Comcast today has finally begun selling the NHL Center Ice package of out-of-market games, just two days prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season.
From now through February 10, the cable operator is charging $100 (four monthly installments of $25) for the package which promises up to 40 games a week in High-Definition. Comcast does not say on its Center Ice web page what the price will be after February 10.
To watch the Center Ice in HD, you must have an Xfinity X1 set-top and HD service. The games will be available on channels 3067-3097.
The 56-game, Covid-shortened NHL 2020-2021 season will start on Wednesday night with a 5:30 p.m. ET matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. The season is scheduled to end on May 8 with a 16-team playoff to follow. (Nationally televised NHL broadcasts are not available on Center Ice.)
Comcast’s $100 price is roughly the same that the NHL is charging for its NHL.TV ‘All Access Pass’ plan ($99.99), which offers the out-of-market game package via streaming devices. You can also purchase NHL.TV monthly for $24.99. A single-team option costs $84.99. Comcast does not offer the monthly or single-team options.
Charter’s Spectrum TV service is selling the Center Ice package for $99.99 while DIRECTV and Verizon are charging $115. (DIRECTV’s Center Ice subscription includes a free NHL.TV plan.) The Center Ice plan normally costs $160 for the season, but the reduced cost reflects the shorter campaign.
Dish and Optimum have also offered the NHL Center Ice package in previous years, but they have yet to confirm they will for the shortened 2021 season.
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— Phillip Swann