As the National Hockey League gets ready to drop the puck on the 2018-19 season, Disney Streaming Services is promoting new and enhanced features of NHL.TV, the over-the-top hockey subscription package it operates on behalf of the league.
For the new season, which starts Wednesday, Oct. 3, NHL.TV will add nearly 50% more local broadcast pre- and postgame shows, as well as the intermission shows, for live games. The programming comes from regional sports networks that NHL.TV previously didn’t carry. A rep said Disney Streaming already had the rights to distribute the additional programming and has now integrated it into the streaming service.
NHL.TV offers more than 1,500 out-of-market games in the base tier of the service, subject to local blackout. Pricing starts at $139.99 for the full season (the same as last year), with additional options for a $24.99 monthly pass and $109.99 for a full-season pass for a single team.
Disney plans to cross-promote NHL.TV to customers of the ESPN+ service, which it also operates, according to Barry Tishgart, senior VP and GM of hockey for Disney Streaming Services.
Also new this season, the NHL apps are adding “no-spoiler” notifications — one of the top features requested by fans. Scheduled to be available early in the season, that will let subscribers turn off in-game notifications in the NHL app on Android and iOS devices.
Other new features in the NHL’s digital products for the upcoming season include:
- Team arena info: Previously only available in the separate Arena app for NHL venues, hockey fans now have access to venue information directly within the app to check out arena schedules, maps, amenities and other info.
- Redesigned team pages: Team pages will highlight video as a primary point of entry and during live games introduce a “pinned” video player that lets fans watch the action while simultaneously reading articles within the app.
- NHL Apple Watch app: Launching early this season, the app will provide game notifications, summaries, events, and scoreboards on users’ Apple Watch devices.
Current features of the service include the ability to select customized game announcers to get different play-by-play and color commentary; watch multiple games with picture-in-picture or up to four games at once with “Mosaic View”; select among up to five different camera angles; pause and rewind live games.
NHL.TV is available on major devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire TV and tablets, Apple TV, iOS and Apple Watch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and Google’s Chromecast.
New York-based Disney Streaming Services is the media conglomerate’s business unit that encompasses all consumer-facing digital video subscription services across the company. Those include ESPN+; the upcoming Disney-branded subscription VOD service, slated for late-2019 launch; and BAMTech Media, a provider of streaming infrastructure and products.