NHL Center Ice

For the Canadian service, see NHL Centre Ice.
NHL Center Ice

NHL Center Ice is an out-of-market sports package distributed by most cable and satellite providers in the United States and Canada. The package allows its subscribers to see up to forty out-of-market National Hockey League games a week using local and national television networks.

NHL Center Ice includes Canadian broadcasts, such as NHL on Sportsnet and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. It also has included out-of-region games broadcast on NBC. Occasionally, French-language feeds from TVA Sports may be used if no English-language broadcast is available. Pay-per-view games (e.g. Edmonton Oilers) are included as well. For some cable viewers and those subscribing via Dish Network or DirecTV, both teams' feeds are available for most games. Other cable subscribers may be limited to only one feed and also have a smaller selection of high-definition games.

Some providers offer high definition broadcasts when available. A number of providers put Center Ice on the same channels as MLB Extra Innings; hockey often gets priority because the conflict occurs during April, at the end of the regular season and beginning of the playoffs.

A free preview is usually shown during the first three weeks of the NHL season and right after (or a few weeks after) the All Star Game (or, until 2014, the Olympic break in years when the Winter Olympics occur).

Games not televised on NHL Center Ice

  • Games which are nationally televised in the U.S. on NBC, NBCSN or NHL Network. (But subscribers get NHL Network for free when they buy Center Ice, unless they subscribe through Time Warner Cable (TWC) or Verizon Fios, which at this time do not include NHL Network as part of the Center Ice package. )
  • High-definition feeds of games originating on MSG, MSG+, MSG Western New York, MSG2, and MSG+2 on Dish Network
  • OTA Broadcasts (Only shown when it is the only broadcast available for that game).
  • WGN-TV games do show up on Centre Ice Canada and are not blacked out on WGN-TV in Canada. Some WGN-TV games air on Center Ice USA if they are the only feed available, and some WGN-TV games do show up on NHL Network in the U.S. Beginning with the 2014–15 season, DirecTV has started to use WGN-TV HD to show games where dual feeds are available and/or as the only Center Ice feed for that game.
  • RDS and RDS2 (French-speaking Canadiens broadcast); these broadcasts are shown only when there isn't an English broadcast available.

Availability

NHL Center Ice is available with these cable and satellite providers:

Blackout restrictions

NHL Center Ice blackouts, as with other sports packages, are intended to protect the rights of the league's national, regional, and local broadcast partners.

In the United States, games broadcast by NBC or NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) are not included in the NHL Center Ice package. Additionally, NBC has been granted an exclusive window by the league, during which no other games can be televised in the United States. During this window, other games may be televised locally only by Canadian teams. For instance, if the Edmonton Oilers are playing the Nashville Predators at the same time NBC is televising another game, the Oilers may choose to broadcast the game locally (on Sportsnet West, for example), but the Predators are not permitted to televise the game. Additionally, the game would be available on NHL Center Ice in Canada, but not in the United States. The NBC blackout window typically lasts 2.5 hours from the start of its Game of the Week broadcast. Games televised by NBC Sports Network are designated as exclusive or non-exclusive for blackout purposes. Exclusive broadcasts generally occur on Monday and Tuesday nights during the regular season. During these games, NBC Sports Network has an exclusive window similar to NBC, which usually lasts 2 or 2.5 hours from the start of the NBC Sports Network telecast. No other games may be televised in the United States during this time. Canadian teams may choose to air these games, and unlike the NBC exclusive window, the Canadian local telecasts are included in the U.S. NHL Center Ice package. During non-exclusive NBC Sports Network telecasts, other teams may televise their games, but the NBC Sports Network game may not be locally televised.

