The NHL Center Ice Package on DIRECTV

NHL Center Ice is a premium sports package available on satellite TV.Current promotional deals from both DIRECTVand DISH Networkwill save you money, and get you connected with the NHL Center Ice package. You can start ordering this package now through both DISH and DIRECTV, as the NHL season starts in just a few weeks.

Because NHL Center Ice is an Out-of-Market Sports Package, the package allows its subscribers to see up to forty out-of-market National Hockey League games a week.These are distributed by using local and national television networks to cable, DIRECTV and DISH Network.

One cool thing is that Canadians living in the USA can see a lot more hockey. NHL Center Ice features top Canadian broadcasts, like TSN and Hockey Night in Canada from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It also carries some of the out of region games broadcast on NBC. At times, there are even French language feeds from RDS that may be used if no English-language broadcast is available. Broadcasts from Rogers SportsNet are also shown. Pay-per-view games are included as well. For viewers subscribing via satellite like Dish Network or DIRECTV, both teams’ feeds are available for most games, so you can hear the “homers” point of view. Digital cable subscribers like Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Charter cable are limited just the one feed.Cable viewers also have less HD selection.Another reason to get rid of cable and go with DIRECTV.

Some providers offer high-definition or HD broadcasts when available, usually around 20 HD games per week. Several providers put Center Ice on the same channels as MLB Extra Inningsor the ESPN Gameplan, the good thing is that the NHL Center ICE usually gets priority because the conflict happens in April, and nobody cares about early season baseball games.This time of the year for the NHL is at the end of the regular season and beginning of the playoffs.

NHL Center Ice may have some negatives; of course it’s not for everyone. The package is best of course for the hardcore hockey fans, they will love getting all of the extra games weekly for all kinds of extra hockey viewing. It’s a great chance to see all the match-ups in the NHL that you would never really see otherwise.All in all, we know how much professional sports cost to attend in person, and as expensive as it can be to go to a hockey games in person between parking, tickets, beer and food, spending the $169 for hundreds of games on HDTV is a cheap price to pay.Get in on the early bird special, and with most companies its only $159 for the whole season.

Now if you love hockey and live hockey, there really isn’t anything better that all you can view hockey. NHL Center Ice is perfect package for fans like this. You will get several games every single night. Because of the time zone differences, and games starting on the East and West Coasts, you will have no problem seeing at least a couple of NHL Center Ice games every night. Even better, make sure you have PIP, (picture-in-picture) on your television, especially if it is a new plasma big-screen, then you can watch more than one game at the same time.
If you live in the USA, or are someone who moved from Canada now living in the U.S., it can be cool to see Hockey Night in Canada on NHL Center Ice.That’s what it’s all about, with NHL Center Ice, you get to see your favorite sport, and lots of it.

NHL CENTER ICE gives you viewing access to about 40 out-of-market NHL games every week, plus Premiere Canadian match-ups.Even better, you also get extra select games from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that is during the first two rounds.

Another cool feature is that you can check out what is going on around the league without having to change the channel.How? With the NHL Leaguewide, which is a mix channel with multiple views.This screen shows all the live games that are going on at any given time.See all of the games airing on NHL CENTER ICE at that time.
NHL Center Ice Extra is another cool channel in the package.This channel is a fans #1 source for scores, statistics, game previews, game recaps and schedule information. Statistics consist of league leaders, standings, player stats and more.

Are you an Avalanche fan living in New York City, an Oilers fan living in Dallas or a Kings fan living in Chicago? You can still watch your favorite team even if you don’t live within 1,000 miles of your hometown. Follow the hockey action that you want to see, and also keep up and follow your favorite players from around the NHL.

Whether you’re for the home town NHL team or pulling for your team across the country, the NHL Center Ice package is the only way to follow your favorite NHL teams.This package can keep you up to date throughout the season, and NHL Center Ice is a must-have for any real hockey fan, the 2008-2009 season will be better than ever.
As mentioned earlier, you will see more dual feeds.That means whenever possible, both the home and away broadcasts will be accessible for the home viewer to choose from. For example, if the Rangers are playing the Blackhawks, you’d see the New York Rangers on one channel, and the Chicago Blackhawks on another.

The NHL Network is also added in at no extra cost. The NHL Network is broadcast in both SD and Hi-Definition and is hockey personified 24/7.Programming on the NHL Network includes live games, highlight shows, hockey news, exclusive programs and more.

Unfortunately, the evil blackout still lurks. Blackout restrictions apply to all games that are on NHL CENTER ICE. Blackout restrictions are designed to protect the television rights holders in the competing teams’ respective home markets.  NHL Center Ice blackouts, as with other sports packages, are intended to protect the rights of the league’s national, regional, and local broadcast partners.Unlike in the past, a blackout is not because a team has not sold out the game.

So you want the lowdown on blackouts?Here is a general overview:

In the USA, games broadcast by National Broadcasting Company (NBC) or Versus are not part of in the NHL Center Ice package. In addition, NBC has been granted an exclusive window by the NHL, which means during these times no other games can be televised in the United States.This is no doubt to increase network ratings. During this window, other games may be televised locally only by Canadian teams. For instance, if the Calgary Flames are playing the Los Angeles Kingsat the same time NBC is televising another game, the Flames may choose to broadcast the game locally (on Sportsnet West, for example), but the Kings are not permitted to televise the game.

Additionally, the game would be available on NHL Center Ice in Canada, but not in the USA. The NBC blackout window typically lasts 2.5 hours from the start of its Game of the Week broadcast. Games televised by Versus are designated as exclusive or non-exclusive for blackout purposes. Exclusive broadcasts generally occur on Monday and Tuesday nights during the regular season.
During these games, Versus has an exclusive window similar to NBC, which usually lasts 2 or 2.5 hours from the start of the Versus telecast. No other games may be televised in the USA during this time. Canadian teams may choose to air these games, and unlike the NBC exclusive window, the Canadian local telecasts are included in the United States. NHL Center Ice package. During non-exclusive Versus telecasts, other teams may televise their games, but the Versus game may not be locally televised.

Yes that blackout information is a mouthful; just know you might not see every single game you want to see on NHL Center Ice, due to all of these contractual agreements between the NHL, NBC, Versus, and the like. With a DirecTV DVR though, you will be able to record NHL Center Ice games to watch later.
The NHL Center Ice games can be found on DIRECTV Channels 769-785 and on DISH Network Channels 543-558.

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