UK NHL coverage secured for 4 years

This article has been updated here: UK NHL Coverage and Blackouts 2013 http://wp.me/p2gDti-6H

“Premier Sports are delighted to announce that NHL will continue to be broadcast on the channel for a further 4 years. Coverage of 400 games per season begins on October 11th.”

That was the announcement from Premier Sports on their Facebook page around an hour ago.

I know many of you have mixed feelings about this and to be honest I do as well.

First of all I love the 4 year commitment to hockey. I think that can only be a positive move after the last few years of indecision and uncertainty with coverage in the UK.

Their coverage last season was at times a shambles and frustrating but they got their act together towards the end of the year. Consistently showing more games this season than ESPN America did in Continental Europe.

HD is a big issue I agree and I know having spoken to them it is something they are working on. Virgin Media is another matter. You can apply all you wish to VM but it is VM alone who make the decision whether to put a channel on one of their packages.

As far as I’m aware they are happy to open negotiations with VM at anytime. Perhaps during the summer fans can try to put the pressure on VM. Something to start doing now by posting on their Facebook page?

Intermissions: I think this stirs up more angst from you guys than anything else. I must have written the following a few times now so apologies for saying it again. Intermissions for the season cost an unbelievable amount of money and PS simply cannot afford to splash the cash on them. (I know this having conversed with them through last season) I would rather have 400 games with no intermission than say 200 games with them.

A point to make on this subject is that on NHL Game Centre Live they don’t have intermissions for the games, though you might find the odd transmission left on by mistake.

HNIC is a separate issue as that is bought as a package deal and therefore all intermissions come as part of the deal.

So if PS have learnt from their mistakes and continue to improve then I am hopeful for the future. 400 games is an amazing amount of coverage in a market where it is very much a minority sport.

For those who will continue to subscribe to PS, keep the pressure on them to provide the best coverage possible by letting them know your feelings. I’m hoping the 4 year deal means they have to listen as they are now locked in.

At least this year we didn’t have to wait until the season was under-way until we knew our fate.

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4 thoughts on “UK NHL coverage secured for 4 years

  1. 400 games sounds like a lot and in reality it is. The problem I have with PS is that their choice of games that they cover is utter rubbish. Favouritism of certain teams is unbelievably frustrating! I went through 2 months of their NHL coverage and saw my team play ONCE. For £9/month I’d expect more than that!

    I also didn’t like the way in which they handled my cancellation. With 3 months of the season left, I wanted to cancel. They said I had to pay something like £6.50 one more time but they’ll give me the last 3 months of the season free as a gesture of good will. How does that sound free?

    Anyway, I am MUCH happier with GCL. I hate to see NHL coverage not on our screens in the UK but it should be a lot better if they want £9/month!

  2. Any fellow Virgin media subscribers time to start hassling VM again, Premier Sports only available via Sky have secured the rights to televise NHL in the UK for the next 4 season, so please click the link below and add your own comments to try and get them to add PS to their platform, we failed last year but with PS having the rights for 4 years we need to make VM change its mind, or if you can view PS Sky please make out you have VM and help your fellow hockey fans out please that can’t view PS…

    Many thanks :o)

  3. Gonna have to stick with online coverage then, Premier Sports is not available on freeview and I can’t get either sky or virgin in the block of flats I live in. Still think the NHS is stupid to think that this coverage is going to grow the sport in the UK, when pretty much most people can’t access the games on tv. I still don’t think they have grasped how tv coverage works in the UK, either that or that Premier Sports offered them enough money not to care. Silly really they would make more money in the long run by growing the sport here, but like every other business-no patience!

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