TV Answer Man, I was able to watch most of the NHL regular season games on ESPN+. Will it have all the playoff games, too? — Neal, Joplin, Missouri.
Neal, ESPN last year purchased the out-of-market rights to NHL games starting with this season; this allowed the NHL to eliminate NHL TV and permit ESPN+ to be the sole provider of the out-of-market plan for streaming. The streamer also was the home of 75 exclusive NHL games that were not available on NHL Center Ice or the regional sports networks (RSNs). See our article for more details.
The NHL playoffs, which began last night, will be available at different times on multiple channels: ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2, and the two Turner-owned networks, TNT and TBS. If you have a pay TV service that includes ESPN, TNT and TBS, you can also stream the games on their respective apps by logging in with the user name and password from your provider.
But what ESPN+, the aforementioned home of all those regular season NHL games?
Sorry, but the first two rounds of the playoffs will not be available on ESPN+. There will be some ABC conference final and Stanley Cup games simulcast on ESPN+, but that’s it.
If you’re looking for a cord-cutter solution here, my best advice is to get Sling TV which carries both ESPN and the two Turner channels in its $35 a month basic Orange plan. Sling is now doing a 50 percent off the first month promotion, bringing the price down to only $17.50. Of course, live streaming can come with some baggage, but the price is right.
Neal, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann