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Summary:

There are 53 million hockey fans in North America, according to the National Hockey League, but roughly 50 percent of those fans live somewhere other than the market in which their favorite team is based — and where the team’s home games are shown on local […]

There are 53 million hockey fans in North America, according to the National Hockey League, but roughly 50 percent of those fans live somewhere other than the market in which their favorite team is based — and where the team’s home games are shown on local TV. Because of this displacement, the league launched GameCenter Live, the cornerstone of its newly redesigned NHL.com.

The service will live-stream more than 1,200 games this season, with almost 40 games being played each week (games are also archived for on-demand watching). Users can keep tabs on four games at once, or watch a single game with multiple camera angles. Additionally, users can choose between commentary from TV or radio announcers.

Of course, there are exceptions; not every game will be shown online. There are both geographic blackouts and blackouts if a game has an exclusive national TV contract. And you’ll have to cough up some cash if you want watch the action. It’ll cost the fan between $159 and $169 for a season pass, depending on when they make their purchase. In comparison, Major League Baseball charges $120 for a season.

The NHL wouldn’t provide specifics, but says that online video has been generating definite bumps in traffic for the site. According to the league, in September of 2007, NHL.com was getting 7.5 million uniques a month. Typically, site traffic dips at the end of the season in April as teams are eliminated before and during the playoffs.

But this past April, when the Stanley Cup playoffs started and the NHL launched an online video portal that showcased more editorial video content like The Hockey Show, the site did 12.4 million uniques, and in May it did 10 million, reversing historical trends. But the highest-trafficked day in NHL.com history came the day after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in a triple overtime match, as fans flooded the site to watch video highlights.

The league is hoping that by offering all of these games, they can turn normally myopic fans who only care about their team into more general hockey fans, who will check out other team games.

  1. I would have to agree on this subject. I do feel that many fans aren’t cheering for what team is representing their city. My family really loves the Pittsburg Penguins, and the Boston Bruins, and our hometown is in Wisconsin where hockey can be scarce. we’re all crazy hockey fans, who can’t get enough of breakaways, slapshots, and skating. We have NHL Center Ice, I think it’s very convenient, and a great concept. We couldn’t always get many games in the past, and now we’re able to watch the Penguins and the Bruins if they’re playing on the same night. NHL Center Ice also provides you a listing of all the games in each city and thier time, which is great, because we can prepare for other games as well to keep up with the playoffs. GO PENGUINS!!

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  2. [...] NBA joins Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, which also offer broadband subscription packages to watch the games. The National Football League [...]

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  3. nhl gamecenter is a complete fraud. My team has been shown once out of 5 games. I live in Florida where there is no coverage on TV. Try calling their support line – you will be on hold for several minutes and then they will hang up(I have tried many times)
    DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR MONEY – DON”T SUBSCRIBE

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  4. Had trouble watching live nhl games but then I found this site http://www.livesportsontheweb.com and problem solved.

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  5. Andrew Scheufele Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Gamecenter is a scam. DON’T USE IT!
    They rip you off for the next season automatically then won’t let you cancel your subscription or get a refund without “speaking with a manager” who is always off-site and NEVER calls back. The only reason I got back the money they stole from me is because I called back 15 times and harassed them until they caved.

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