Comcast Streams NHL Over Broadband

    October 5, 2005

Telecom company Comcast announced on Tuesday they would provide free streaming access of the NHL to its 7.7 million broadband subscribers. This is news for both Comcast, who lags behind some major opponents and the NHL, who’s rebuilding after the yearlong strike.

They offer some decent features for their hockey fans including access to archived games up to 48 hours after the original broadcast and a Comcast branded Windows Media Player to view the games. The site will cover what most regular sports sites do including scores, standings, leaders, a fantasy league and some other content. Comcast says it will be updated regularly.

Hockey fans will have access to all the games they can handle. They get two games live every day, up to 300 for the season up through the Stanley Cup. Comcast says fans will be able to access the games pretty much anywhere with a broadband connection.

“Streaming live NHL games is a key element to our multi-media deal with Comcast,” said Doug Perlman, NHL Senior Vice President of Television and New Media. “Our fans are some of the most passionate and tech savvy in professional sports, and this is another great way for them to connect with the NHL.”

To kick off the their big hoohah, they’ve enlisted respected hockey caller Doc Emrick for their network and he had a chat on Tuesday about rules changes, predictions and some other exclusives.

If this works well for Comcast, this could give them a jumpstart into some type of portal entity if that’s the direction they want to go in. Exclusive contracts with major league sports to cover they games in an up and coming medium couldn’t be a bad thing. The NHL desperately needs all the help they can get after the lockout last year cost the league its entire season.

This may be something to pay attention too as the big search/portal companies look for varying content for their networks. AOL, Yahoo, Google and MSN have all done the streaming thing and AOL has done some sports. Fans have been able to listen to their sports for quite some time but this may give the fans an outlet to watch the games too. It will also be a great source of revenue.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.