ZUG, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media, exclusive media and marketing partner to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), has announced today to stop live coverage of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship via the official YouTube channel with immediate effect. Starting with the first round game Canada vs. Switzerland, the free YouTube coverage of all future games will be delayed by 30 minutes.
The dedicated channel at www.youtube.com/icehockey provided fans throughout the world so far with high-quality and free-of-charge live video streams of all games of the tournament. Today's step was taken to prevent illegal attempts to access the streaming countries that were geoblocked due to exclusive contracts between the IIHF and Infront. Some users, however, managed to bypass the existing copyright and geoblocking mechanisms and encouraged other YouTube users to follow. To address these infringements, Infront has now decided to delay the YouTube coverage by 30 minutes.
Bruno Marty, Excecutive Director Wintersports, said: "We deeply regret that we have to take this step, in particular for all the ice hockey followers out there who just want to enjoy the games online on YouTube. However, we currently see no other option to protect the existing media rights agreements with our broadcast partners, as some so called fans decided not to play fair and to illegally surpass existing copyright and geoblocking mechanism."