Local/regional broadcast restrictions depend on the Center Ice subscriber's physical location. Every location in the United States and Canada falls in the territory of at least one NHL team, and some areas fall in multiple team territories. Additionally, each team may choose to televise its games on a regional sports network (RSN), local broadcast/over-the-air (OTA) station, or can choose not to televise them. In cases where the local team broadcasts on an RSN (i.e. FSN, Comcast, NESN, etc.), Center Ice subscribers in the team's territory will be blacked out of the opposing team's broadcast and must watch the game on the local RSN. (Example: The Boston Bruins are playing the St. Louis Blues. The Bruins are televising on NESN, and the Blues are televising on FSN Midwest. Viewers in Bruins territory will be blacked out of the FSN Midwest feed and must watch the game on NESN.) In cases where the local team broadcasts on an OTA station (i.e. KPLR-TV St. Louis, KDFI Dallas, etc.), Center Ice subscribers who live within a 50-mile radius of the team's arena (regardless of whether the team is home or away) will be blacked out from the Center Ice feed of the game. Viewers who live in the team's territory but outside the 50 mile radius will not be blacked out from the Center Ice broadcast. (Example: The Dallas Stars are playing the Chicago Blackhawks. The Stars are televising on KDFI, an OTA station, while the Blackhawks are televising on NBC Sports Chicago. A viewer who lives in Stars territory, but more than 50 miles from the Stars' arena, will not be blacked out of the NBC Sports Chicago feed. A viewer in Stars territory who lives within the 50 mile radius will be blacked out of the Blackhawks feed and must watch the game on KDFI.) If a team chooses not to televise a game locally, that team may choose to lift the Center Ice blackout. Many teams announce at the start of the regular season that all games not televised locally will not be blacked out on NHL Center Ice, while others make decisions on a case-by-case basis near the date of the game. (Example: The Florida Panthers are hosting the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are televising on Sportsnet East, but the Panthers are not televising the game locally. Viewers in Panthers territory will not be blacked out of the Senators feed, provided that the Panthers have approved a blackout lift for the game).

On some Canadian cable systems, WGN-TV broadcasts of Chicago Blackhawks games are not blacked out in the local market of the opponent. (Note: WGN broadcasts of Blackhawks games are not available on WGN America in the U.S., but WGN-TV's Chicago-area signal is available throughout Canada.)

In rare events, should there not be a televised broadcast of either market, an in-house arena feed will be broadcast with the home team's radio broadcast as the audio. This is subject on a case-by-case basis.

See also

External links

ESPN Full Court

ESPN Full Court was an out-of-market sports package in the United States that carried college basketball games. The package consisted of about 150 games annually, from the season tipoff in November to the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in mid- to late-March. The suggested retail price was $109 for the entire season, $75 for a half-season (only available in late January), and $19.95 for a single day. The season package was renewable. Full-season packages were not available for the online version.

On August 28, 2015, the channel was replaced by ESPN College Extra and the package was much less promoted or available than it has been in the past with the drawing down of pay-per-view to select special events; all of Full Court's events are available through WatchESPN via various ESPN3 streams without cost through TV Everywhere authentication.

ESPN GamePlan

ESPN GamePlan was an out-of-market sports package offering college football games to viewers throughout the United States.

GamePlan began on Labor Day weekend, and continued through the first Saturday in December. It included all regional telecasts on ABC, as well as games from various syndicators like ESPN Plus, Raycom Sports and SportsWest, and some local stations like Allentown, Pennsylvania's WFMZ-TV which broadcast locally-produced college football games. Viewers could watch games from their cable or satellite provider or on the ESPN3 broadband Internet service.

Eventually, with carriage of ESPN3 moving from computers only to smartphones, tablets and digital media players allowing access without any additional fees, GamePlan became a superfluous package, with only the few providers who refused to offer ESPN3 or where ESPN3 access was limited (for instance, rural areas) really able to compel viewers to use the service.

On August 28, 2015, the package was discontinued, along with ESPN Full Court, to make way for ESPN College Extra, which will offer a select bundle of games that would previously have been broadcast by GamePlan and Full Court.

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are American regional sports networks owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operate as Fox Sports Networks affiliates. The channels broadcast regional coverage of professional and collegiate sports events in California, focusing primarily on professional sports teams based in the Greater Los Angeles area. Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket maintain general offices and studios based at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Both Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are available on cable providers throughout Southern California, the Las Vegas Valley and Hawaii; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV, Dish Network, and via IPTV providers Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

In Demand

In Demand (semi-capitalized as a trademark as iN DEMAND) is an American cable television service which provides video on demand services, including pay-per-view. Comcast, Cox Communications, and Charter (with former independent companies Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks) jointly own iN DEMAND.

List of United States pay television channels

The following is a list of pay television networks broadcasting or receivable in the United States, organized by genre. Some television providers use one or more channel slots for video on demand.

