NHL Center Ice is every hockey enthusiast’s dream come true — you’ll never miss a game again.
You’re probably a hardcore hockey fan — otherwise, why would you be here? If you simply can’t get enough action on ice, then keep reading. We may have the solution for you!
What is NHL Center Ice?
Most default TV packages offer at least some NHL games. Even better if your team is local — chances are, you’ll be able to catch most of their games without much trouble. It’s probably enough for the casual hockey fan.
But even the best packages don’t — and can’t — have it all. TV networks, whether large or small, aren’t able to broadcast everything. Licensing deals, as well as limitations related to local channels, prevent them from being able to show every game. You’ve probably run into this problem before — there’s a game you’re dying to watch, but none of your channels are broadcasting it. Where can you turn if that happens?
If your current TV service doesn’t satisfy your craving for hard hits and hat tricks, look no further than NHL Center Ice. With this premium package, you’ll have full, immediate access to every NHL game throughout the season. That means as many as forty games each week! Even better, Center Ice lets you rewatch games whenever the mood takes you. And, in addition, you’ll be able to get 24-hour access to NHL-themed programming.
Satisfied? We thought you’d be.
So how exactly does NHL Center Ice give you access to so much material? It does this by adding two exclusive channels to your existing TV package — NHL Network and NHL.TV.
NHL Network is a traditional-style TV channel that delivers NHL-related programming 24/7. That means you can watch games, interviews, analysis, and anything else connected to the sport whenever you’re at home. With NHL network, you can tune in anytime and find something that would catch your interest. Few TV packages offer NHL Network by default, and NHL Center Ice is the only hockey-specific package that includes it.
NHL.TV, on the other hand, is more similar to modern streaming services. It works either through your TV provider of through the NHL.TV app. As a streaming platform, NHL.TV lets you stream games on many different types of devices. Even better, you can use NHL.TV to watch past games as many times as you want. It only works for the current or most recent season, but it’s still the best way to relive your team’s most glorious moments. While NHL.TV is available separately from NHL Center Ice, it’s better when bundled with NHL Network.
With NHL Network and NHL.TV together, you’ll have access to more hockey than you could possibly watch — not that it’s a bad thing! The two are better together, and not just to satisfy your craving for hockey. Getting them through NHL Center Ice will save you money, too.
Where can you get it?
If you already know that NHL Center Ice is just the thing you need to scratch your hockey itch, you can rest easy knowing that it’s not difficult to pick up a subscription. Every major cable and satellite provider gives you the option to add NHL Center Ice to your TV package. That’s right — DISH, DIRECTV, Xfinity, Spectrum, and others — they all give you the option of subscribing through their service.
Depending on your TV provider, NHL Center Ice will cost anywhere from $130 to $160 per season. As mentioned above, the subscription includes both NHL Network and NHL.TV.
If that seems expensive for two channels, think of it this way — over the course of a six-month season, you’ll end up paying around $25 a month. For 40 games per week and the ability to re-watch games whenever and wherever, it’s a great deal. Plus, NHL Network is on all year. It’s just what you need to keep away the post-season blues — and get you pumped for next season.
What if you don’t have a contract with a TV provider, or what if you don’t want or need NHL Network? Is it possible to subscribe only to NHL.TV?
The short answer is “yes.” It’s certainly possible to subscribe directly! NHL.TV is available as an individual service. If you pick it up independently of NHL Center Ice, it gives you access to all of the games and features that you’d get otherwise. On its own, it’s still a great service.
However, it’s important to know you’ll end up paying about the same as you would if you had NHL Center Ice — and you won’t get NHL Network.
For a full season pass, NHL.TV costs $139.99 — essentially the same as NHL Center Ice. You can pay for a $25 monthly pass if you don’t want to commit to a full season, or if the full season price is simply too high. Or, if you’re only interested in one team’s games, you can buy the Single Team Pass for $109.99 for a season. It’s a good compromise, but it’s just pricey enough to make the full package look like a better deal.
So if you already have a cable or satellite package, it’s definitely worth getting NHL Center Ice rather than just subscribing to NHL.TV. If anything, you’ll save money over a direct subscription to NHL.TV. On the other hand, NHL.TV still gives you a lot of bang for your buck if you aren’t with any TV providers and don’t plan on signing a contract.
Where can you watch?
With the right devices and a good Internet connection, you can stream NHL Center Ice wherever you go. All you need to do is install the app and log in. It should work on all of the most commonly used devices, including smartphones (iOS and Android), tablets (such as iPads), iPods, as well as on your laptop or PC. For the latter two, you’re able to watch via web browser.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be connected to the Internet in order to stream. Other than that restriction, you’ll be able to use NHL Center Ice whenever you need to get your game on.
