NEW YORK - The NHL's television audience is about to grow in an unlikely place.
The league announced Thursday that the Hong Kong-based All Sports Network (ASN) has signed a multi-year deal to obtain rights to show games throughout much of Asia, including India and China.
More than 130 regular-season games will be televised on ASN's channel Yes TV along with the all-star game, playoffs, Stanley Cup final and NHL highlight programs.
"We have been very impressed by ASN's aggressive rollout plans and their commitment to a growing roster of sports programming," said NHL senior vice-president Ken Yaffe. "Partnering with ASN represents a significant step in expanding our broadcast footprint internationally, and we are excited to begin offering our fans in Asia a comprehensive, season-long game schedule."
ASN has rights to broadcast the NHL via all forms of television, including HDTV.
"The National Hockey League has great potential for development in Asia," said Thomas Kressner, the CEO of Yes TV. "We are thrilled to be able to bring another big American sport to Asian sports fans."
The network will start showing games in South Korea during the second year of the deal. The deal does not include rights to Japan, Australia and New Zealand.