COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Looking for a way to watch your favorite NCHC team when they’re playing on the road? Now you can, and even more!
As the National Collegiate Hockey Conference enters its second season of competition, the conference continues to strive to be innovative and at the forefront with fan engagement. With this in mind, the NCHC has partnered with NeuLion to launch its own digital network, NCHC.tv, beginning with the upcoming 2014-15 season, NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton announced Wednesday, Sept. 10. In doing so, the NCHC becomes the first single-sport NCAA conference to offer a fully integrated digital network.
NCHC.tv will allow fans to watch nearly all of their team’s games live, both home and on the road, while also viewing other NCHC action occurring at the same time. In addition to the live games, fans who subscribe to the network will have access to other live events, as they are produced, and will be able to access archived games and condensed games. Live audio of the games is also included with a subscription.
NCHC.tv will also feature free on-demand video content, without a subscription, from all eight NCHC programs and the conference itself. Among the free on-demand video available on the network will be game highlights, mid-week and post-game press conferences, conference features, such as the Top 5 Goals of the Week, and unique hockey features from the NCHC members.
“We are extremely excited to provide an innovative and integrated concept to our passionate NCHC fan base! The creation of NCHC.tv helps build the brand of the conference and improve the overall fan interaction and experience,” Fenton said. “This significant step forward is a credit to the vision of our member schools for wanting to create something that distinguishes our conference. We look forward to working alongside NeuLion to build the network and content long into the future.”
The integrated approach to video content allows NCHC fans to access their favorite team’s video, as in years past, but fans also now have the option to enjoy video content from the other seven members of the conference and the NCHC, all in one place, helping unite and strengthen the conference brand.
Each team’s website, as well as NCHCHockey.com, will have a NCHC.tv player embedded on it that will show a limited amount of free archived and on-demand video, while subscription-based live games and other content will be viewed directly on the digital network. All free archived and on-demand content will also be available on the network. NCHC.tv will be accessible via NCHCHockey.com and each member school’s men’s ice hockey website.
Fans that subscribe to NCHC.tv through the conference package will have access to watch over 100 games live throughout the season, including over 70 conference games and over 30 non-conference games from seven different venues, allowing fans to watch nearly every home and road conference game of their favorite team. The only games not available on the NCHC digital network are non-conference road games and NCHC contests with rights restrictions due to television agreements. Also, due to rights restrictions, games originating from the University of Denver’s Magness Arena will not be shown, however on-demand video of Denver’s content will be available through NCHC.tv.
The digital network, powered by NeuLion, will give fans a unique action-packed hockey experience with high quality, HD live video on multiple devices. The network’s live and on-demand video will be available seamlessly across all mobile devices by putting the same web address (www.NCHC.tv) in any mobile browser. This is done through a responsive design technique that automatically detects the screen size and adjusts for optimal viewing. NCHC.tv also allows schools and fans to easily share video content across over 25 social media channels, including the ability to embed video players on third-party sites.
“We are excited to partner with the NCHC,” said Steven Brown, SVP of College for NeuLion. “Our expertise in creating digital destinations for major hockey leagues and throughout college athletics, coupled with the NCHC hockey content, will give their dedicated fan base a second-to-none digital experience with unlimited access to their favorite content, including high-quality live video, anytime and anywhere.”
Based in Plainview, N.Y., NeuLion is a leading digital video technology company powering live and on-demand content to viewers worldwide. NeuLion currently serves as the digital technology provider for four NCHC members – Miami, North Dakota, Omaha and Western Michigan – as well as over 150 NCAA schools and several conferences, such as the Big 12, the Big Ten Network, the Pac-12 and the Ivy League; which all use the NeuLion College Platform to deliver live and on-demand games, news, and information to their fans on multiple devices.
In addition to college, NeuLion powers the digital products for many of the major hockey leagues including the NHL, the AHL, the ECHL and other Canadian junior leagues like the OHL and WHL, as well as other sports leagues, teams and networks, such as the UFC, NBA, MLS and Univision.
While much of the on-demand video content will be free, there are several subscription packages from which fans can choose. To enjoy access to over 100 NCHC regular-season games that will be streamed live, fans can purchase the conference season package for $89.95, which offers the highest value among all streaming packages at well less than $1 per game. For fans who only want access to their favorite team’s games, including road contests at NCHC schools, season packages are available for $74.95. Monthly and single-event packages will be available at a later date.
Fans can sign up now for NCHC.tv and select their season subscription package at NCHC.tv. All fans that sign up for a conference season subscription prior to Sept. 25 will receive an $8 discount on their package ($81.95), further dropping the per-game price. Subscribers of a conference season package by Sept. 25 will also be automatically entered into a contest to win four Treasure Island VIP Club tickets and a complimentary hotel room in downtown Minneapolis on March 20-21 for the 2015 NCHC Frozen Faceoff. In addition, fans who subscribe prior to Sept. 25 will receive a 15 percent off discount code to be used on the NCHC’s Fan Shop by Oct. 30 (good on conference and school merchandise).
Any subscriber who signs up for a conference season package will automatically receive the NCHC Tournament games available on the network. A separate postseason package will be available closer to the end of the season for those who do not have a conference season subscription.
As of today, Sept. 10, fans will no longer be able to sign up for live streaming hockey subscriptions through a member school’s website and hockey subscriptions will no longer be automatically renewed. For fans of Miami, North Dakota, Omaha or Western Michigan who already have an existing subscription that allows access to hockey content through a member school, NeuLion will upgrade them to the conference level package on NCHC.tv for the remainder of their existing subscription. In advance of the full network launching, an email will be sent to the fan with their username and login for NCHC.tv, along with the expiration date of their current subscription. Once the current subscription expires, those fans would then have the option to select any of the packages (conference or school) available on NCHC.tv at the regular price. For fans with subscriptions through member schools that allowed access to other sports content in addition to hockey, they will still have access to that content through the member site for the duration of their subscription. New non-hockey subscription packages will then also be available at a different price point on the member websites.
The NCHC’s digital network will be officially launched prior to the start of the season with the official launch date to be announced at a later time. Along with links on NCHCHockey.com and member sites, once live, fans can access NCHC.tv directly at this link: www.NCHC.tv. For help or issues with subscribing, contact NCHCtv@neulion.com.
Subscribers will enjoy their first live games on Saturday, Oct. 4, when three exhibitions will be streamed through the network, while five more will follow over the next two days. The NCHC’s second season begins in earnest Friday, Oct. 10 with seven teams in action, four of which can be viewed on the NCHC’s digital network. Conference play then opens the following Friday, Oct. 17 as Omaha travels to Western Michigan and North Dakota heads to Colorado College, both of which will be available via a subscription on NCHC.tv.