Hockey fans around the world can now watch their favourite NHL teams on the Internet using free or subscription streaming video services. In the past, NHL fans have often had problems watching hockey games since television sports coverage is dominated by football, baseball and basketball. The Internet allows fans greater access to games and provides a new interactive way to view hockey games.
The NHL signed its first streaming Internet contract in 2005. This gave almost 8 million United States hockey fans access to live games. In 2008, the NHL launched its own online subscription service, Game Center Live. You can find it in our Resources section. It is the best choice for online viewing of NHL games.
According to recent statistics, the number of NHL games online viewers has grown dramatically every year. Yet, overall television viewing of NHL games has declined. There is a clear switch in the way hockey fans are enjoying their favourite sport.
Online NHL viewers can watch live or archived games using stop-frame features to study plays, fast-forward, rewind, or pause games. Many online NHL games are now available in high definition format.
Access to live and archived hockey games on the Internet often depends on the individual NHL teams licensing agreements. See the link in our Resources section for more information about regions for viewing and availability.
By utilising multimedia online platforms, the NHL is hoping to create millions of new young hockey fans who have grown up using the Internet as their primary information and entertainment source.
One of the main benefits for hockey fans is that, besides having live and archived hockey games, the Internet also has pod casts, radio broadcasts, highlight videos, and live online studio shows dedicated to the game.
Online NHL games are available in many different media formats including: Macromedia Flash, Windows Media Player, streaming video and QuickTime. This allows fans who access the Internet through a PC or a Mac access to online games. You can find all these types of games for viewing through exploring the links in our Resources section.
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