Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pete Dougherty of the TimesUnion,
In Demand has announced an 18-day free preview of its “NHL Center Ice” package beginning with the regular-season openers Thursday night.
The preview for the out-of-market subscription package will run Oct. 6-23. Digital cable and satellite subscribers can access up to 40 live games per week across 14 channels.
Customers who order the package by Oct. 30 will receive an early-bird price of $171.80 (four payments of $42.95).
Among the features this season:
I stopped by SiriusXM’s NHL Home Ice once again to chat with Jamie Shalley on Face Off last night. We previewed tonight’s Flyers/Lightning matchup, spoke of the last time these clubs met, considered the options for Tampa Bay headed toward the trade deadline, speculating on what type of additions, if any, Steve Yzerman might make to bolster his playoff-bound club and much more (before Shallz had to run me off the air after I ate up all of his time).
Here’s a direct link to the segment, or you can just click play after the jump:
Bruce MacLeod of Red Wings Corner posted the following release he received today…
NEW YORK, April 15, 2009 –Tax Day has a bright side for hockey fans. Starting today, April 15, and through the second round of the playoffs, subscribers to the NHL Center Ice out-of-market package will receive replays of same day games. In this new enhancement which is free to customers, the NHL Center Ice package will re-air each current day’s game beginning approximately one hour after the live game ends so that fans can see games they might have missed. Each game will replay in its entirety and will repeat continuously overnight and the next day, on the same channel, until the following day’s live games begin.
The “Replay Game” feature means that there will be approximately 4-5 replays for single, scheduled games. Live games scheduled back-to-back will be replayed in that same order, so that there will be approximately 2-3 replays before game-time the following day. No games will be bumped from the package to accommodate replay games. Blackout and other restrictions apply.
I haven’t heard anything about this, how about you?
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:
By moving the game to the NHL Network, in an attempt to give it more exposure, the league shut out a large number of Center Ice subscribers. Up until last week, I had DirecTV, which includes the NHL Network as part of its digital package. I learned, apparently along with a lot of fans, that Comcast doesn’t include the NHL Network in its basic digital package - even if you ponied up the bucks for Center Ice. Now, I need to get the NHL Network anyways, so I didn’t mind calling Comcast and bumping up a package for another $8 a month. But by the time we got it ironed out, it was 2-0 New Jersey.
Like a lot of hockey fans, I was part angry, part confused. So this morning, I called the league for an explanation.
It was explained to me that putting the game on NHL Network made the game like any other nationally televised hockey game, which means it wasn’t available on Center Ice. Usually that’s not an issue, because you can just turn on NBC or Versus and watch it. But for those of us who didn’t get NHL Network, it became an issue. But the league assured me that it wasn’t some underhanded tactic to get people to pay more money for extra cable coverage. In fact, it’s the opposite.
via Working the Corners,
SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sharks and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area announced today that they have reached an agreement to have the local blackout lifted for nine 2008-09 San Jose Sharks games that are not scheduled to be televised on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
The move will allow those local hockey fans who subscribe to the Center Ice hockey package to view all of the Sharks 82 regular season games on television.
Looks like a trend may be developing- via a press release from the Phoenix Coyotes…
Phoenix Coyotes Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Bucek announced today that the National Hockey League has lifted the “NHL Center Ice” blackout in the Phoenix region for 19 Coyotes games. Coyotes fans that subscribe to the “NHL Center Ice” package will now be able to see 78 of the Coyotes’ 80 remaining games on television this season
We did this feature about two years ago and once again, John Shannon, Sr. Vice President of NHL Broadcasting, has agreed to answer your hockey broadcasting questions.
Feel free to spread the word and I will forward the questions to Mr. Shannon at the end of this week and post his answers in the next few weeks.
I asked John about HNIC on the NHL Network in the U.S.(Saturday games only) and he wanted hockey fans to know the NHL Network will be picking up the national HNIC games and the regional games will be available on Center Ice for those of you that subscribe to it.
So start leaving your broadcasting related questions and comments and look for the answers soon.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, .
..your question was passed along to an NHL executive, he offered these insights on league-related media plans for the 2008-09 season:
“For NHLCI-TV (carried on all major U.S. distributors)—The plan is for the distributors to distribute as many games as possible in HD and as many dual feeds (home and away feed of same game) as possible. Bandwidth limitations and other programming commitments will limit a full rollout. We are always looking to add new content, such as pre- and post- game shows, to NHLCI-TV, but nothing is imminent at this time.
“For NHL.com, we are rolling out two products—GameCenter and GameCenter Live. The latter is the new branded version of NHLCI on-line from last season. Some planned highlights are as follows:
from Neil Best at Newsday,
Let’s be clear on this: With three local squads on basic cable, and with Versus and NBC also showing games, there is no shortage of hockey action on your TV.
So only passionate fans of a team outside the area or avid fans of the entire league need consider forking over $169 for the season (more than what MLB charges for its online, out-of-market service).
For people in those categories, there are benefits over the comparably priced TV version of Center Ice. They include portability (if you have a good laptop), the ability to see four games at once, real-time stats and archived games.
from Cam Hutchinson at the Montreal Gazette,
Three observations after my first month with the NHL Centre Ice cable-TV package:
1. Broadcasters in U.S. cities are much more entertaining and excitable than those on Canadian networks;
2. Colour commentators for the U.S.-based teams are usually shameless homers;
3. Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret could make a preseason game between Phoenix and Columbus feel like the seventh game of the Stanley Cup.
1. I tend to go the other route, I just want the game described and please cut out all the interviews I have been witnessing while the game is being played. Save those for the breaks…
2. Most color commentators, not all…
I have received a few emails lately asking me how to get Center Ice back on to WOW (Wide Open West).
The emails have come from people in the Detroit area who are very upset they don’t even have the option to subscribe to CI. Are there any WOW customers getting CI? If so, where are you located.
My only suggestion is to keep hammering your local WOW office and demand CI. I do wish I could be of more service, but your provider is the one that needs to hear it from you.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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