TV Answer Man, I get NHL TV every year, but I can’t find it anywhere. And the season is starting next month! How do you subscribe this year? And how much does it cost? — Garry, Orlando.
Garry, you can’t find it because it no longer exists. But you can still subscribe to it! Now that I’ve completely confused you, let me explain.
Five years ago, the National Hockey League started NHL.TV, an online package of out-of-market regular season games, similar to Major League Baseball’s streaming plan called MLB.TV. However, the NHL last March announced a new television contract with ESPN that permits the sports network to stream 1,000 out-of-market regular season games at ESPN+. The agreement also allows ESPN+ to air 75 exclusive games during the season.
The NHL-ESPN partnership eliminated the need for NHL.TV so the league disbanded its online package.
But you can still watch the out-of-market games at ESPN+, which costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 for one year. That’s a good deal considering that the streamer also has a large number of other live sporting events, including MLB games, as well as original documentaries from ESPN.
But if you’re just a NHL fan, you could subscribe in October (the 2021-22 season starts on October 12) through April and only pay $49 to watch those 1,000 out-of-market games. By comparison, the 2020-21 season of NHL.TV cost $144.99!
Final note: The elimination of NHL.TV does not affect NHL Center Ice, the league’s out-of-market package for cable and satellite operators.
Garry, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann