Saturday, July 21, 2007


NHL and NeuLion hope to bring ultimate online hockey experiences to the fans.
This new NHL online video offering will be powered by NeuLion and will include the following:

  • Live hockey games from NHL Center Ice Online. Paying subscribers of this service will have access to as many as 40 games per week, subject to local blackouts, with the option to view multiple games at one time. Viewers can also zoom into just one game and set their own viewing preferences. The ability to view multiple games is one of several upgrades to last year’s NHL Center Ice Online product.

  • League-wide videos, player information and fan input. Favorite players or teams can be monitored, as well as stats for fantasy league purposes. Fans can also share videos with other fans globally. Specific favorite NHL content can be organized and shared through buddy lists, blogs, e-mail and playlists.

  • Team Channels for all 30 teams plus Fans can have access to the total team experience which feature footage only available through this new service. Footage can include clips from morning skate, pre-game interviews and post-game commentary. Additional content could include off-season NHL highlights and team-specific video-on-demand such as locker room access and mascot features. Fans can also choose game highlights to watch their favorite team or players. Premium content will be available for a pay-per-view or subscription fee.

    (my emphasis)
  • “The popularity of viewing sports highlights and games online continues to grow, especially with hockey fans, who tend to be early adapters to new technology,” said John Collins, Senior Executive Vice President, Business and Media, NHL, in a Thursday statement.

    Collins continued: “This new agreement with NeuLion is another addition to the NHL’s technical platform to deliver unique and exciting content online that is available anytime, anywhere, without geographic boundaries.”
    I think this is a smart move by the league. As we all know the TV ratings for the sport continue to decline and the prospects appear dim that hockey will ever be able to carve out a decent niche in that increasingly over-saturated medium of talk shows, poker and reality garbage. However the web offers wide open opportunities and the NHL is wise to take advantage of the fast developing webcasting technologies that are better able to target the hockey loving audience.

    Smart move.

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