Summary:

The National Hockey League on Monday introduced a subscription service for digital-video game highlights, in partnership with Microsoft. Thi…

The National Hockey League on Monday introduced a subscription service for digital-video game highlights, in partnership with Microsoft. This moves comes as a definite salvo against RealNetworks’ RealOne media subscription service, which has similar deals with MLB and NBA.

“The NHL Highlight Machine” is the sports league’s first-ever paid service. For $4.95 a month or $29.95 a season, hockey fans can search for and watch highlights from the 2002-03 season. In November, they will also be able to access classic games for up to $3 per view. NHL.com’s service is delivered using Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 9 Series, the software maker’s newest video-streaming and player technology.”

Microsoft is also raking up its partnerships with digital content providers and has created “tabs” on its latest player for sites including Net film distributor CinemaNow.

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