Hockey fans without DirecTV or Digital Cable will soon have access to heaven, NHL Centre Ice. According to an Associated Press report on the Broadcast Newsroom, the NHL is close to delivering its Center Ice package via broadband.
The league is currently testing distribution of its cable and satellite NHL Center Ice out-of-market game package on the Web, and it could make it available to any hockey fan with a high-speed-Internet connection before the end of the season, according to Keith Ritter, president of NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises.
“We’ve been testing it, but our primary concern is the security of the gating and the ability to make sure our broadcast partners are protected,” Ritter said. “So far, the test is going very well, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to offer it in the not-too-distant future.”
Currently the NBA, MLB, and ESPN all offer broadband access to compliment their current TV subscription service.
Ritter mentions that there will be a yet to be determined fee for the broadband access and that 80% of the traffic on NHL.com is accessed by broadband.
“Given the high level of technical literacy that hockey fans enjoy, we want to be in as many platforms as we can be,” he said. “I think that this is yet another place that [our fans] are and it’s another place we need to be.”
This is good news for all hockey fans currently without a way to access NHL Center Ice. As a subscriber for the past 6 years, I highly recommend it, especially come playoff time. I wonder, though, will the feeds currently blacked out on my satellite also get blacked out on the internet?
A tap of the stick on the ice to Kukla’s Korner for the assist.