While visiting hockey websites, blog, etc, I have noticed some common questions regarding the new TV Contract that I will attempt ot answer after reading numerous articles, listening to Bettman interviews, etc.
-Who actually can get OLN with no additional charge? 90% of Comcast subscribers have OLN available, some on basic cable and some with a subscribed package.
-How about HD? Talk is OLN will offer the HD broadcast of games to different carriers, including INHD, Dish Network and Directv. Those carriers will then be able to establish their own pricing for the games, if any.
-Tell me about streaming? Streaming of at least 2 games a night will be made available, with a charge associated. Blackout rules will prohibit some games being shown in the teams market, basically set up like mlb.tv but on a smaller scale to start. The NHL and Comcast hope to make this available sometime within the upcoming season.
-Can I get the NHL Network? Comcast has 24 months to get this network up and running in the USA or face a financial penalty. They will use the NFL Network as a guide. Again, the NHL Network will be made available to satellite and cable subscribers, and a subscription fee may be invoked for this service.
I would expect some of the questions to be officially answered in the very near future. OLN has some major work to do on their website, Comcast has a huge project on their hands with streaming issues and with the establishment of the NHL Network in the U.S. They will be watched very closely by other sports, including the NFL, MLB and NASCAR.
Here's hoping they keep the fans informed and come through with all of the things many of the NHL fans want.