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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.

“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.”

“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