NHL’s Arizona Coyotes Launch Direct-to-Consumer Live Streaming Service

The National Hockey League Arizona Coyotes have launched a direct-to-consumer streaming service as part of a new media rights deal with Kiswe and Scripps Sports.

The $11.99 monthly Coyotes Central streaming service offers all local and non-nationally exclusive games, in addition to on-demand replays, pre- and post-game shows, and other exclusive content. The remainder of the 2023-24 season is available for a one-time $24.99 fee.

All out-of-market NHL games are also available on Hulu + Live TV, among other online TV platforms.

The streaming JV marks another chapter for the troubled Coyotes franchise, which saw the Phoenix-based team taken over by the NHL before being acquired by new private ownership in 2019. The team lost its stadium lease in 2022 and has been playing in Arizona State’s 5,000-seat arena in Tempe on a interim basis, with the cheapest seat costing more than $250.

The partnership between the Coyotes, Kiswe, and Scripps Sports underscores the power D2C streaming in expanding live access to local sports through flexible viewing options.

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“This innovative direct-to-consumer option is a key component to our overall media strategy … will enable us to deliver a flexible viewing option in our local broadcast market to our fans and ‘fans in waiting,'” Xavier Gutierrez, CEO of Arizona Coyotes, said in a statement.

NHL Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights Ink Live-Action Streaming Deal With ViewLift

The National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights Aug. 21 announced a multi-year partnership with ViewLift to stream all locally-broadcast games live on major devices, reaching viewers in Nevada and surrounding states in the team’s territory.

The direct-to-consumer service will launch in time for the opening of the new season NHL on Sept. 24, with new features being announced in the coming weeks. The new deal complements the team’s previously-announced agreement with Scripps Sports to produce the games and distribute them via their local station KMCC-TV over-the-air, on pay-TV and on connected TV platforms.

ViewLift will create Golden Knights-branded properties on the web, iOS and Android devices, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Vizio and Xbox, featuring live games and companion content. ViewLift also distributes direct-to-consumer live streaming access to the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

“We will give our fans every possible option to interact with the team and watch hockey live and on demand,” Kerry Bubolz, CEO of the Golden Knights, said in a statement.

The NHL was one of the first professional sports leagues to embrace over-the-top video distribution through its minority stake in backend digital provider BAMTech. In 2021, the league sold the 10% stake to majority stake owner Disney for $350 million. Disney uses BAMTech to power its Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu streaming brands.

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Peacock To Stream All NHL Stanley Cup Final Games

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service July 1 announced that all remaining 2021 Stanley Cup Final hockey games will stream on the service as they are broadcast live on NBC.

Game 3 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens begins July 2 at 8 p.m. ET from Bell Centre in Montreal. NBC Sports’ Kenny Albert will handle play-by-play duties alongside U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and former NHL goalie Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst).

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The following schedule details NBC Sports’ remaining coverage of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final:

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Fri., July 2 Game 3 – Tampa Bay at Montreal NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Mon., July 5 Game 4 – Tampa Bay at Montreal NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Wed., July 7 Game 5 – Montreal at Tampa Bay* NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Fri., July 9 Game 6 – Tampa Bay at Montreal* NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Sun., July 11 Game 7 – Montreal at Tampa Bay* NBC/Peacock 7 p.m.

*if necessary

The Stanley Cup Final is the latest addition to Peacock’s growing sports programming with upcoming live sports coverage on the service, including the ongoing Tour de France bicycle race, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Premier Lacrosse League, INDYCAR, Premiership Rugby, the 2021-22 Premier League season, 2021 Sunday Night Football, and Super Bowl LVI. Peacock Originals streaming on the service now include “Lost Speedways,” hosted by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; “Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts”; “My Pursuit: Life, Legacy & Jordan Burroughs”; “The Greatest Race”; “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More”, and “In Deep With Ryan Lochte.” Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel which streams Peacock original “Brother From Another,” as well as “The Dan Patrick Show,” “PFT Live” and “The Rich Eisen Show.”

All coverage of the Stanley Cup will be available on Peacock Premium. Viewers can sign up at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available across myriad devices. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.

Turner, NHL Media Rights Deal Includes HBO Max Streaming

Live sports is coming to HBO Max. Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia, is adding the National Hockey League to its National Basketball Association and NCAA College Basketball portfolio.

Turner April 27 announced a seven-year agreement with the NHL to begin with the 2021-22 season. The multimedia rights agreement will bring the Stanley Cup Final and Stanley Cup Playoffs to TNT and TBS for the first time, along with providing Turner Sports rights to up to 72 regular season games and the NHL Winter Classic each season.

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The NHL currently is broadcast by NBC Sports through the end of the year. Disney-owned ESPN will split distribution with Turner going forward, including streaming games on ESPN+.

TNT will exclusively present the NHL Winter Classic each year, among other live events. Live game and studio coverage details, along with programming plans, will be announced in the months ahead.

The agreement also includes live streaming and digital rights across WarnerMedia — including HBO Max — and a wide spectrum of screens and platforms such as mobile, Web, tablets and connected devices.