List of current National Hockey League broadcasters

The following is a list of current (as of 2018–19 NHL season) National Hockey League broadcasters.

MLB Extra Innings

MLB Extra Innings is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed in North America by satellite provider DirecTV since 1996 and by most cable providers since 2001. The package allows its subscribers to see up to 80 out-of-market Major League Baseball games a week using local over the air stations and regional sports networks.

As of the 2008 season, the feeds from both teams' broadcasts are available for each game on DirecTV, even if a team is showing the game locally on a broadcast station. Even though the package relies on satellite uplink paths, DirecTV also carries feeds from local broadcast and even cable-only networks as well, such as NBC Sports Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Phillies. Feeds that are not included on the DirecTV version of Extra Innings include KCAL (Dodgers), KCOP-TV (Angels), KNTV (Giants), and WCIU (Cubs and White Sox) unless that is your local area.The iN DEMAND version of Extra Innings added the "dual feed" system for select broadcasts after the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. Along with this, the iN DEMAND version of MLB Extra Innings has been able to add broadcast television stations, WKYC (Indians), WJZ-TV (Orioles), WUSA (Nationals), WPIX (Mets, Yankees), WPHL-TV (Phillies), and in addition, one Canadian RSN, the Toronto Blue Jays' Rogers Sports Net feed. Previously, only one feed was available, usually the home team's. For the 2017 season, Comcast X1 customers could get all MLB EI games in HDTV, using the Beta IN DEMAND platform. DirecTV has offered all MLB EI (Most with dual HD feeds) games in HDTV for years.

Free previews of MLB Extra Innings are shown during the first week of the season, and the week after the All Star Game.

MLS Direct Kick

MLS Direct Kick is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed by most cable and satellite providers in North America. As of the 2011 season, package subscribers will be able to watch up to 221 Major League Soccer regular season games as well as some MLS Cup playoff matches. The target market for this package (based on advertisements) is soccer fans who are unable to see games because they have moved out of that team's market.

MSG Plus

MSG Plus (visually branded on-air as MSG+) is an American regional sports network owned by MSG Networks; it operates as a sister channel to MSG Network. The network serves the New York City metropolitan area, whose reach expands to cover the entire state of New York, Northern New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut and Northeastern Pennsylvania; MSG Plus carries sports events from several of the New York area's professional sports franchises, as well as college sports events.

MSG Western New York

MSG Western New York (MSG WNY) is an American regional sports network that is a joint venture between MSG Networks and Pegula Sports and Entertainment. The channel (also on occasion credited as Pegula Sports Network or MSG Buffalo) is a sub-feed of MSG Network, with programming oriented towards the Western New York region, including coverage of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. It replaced MSG Network on television providers in the Sabres' media market in 2016.

MSG Western New York is available on cable providers throughout Western New York. Most programming is available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV, with Sabres games requiring an NHL Center Ice subscription for out of market viewers; select programs are carried in Canada's Niagara Peninsula on a special channel set up for Bell TV subscribers that was founded in 2013.

NASCAR Hot Pass

NASCAR Hot Pass was a sports television package available exclusively on DirecTV in the United States, in Canada on several providers and in South America and the Caribbean on DirecTV Latin America. It debuted at the 2007 Daytona 500, which aired on February 18 of that year. In 2007 and 2008, it was a pay-per-view subscription package. However, from 2009 to 2012, it was free for all DirecTV subscribers, and the features were noticeably downgraded. As of the 2013 season, DirecTV stopped offering the service when its sponsorship agreement with NASCAR was not renewed.

NBA League Pass

The NBA League Pass is a sports television service that features all National Basketball Association games. The service is operated by Turner Broadcasting System on behalf of the NBA. It was made available prior to the start of the 1995-1996 NBA season. It is available to viewers in the United States and as an international package for all other countries. The pricing structure and services on offer are different, depending on where the viewer is located. The 2013-14 season was the 20th year of League Pass. Full League Pass access for the 2014-15 season was priced at $199 for US customers, for comparison the premium service was £169.99 for UK viewers (these prices are for access to the full season prior to the first game and before any discounts, in previous seasons prices have dropped as the season moves closer towards the play-offs).

