Get excited hockey fans! The National Women's Hockey League has announced how to stream their games, just in time for their first ever games Sunday. And the best part is that you can watch the first two games for free! Like, I said, lots of reason for hockey fans to celebrate.
With the first NWHL games looming, fans were beginning to get nervous that the league still hadn't announced any details on their promised streaming package. Since the games won't be broadcast on any traditional television networks, a streaming package is the only way for fans to keep up with their team while they're on the road. However, the NWHL announced on Twitter and Facebook that the promised streaming package, the Cross Ice Pass, was not only happening, but that it would be free.
Of course, while free streaming is beyond great for fans, it's unclear what this might mean for the league itself since they're obviously missing out on the revenue from paid subscriptions. However, it's also possible that live streams will include some form of advertising, which might make up for the lost revenue. And the league might be hoping that free streaming will help them grow their fan base, which will be good in the long run.
Interestingly, sports announcer Phil Giubileo, who will be announcing the first NWHL game between the New York Riveters and the Connecticut Whale, indicated on Twitter that the game would be available live through YouTube.
The NWHL posts seem to imply that the live stream will be available through their website, but the league does have a YouTube channel that ran a live stream test recently. So it's possible that the stream will be available through YouTube, the NWHL website, or both. At this rate, it seems the league might just keep us guessing right up to puck drop!
Either way, however, it seems that fans will be able to watch their favorite teams completely free of charge, and that's pretty awesome.
There are two games this Sunday, meaning all four teams are playing. The New York Riveters play the Connecticut Whale at 1:30 p.m. ET in Connecticut, and the Buffalo Beauts play the Boston Pride in Buffalo at 3:30 p.m. ET. So tune in to watch this new chapter in women's hockey history as it starts up.
And go Riveters! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)