A reliable follower magnet. The hockey championship is doing well on TV


From Friday, May 10, Czech television viewers can watch broadcasts from the Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague and Ostrava. Thanks to them, the public program ČT Sport dominates the viewership charts, as it is freely available throughout the country.

One and a half million viewers watched the Czech team’s matches on Friday and Saturday. This is a better result than last year, when the most watched match (the Czech Republic played Switzerland) was watched by 1.19 million people and another 58 thousand watched the internet stream.

“We have a studio in both arenas, in Prague and Ostrava. Our reporters will also be in other places around the hall and in the fan zone. We will also offer a column called ‘For hockey as it is’ focused on a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament,” said the chief commentator Robert Zaruba.

The location of the studio in the Prague arena is practically the same as in 2015. But in Ostrava, they modified the Ostravar arena and created approximately 500 seats for fans. That is why a gondola is hung on the wall of the hall in Ostrava.

Czech Television points out that the Prague and Ostrava studios will be served by a single director. In addition, it is on the Kavče hory, i.e. not directly at the venue of the event. “We also used so-called remote production during the World Cup in 2015 and have been using it intensively since covid, that is, for about three years. In such a case, the main direction is not on site in the transmission car, but it is in our SK 7,” says the director of hockey transmissions Jan Celner.

Remote supervision was made possible by higher throughput of routes from the venue. For Czech Television, this means significant financial savings without reducing the comfort of viewers. “The new HbbTV application created especially for the hockey championship is also worth trying,” emphasized the executive director of ČT sport Jiří Ponikelsky. Last year, the Sweden-Latvia match had the highest numbers on HbbTV with more than 73,000 views, which ran against the Canada-Finland match broadcast on ČT sport.

Are you watching the hockey championship on TV?

The contract allows all matches to be broadcast, except for the linear channel, on the ctsport.cz website, in the ČT sport mobile application, in the ČT sport Plus program and via the aforementioned HbbTV application. At the same time, recordings and clips of individual matches will be available on all platforms.

Newly, they offer their observations of the former outstanding personality of the national team. “We are expanding the team of experts. There will be a revival of his numbers and the way we will gloss the matches. We already tried during the season Peter Koukal and Rostislav Olesz. Lately too Jakub Voráček and we welcome the new Paul French as a special expert in the studio. During the World Championship, we will have an expert in Ostrava on the Slovak team, namely Boris Valábik,” explains the chief commentator of ČT sport, Robert Záruba.

Studies in Prague are reported by Robert Záruba and Jiří Hölzel. She is a presenter in Ostrava Jana Niklova with experts.

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Broadcasting this prestigious championship on a public broadcaster is an increasingly rare phenomenon. In neighboring Slovakia, the private TV Joj took over the hockey championship for the first time this year. She signed the broadcast contract already in the spring of 2020.

The investment paid off significantly, the start of the broadcast could not have been better. Although the national team lost Slovakia’s opening match against Germany, according to the Mediaklik server, Jojka achieved a record audience share of 70% in its business target group. These are the best results ever for TV Joj.

Joj has acquired the broadcast rights until 2028. This year’s championship is broadcast free of charge on television and on the Internet. Thanks to the fact that it has several channels, it will offer Slovaks all 64 matches in live broadcasts. The public broadcaster RTVS previously offered only 34 broadcasts live, the rest were broadcast with a delay from the recording.

“We have divided the huge number of matches between three TV stations: all matches of the Slovak national team are on Joj, on Joj Plus we broadcast selected matches of the Prague group (those played by the Czech national team) and on Joj Šport matches that will be played in Ostrava and selected matches from Prague. We broadcast the semi-finals and finals of the hockey championship on Joj and Joj Šport stations,” explained Joj.

Slovaks can also watch matches online for free via the Joj Play streaming service after simple registration. Without logging in, transmissions run on the ms2024.joj.sk website. Until May 26, the Joj Šport HD station will also be available for free in the paid DVB-T2 platform Plustelka.

RTVS tried to capitalize on the interest in the hockey championship at least by including a special talk show, but its viewership was below average. Since in Slovakia RTVS has to publish contracts in more detail than it is the case in the Czech Republic, we roughly know how much the license to broadcast the hockey world championship cost in the previous period 2018-2023. According to Strategy magazine, it was nine million euros, but the amount also included other sports broadcasts.

The curious thing is that RTVS defended the rights to broadcast hockey on the radio, so the broadcasts can be heard on Radio Slovakia. At the same time, RTVS offers its pre-match studio on its own station Šport an hour before the match, even though the match itself is no longer broadcast.

Radiožurnál and digital Radiožurnál Sport broadcast audio broadcasts from the championship here. A hockey expert, an Olympic champion from Nagano and a four-time world champion accompanies the audience throughout the championship Martin Procházka.

The signal of this year’s championship is received by almost 90 broadcasters serving 104 states and territories. In Austria, fans have a choice between public broadcaster ORF and streaming platform SportDeutschland. ORF on its sports channel and station ORF1 focuses mainly on the Austrian team’s matches, plus it broadcasts all quarter-final, semi-final and final matches.

Poles must tune in to the private program Polsat Sport 1 to 3 or, in the case of some matches, Polsat Sport Premium. In Germany, in addition to the aforementioned SportDeutschland platform, the hockey championship is also on ProSieben and the Magenta Sport service. ProSieben puts most of the duels on the ProSieben Maxx substation, in addition to which Joyn subscribers can access them. Magenta Sport, based on an agreement with SportDeutschland, broadcasts all matches of the German national team, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.

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Public broadcasters broadcast the World Hockey Championship in Switzerland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine. In Slovenia, RTV Slovenija offers selected matches, the complete offer can only be enjoyed by subscribers of the Arena Sport family of channels. In other Balkan countries, Arena Sport is the exclusive broadcaster. Romanians must use the commercial online service Antena Play, Greeks the streaming platform Cosmote TV, and residents of the Scandinavian countries the Viaplay application.

In France, the Fanseat website bought the broadcasts, but they don’t even bother to produce a French commentary for them. For those interested in ice hockey, the international version of the signal with English commentary must be sufficient. Brits and Irish can cheer on the hockey players on Premier Sport’s digital service. From more exotic destinations, broadcasts from Prague and Ostrava are offered, for example, by the Chinese state CCTV or the South Korean JTBC. It is broadcast by NHL Network in the USA and TSN in Canada.

The article is in Czech

Tags: reliable follower magnet hockey championship


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