey in the UK and is also the Media officer for Great Britain’s national teams and Ice Hockey UK. There will also be a number of guest reporters throughout the season.

Premier Sports will also have a new offer for EIHL fans with new customers getting their first month for just £5 by using the promo code EIHL5 on Sky or the Premier Player.

“Premier Sports have been a great partner of ours for the past two seasons, and we’re delighted that we’re able to take this a step further in 2021/22,” said Elite League Chairman Tony Smith. “We’re very proud to be able to secure a new headline sponsor in the current climate, especially one that is as enthusiastic and passionate about growing our sport as we are.

“We have always believed in the value of our product, and this deal underlines that. Coupled with welcoming fans back into arenas, we can’t wait to get the 2021/22 Premier Sports Elite League season up and running.”
Richard Webb, COO of Premier Sports commented, “We have been supporting British Ice Hockey in one form or other for the last 10 years so are thrilled to be able to build properly on those early foundations with this 3 year partnership announcement. It is great that we are in a position to put proper investment into the League and we look forward to showcasing the Premier Sports Elite League weekly on our network.”

Here are the Premier Sports Elite League Fixtures through Feb. 5th (more to be announced).

About Premier Sports

Premier Sports customers can now enjoy an even bigger package of great live sports coverage from just £12.99 per month. Formed in 2009, Premier Sports broadcasts in the UK with live and exclusive rights to La Liga, United Rugby Championship, Scottish Cup and Premier Sports Cup, GAA, NASCAR and also operates BoxNation, a dedicated boxing channel. Premier Sports is available in 16 million UK homes across Sky and Virgin platforms and to everyone via Premier Player https://www.premierplayer.tv/ while FreeSports is available to 22 million UK homes across six different platforms. To find out more visit www.premiersports.com.   

Missing The Game…and the People

There’s been much said about how Covid, and all the issues surrounding the virus, are making things extremely tough on all sports. This is obvious, as we all are more than aware of the banana skins that surround it all. Travel…not really possible. Getting together in an arena…not possible. Going to the pub to enjoy some live sport on TV…not possible. The list goes on and on…

I guess the issue less discussed, and that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately…because I’ve seen lots of social posts in the last few weeks on the subject…the issue of missing sports, but more importantly missing the people we enjoy it with.

Chris Ellis and Storm Coach Ryan Finnerty share a joke before an EIHL broadcast.

I’ve seen many folks lamenting how they miss their ‘hockey friends’ and the sense of community associated with taking in a game in Cardiff or Fife. This is an issue that’s not really measurable…but in my opinion just as disappointing and relevant as the dollars and cents that can be measured in losses to leagues and teams.

You see, in my EIHL travels the last few years for example, I’ve seen first-hand how the game of hockey is a social outlet, and familial experience for many hockey fans across Great Britain. It is their passion every weekend…for many it may be their social life, where like minded and lifelong friends keep each other company, and make each other laugh. When you hear mental health experts talk about the pandemic, they reference people feeling isolated, shut away from friends and family…and the negative toll that takes on all of us. I think a lot of hockey fans are feeling that as I type here.

Hockey in my experience can create joy and passion that cannot be replicated on zoom, or with old repeat games. I mean, these things are good, and certainly we must avail of such tools to keep ourselves going…but the real toll on sports for me – especially around hockey in Great Britain – is the toll of missing the joys and laughter of a night at an arena. Sharing a joint love of the game, or the joint fandom of your team. Sharing that sense of community and belonging…a sense of being a part of something brilliant.

Paul Adey and Murph getting ready for a live TV game.

Look at Team GB as another example. Hundreds of GB fans travelled to Budapest and Kosice for some of the best GB moments ever in IIHF history. These members of the ‘barmy army’ spent their hard earned cash on those occasions to be a part of the success of the national team. They used their valuable vacation days…they made GB their vacation – because of that unbridled joy that I speak of…that we all miss.

Where were you when Farmer scored that famous goal against Hungary? Where were you when Davies broke the hearts of French fans? For those that can say “I WAS THERE”, they know what I’m speaking of in this post. Yes, Covid has ravaged team and league finances…it has cost people jobs…devastating stuff, and to all those who are having bad times, I send positive hopes your way. It’s also taken away the laughter and passion of thousands of fans who miss their GB ‘family’ adventures, miss their EIHL friends. This social and mental health toll is tough on so many folks , and shouldn’t be taken for granted. No one affected in either of these ways should be taken for granted.

