The National Hockey League has struck a long-term deal with All Sports Network, a new Asian regional channel currently being launched by Hong Kong-based Yes TV.

Multi-year deal sees ice hockey carried on ASN from the start of the 2008-09 season and gives Yes TV and ASN rights in all TV formats throughout most of Asia. These include China and the Indian sub-continent, but exclude Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Korean distribution of NHL games through ASN will begin during the second year of the deal.

“We are very pleased with the growing number of partners broadcasting ASN, especially in China with our distribution and equity partner XFMedia,” Yes TV CEO Thomas Kressner, said. “Ice hockey is quite popular in the northern parts of China and its popularity is growing.”

Yes TV operates soccer network GOALTV and two specialized channels dedicated to top European clubs Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. It also holds the exclusive broadcasting rights for the NFL via TV, mobile and broadband simulcast across multiple Asian territories.

In its first season ASN coverage will include 130 NHL regular-season games, the NHL All-Star game, NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, as well as NHL highlight programs.