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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 20:30 GMT
Ice hockey TV deal collapses
London Knights take on Belfast Giants
The ISL are disappointed at the lack of TV coverage
By BBC Sport Online's Stuart Hughes

The Ice Hockey Superleague (ISL) has been accused of being in "complete disarray" following the collapse of a deal to televise games from the sport's top-flight.

The ISL has begun legal action against Premium TV Ltd (PTV), the company granted television rights for the next four years.

PTV is planning to launch a new UK sports channel in the spring and is also involved with the Eurosport channel.

The ISL claims that PTV has failed to stick to a rights agreement dating back to November last year.

We are devastated that our fans have been unable to watch their favourite sport on TV so far this season
ISL chief Ian Taylor

Under the deal, PTV,a subsidiary of NTL, was granted exclusive television broadcasting rights for four years.

ISL chief executive Ian Taylor said: ""We felt we could not let this pass unchallenged and therefore had no choice but to file this lawsuit.

"We are devastated that our fans have been unable to watch their favourite sport on TV so far this season as a result of PTV's failure to broadcast any of our games.

"As a business, we have suffered considerably, most importantly through the loss of sponsorships and because PTV held the exclusive rights, we were unable to seek an alternative broadcaster."

PTV has refused to comment publicly on the court action.

However, sources close to the deal have told BBC Sport Online they blame the ISL for its collapse and claim the league is in disarray.

BBC Sport Online understands that PTV executives feel the broadcast rights have been devalued by the departure of Cardiff Devils and Newcastle Jesters and the uncertainty that led Sheffield Steelers to start their season late.

It is also understood that other UK broadcasters have already made clear they are not interested in televising Superleague ice hockey.

See also:

02 Apr 01 |  Other Sports
Superleague needs a higher profile
23 Nov 01 |  Other Sports
Sheffield show little steel
28 Oct 01 |  Other Sports
Giants cut down to size
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