We all miss the game…it’s been a while since I’ve posted a note like this…but I wanted to let EIHL and GB fans know that they are certainly not alone in missing the games, the people, and ‘being there’. Let us hope that with vaccines, and time, we are all back in an arena soon…sharing some laughs and excitement…and more importantly sharing the experience of the special moments around the game together…be safe, and be kind.

Catching up with Cam…

A former New Jersey Devil and St. Louis Blue, Cam Janssen was a tough customer for all opponents he faced! With 336 NHL games played, and 774 PIM he was a warrior in his top-level career. He finished his playing days on this side of the pond in the EIHL with the Nottingham Panthers. Now a successful broadcaster in St. Louis, Janssen caught up with Murph to chat about his NHL and EIHL experiences, and all things hockey for FreeSports TV’s ‘Off The Ice’ programme June 3rd, 2020.

You can follow Murph on Twitter: @MurphOnIce

A Killer Chat…

In these uncertain times, and without sport to help us take our minds off the global health crisis, Murph decided a hockey chat might bring some positivity to a tough situation. He caught up with Cardiff Devils Managing Director Todd Kelman to discuss the EIHL season cancellation, the CHL and much much more! See the entire interview here:

Follow Murph on twitter here: @MurphOnIce


Bosses at the ten Elite League clubs have cancelled all matches with immediate effect.

League chiefs had hoped to complete the regular season and in the wake of last evening’s government guidelines, based on the up-to-the-minute scientific advice to allow sporting fixtures to continue, that seemed possible.

League bosses staged an emergency conference call after the Government’s latest announcement on the coronavirus outbreak. Impending restrictions on crowd sizes in Scotland were an issue that was being further considered overnight.

The 2019/20 Season has been cancelled as of March 13.

However, since then two teams have now reported they have players in self-isolation purely as a precaution but the health and safety of our fans, players and staff has to be paramount.

In the wake of that news the Elite league has no choice but to shut down the rest of the season and whilst the outcome is sure to disappointment fans across the country there was no alternative in these unprecedented times.

We are confident everyone will understand the rationale behind the league’s decision.

Further announcements will follow next week.

Watch the Premier Sports Challenge Cup!

Premier Sports will have exclusive live coverage of the EIHL Challenge Cup Final between Sheffield Steelers and the Cardiff Devils on Sunday 8th March.

Coverage gets underway on Premier Sports 1 from 3.30PM with Aaron Murphy and Paul Adey bringing you all the action from the Viola Arena in Cardiff.

New Premier Sports customers will be able to watch the EIHL Challenge Cup and the 2020 Premier Sports Playoff Final, a whole host of NHL games in the run up to the Stanley Cup Finals, LaLigaTV, Serie A and lots more via Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player.

How to watch on TV in the UK

– Sky customers signing up at www.premiersports.com Premier Sports HD on channel 412. New customers can subscribe from just £9.99 per month with no connection fee or £99 annually.

– Online (Web, iOS App, Android App): www.premierplayer.tv Premier Player from just £9.99 per month (or £99 annually) with no connection fee. If using App please set up an account first on web browser before downloading the App.

– Virgin customers: Premier Sports channel 551. You can subscribe for £9.99 per month via the provider with no connection fee or minimum contract. Call 0845 840 7777 or set up viewing via box. (Press Home > Apps and Games > All Apps > TV Upgrades.)

Please note Sky, Premier Player customers must give at least five working days’ notice to cancel the recurring monthly subscription if paying by card. Direct debit customers, please give 15 working days’ notice to cancel service. Virgin Media customers please contact provider to cancel.

Full Terms and Conditions available at premiersports.com

A moment for the ages!

Team GB in their biggest ever game at the IIHF World Championships, had a final game showdown against France on May 20th, 2019. The winner would stay in the top pool of world hockey…loser would be relegated! Murph had the call live from Steel Arena in Kosice on FreeSports TV. All the action and drama can be enjoyed again here:

You can follow Murph on twitter: @MurphOnIce