NHL Network is only available through your TV service, so it’s only available to you at home. Depending on your service, however, you may be able to access some content remotely. Services like Xfinity that use cloud-based DVR make it easy for you to make and stream recordings, which could let you watch NHL network from anywhere. With other providers, you might be out of luck.
Try before you buy
Not sure if NHL Center Ice is right for you? That’s fair — it comes with a hefty price tag which may give you pause. Fortunately, it’s possible to give the service a spin before making any expensive commitments.
At the start of the season, it’s possible to get a free trial. This free preview gives you a good idea of what to expect with NHL Center Ice. If this review hasn’t convinced you, then the preview should help you make your decision.
Don’t wait too long, though — the trial is only available for about a week. If for some reason you do miss the trial, there’s still a chance to catch it again. Once the All-Star Game is finished, you’ll have another opportunity to try it out. Again, it’s a limited-time trial — if you miss it the second time, you’ll have to wait until next season!
Alternately, you can try a month of NHL.TV for $25. It’s not exactly a free trial, but it’s a lot less expensive than the full package if you end up deciding that you don’t need it.
Whether or not your team came out on top, it’s always hard when the season ends. If you need something to fill the puck-shaped void of the warmer months, you might want to check out NHL Center Ice’s “Offseason Pass.” For $9.99, you’ll be able to go back and watch every game from the previous season.
While it’s nice to have options in between seasons, it’s a bit disappointing that the offseason pass costs extra. This is especially true given the substantial price tag on the regular season pass. $9.99 isn’t much, but it still feels like a letdown for loyal customers who went all-in last season.
Nothing is more perfect than your team winning the Stanley Cup — and that holds true with NHL Center Ice. It’s not a perfect service. Aside from the offseason pass mentioned above, it does have one other quirk that may turn some people away.
No matter where you live, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience one of NHL Center Ice’s infamous “blackouts.” But what exactly is a blackout, and how can you avoid them?
A blackout on NHL Center Ice happens when the service can’t show a specific game at a specific time. This is because the game is being broadcast on your local channels, like NBC or NBCSN. Licensing agreements prevent NHL Center Ice and NHL.TV from stealing away viewers from these local channels. Therefore, certain games are “blacked out” from their platform — but only temporarily. Once the live broadcast is finished, you can watch it any time you want on NHL.TV.
If you’re really determined to watch all of your games on NHL Center Ice, there’s one sneaky way to get around the blackouts. You can use a VPN, or virtual private network, to trick the service into thinking you live somewhere else. That way, when your team is about to play, you can circumvent the blackout and catch the game on NHL.TV.
VPNs are easy to use, and there are many free options available. Nevertheless, it’s an extra effort that makes using NHL Center Ice a bit less convenient than it could be.
NHL Center Ice isn’t for you?
Let’s face it — not all hockey fans can afford to splurge on a pricey service like NHL Center Ice. Maybe you don’t need the extra features that Center Ice can provide. In that case, it’s still possible to catch the games you want to see — and at a much lower price.
All major TV providers, whether cable, satellite, or digital, have packages that include channels which show NHL games. These channels include FOX, NBC, and NBCSN (NBC Sports Network).
If you’re looking for an affordable package that includes sports, live TV streaming services like SlingTV, fuboTV, and Hulu with Live TV are your best options. They’re also excellent replacements for more expensive cable and satellite services. DIRECTV and PlayStation Vue are also worth considering, but you’ll have to pay extra each month for extra sports networks.
All of these services range from $30 per month to about $45 per month. They’re much more affordable than the $200+ you’d be likely to spend with an average satellite or cable package plus NHL Center Ice. Nevertheless, if hockey is all you’re interested in, it might be a better choice to only go for NHL.TV.
Looking for around-the-clock hockey action and entertainment? Love the idea of watching your favorite player’s greatest goals over and over? Obsessed with a team that your local channels don’t cover?
If any of these questions appeal to you, then you’re probably the kind of NHL enthusiast that NHL Center Ice was made for. It’s a straightforward service that gives you an unparalleled amount of freedom in watching the games you want, when you want.
While the blackouts can be annoying, they can be easily avoided with a bit of amateur tech-wizardry. And even though the price may be too steep for some, $25 every month isn’t much for all the benefits you’ll be able to enjoy.
Ultimately, NHL Center Ice is the best an NHL diehard can get — at least aside from watching the game in person!