“This agreement brings one of the most prestigious championships in sports to TNT and fuels our entire Turner Sports and Bleacher Report portfolio with even more premium content for many years to come,” Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News & Sports, said in a statement. “We’re delighted … to further elevate this marquee property through an ever-expanding array of digital platforms in the years to come.”

Deal specifics include live streaming and simulcast rights for HBO Max, and Turner Sports will have TV Everywhere (i.e. on-demand) rights that will allow its networks to make its NHL games and related programming available to authenticated subscribers across all WarnerMedia platforms.

In addition, WarnerMedia’s Bleacher Report with have highlight and digital rights, including the ability to create ancillary programming, events and bespoke digital experiences for the next generation of hockey fans.

Disney’s ESPN+ (and Hulu) Streaming Big on NHL Hockey

Disney-owned ESPN and the National Hockey League March 10 announced an expansive seven-year deal, returning the professional sport to ESPN (and other Disney platforms) for the first time since 2004. Included will be 25 regular-season (2021-22) games on ESPN or ABC TV, early-round playoff series and one conference final each year, four Stanley Cup Final series on ABC and more than 1,000 games per season streaming on ESPN+.

ESPN+, with 12 million subscribers, and Hulu (39.4 million) will be home to 75 ESPN-produced exclusive telecasts per season. NHL.tv, the league’s branded SVOD service, will join the ESPN+ platform.

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The deal also includes opening-night games, the NHL All-Star Game and Skills Challenge and other special events. The NHL’s out-of-market streaming package (NHL.TV) is also moving to ESPN+ as part of its subscription offerings. International rights in Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe are also part of the deal, as are extensive highlight rights for ESPN’s digital platforms.

The NHL has aired on NBC and its cable properties for the past 16+ years.

“This agreement clearly underscores The Walt Disney Company’s leadership in the sports media landscape and serves as a blueprint for sports deals in the future,” Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and sports content for Disney, said in a statement. “We know the power of the NHL and are thrilled to welcome it back as a significant new pillar across our platforms, and we look forward to connecting more deeply and directly with some of the sports world’s most passionate fans.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the “incomparable power, reach and influence of The Walt Disney Company and ABC/ESPN” would set a new distribution standard for hockey and its most passionate and tech-savvy fans.

The first NHL game on ESPN aired on Dec. 19, 1979 — a little more than three months after the network premiered. ESPN continued to produce NHL content for the next nine years. After a break, the network became the home for the NHL from 1992 to 2004.


Roku: Idle TV Sports Viewers Streaming More Movies, TV Shows

With professional (or any) sports on television an early victim of the coronavirus pandemic, new data from Roku suggests linear TV viewers suddenly denied access to sports of any kind have embraced streaming TV shows and movies more aggressively than other Roku subscribers.

March 2020 Week 1 vs. March 2020 Week 3

NBA and NHL linear TV viewers increased their non-sports streaming on Roku among the following genres, respectively:
News: 92.15%, 119.83%
Film & TV: 74.92%, 67.56%
Lifestyle: 66.74%, 51.92%
Live TV: 52.88%, 60.12%
Music: 42.99%, 63.53%
Reality: 41.11%, 30.29%
Kids: 33.48%, 31.29%
International: 23.42%, 34.25%
Comedy: 15.04%, 19.66%
Sports: -49.99%, -71.42%

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“Roku users who watched the NHL or NBA on linear TV in February increased streaming hours on the Roku platform faster than the average Roku user,” Dan Robbins VP, ad marketing & partner solutions, wrote in an April 2 blog.

Robbins said that while overall linear TV usage among sports viewers is flat, they are watching more film, lifestyle, music and news on the Roku platform.

Roku had more than 30 million active accounts in the most-recent fiscal period. It added 1.4 million net accounts in the quarter. Viewers streamed 500 million more hours in Q2 than in the previous-year period, or 9.4 billion hours total.

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Robbins said Roku users who watched the 2019 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament (“March Madness”) on linear TV also streamed more video this March.

“Over the last three weeks, these fans shifted their prime time viewing to entertainment channels in the film & TV genre,” he wrote.

NBC: Blues-Bruins Score Most-Streamed Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Ever

NBC Sports said the May 27 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins was the most-streamed Game 1 in history.

NBC said the match had an “average minute audience” of 115,500 viewers and 19.9 million live minutes, up 37% and 24%, respectively, compared to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.

NBC said the Memorial Day evening telecast showcasing the Bruins’ come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Blues in Boston averaged 5.38 million viewers across NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, up 2% vs. last year’s Game 1 (5.28 million) and up 9% vs. 2017 (4.92 million).

It was the most-watched Game 1 in four years and NBC Sports’ third-most watched Game 1 since it began broadcasting the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

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The match trails only two other Game 1 matches in NBC Sports’ 14-year history broadcasting the Stanley Cup Final (Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 6.31 million, 2013; Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 5.58 million, 2015).

Regardless of the strong TV viewership, Game 2 of the Cup Final will only be streamed (no broadcast) on NBCSN, the standalone SVOD platform re-launched by NBC Universal in 2019.