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that broadcasts National Football League (NFL) regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all regional Sunday afternoon games produced by Fox and CBS. The ideal customer of this package is presumed (based on advertisements) to be a fan of a team who is unable to see their team on local television because they do not reside in one of that team's markets, or sports bars who want to increase business by attracting fans of out of town teams. The package is distributed in the United States exclusively by AT&T Inc. under its DirecTV unit (which also offers it on the Internet, on certain tablets and smartphones, and JetBlue flights); in Canada on streaming service DAZN, in Mexico and Latin America on SKY México, in South America and the Caribbean on Vrio, and several cable providers in The Bahamas and Bermuda.

NHL Centre Ice

For the American service, see NHL Center Ice.

NHL Centre Ice is a Canadian digital cable subscription out-of-market sports package controlled and distributed by Rogers Communications through Rogers Cable as of 2014. It is offered by three national satellite television service providers, Bell TV, TELUS Optik TV, Telus Satellite TV, and Shaw Direct and many digital cable television providers such as Eastlink, Shaw, Cogeco and more.

It offers NHL regular season and select playoff games that are played outside the local viewing area using American local and national television networks such as Fox Sports Net and other sports networks like NBC. It offers both standard and high definition games.

NHL Network (U.S. TV network)

NHL Network is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is a joint venture between the National Hockey League (which owns a controlling 84.4% interest) and NBCUniversal (which owns the remaining 15.6%). Dedicated to ice hockey, the network features live game telecasts from the NHL and other professional and collegiate hockey leagues, as well as NHL-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries.

The channel's headquarters and studios are located in the Secaucus, New Jersey facilities also utilized by MLB Network.

National Hockey League

The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. The NHL immediately took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926.

At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name. The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six". The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams. It added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021.

The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal.After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences.The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The NHL draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 20 countries. Canadians have historically constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons.

The current NHL Champions are the St. Louis Blues, who defeated the Boston Bruins four games to three in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.

National Hockey League on television

The National Hockey League (NHL) is shown on national television in the United States and Canada. With 24 teams in the U.S. and 7 in Canada, the NHL is the only one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada that maintains separate national broadcasters in each country that produce separate telecasts of a slate of regular season games, playoff games, and the Stanley Cup Finals.

National broadcasting rights in Canada have historically included the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC), a long-standing Canadian tradition dating to 1952. Since the 2014–15 season, Rogers Sportsnet has held the Canadian national contract, sub-licensing a slate of games to CBC, and sub-licensing the national French-language rights to TVA Sports.

Historically, the NHL has ranked last in American television viewership among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States, and never held a long-term exclusive deal with a U.S. national broadcast network prior to 1995. NBC Sports have held the U.S. national rights since the 2005–06 season, airing games on the NBC broadcast network, the cable channel NBCSN, and select playoff games on other NBCUniversal channels.

The NHL is also shown on multiple regional sports networks in both countries.

New England Sports Network

NESN (New England Sports Network) is an American regional sports cable and satellite television network that is owned by a joint venture of Fenway Sports Group (which owns a controlling 80% interest, and is the owner of Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club) and Delaware North (which owns the remaining 20% interest in the network, and owns the Boston Bruins and the TD Garden). Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, the network is primarily carried on cable providers throughout New England (except in Fairfield County, Connecticut, which is part of the greater New York City media market). NESN is also distributed nationally on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network and as NESN National via select cable providers. As of April 19, 2019 NESN is no longer available on PlayStation Vue.NESN is the primary broadcaster of the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins – serving as the exclusive home for all games that are not televised by a national network. NESN also carries minor league baseball games, regional college sports events, various outdoor and sports talk shows, and tape delayed broadcasts of Premier League soccer games. The network has become synonymous with local sports in New England, and is considered a local institution.

Out-of-market sports package

In North America, an out-of-market sports package is a form of subscription television that broadcasts sporting events to areas where the events are unable to be seen by viewers on other broadcast and cable television networks due to the games not being broadcast in their local market.

Many leagues with major television contracts establish elaborate rules regarding which games are broadcast in different regions (with local teams usually getting preference). For viewers who prefer to see a game other than the one being locally broadcast in their designated market area, the out-of market package provides additional options.

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