top of page

European Fans Rejoice: NHL's Efforts in Internationalization Bring Results

According to Shawn Medow from, the National Hockey League is considering changes to its matchday scheduling to cater more to fans in Europe, with early puck drops on weekends in North America proving successful in boosting viewership across key ice hockey markets in Europe. Viewership in Sweden is up by an impressive 827%, Finland has increased by 670%, Germany has risen by 248%, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia have grown by 71% and 40%, respectively, compared to other live NHL games. These changes are part of the NHL's internationalization plans, with the league's international department actively evaluating strategies to engage European markets further.

The NHL's international strategy aligns with trends seen in other major American sports leagues like the NFL, MLB, and NBA, which are also expanding their presence globally. The league is focusing on northern and eastern Europe, with plans for the 2024 NHL Global Series in Europe, where regular-season games have been well-received, particularly in Stockholm, Sweden. Partnerships with media rights-holders like Viaplay Group and consultation from agencies like IMG are crucial in building the NHL's profile and expanding its reach in international markets, including potential games in Australia and other European countries.

These developments reflect the NHL's commitment to international growth, with upcoming events like the 4 Nations tournament and continued expansion into new markets like Australia and potential future games in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Mexico, and the UK. The league's international calendar and focus on national team competitions underscore its strategic approach to fostering global interest in ice hockey, despite challenges in certain regions.


logo section
bottom of page