NeuLion powers NHL Postseason broadband service
By Andrew Lippe
The National Hockey League will debut NHL Network Online in time for the Stanley Cup playoffs, along with a new broadband video player powered by NeuLion, delivering seven channels of NHL programming. Andre Mika, the NHL’s vice president for broadband and new media, says NHL fans needed a video player that wasn’t just sleek and useful but also one that provided high-quality video.
“NeuLion and the NHL have a very successful track record for launching successful online video products,” says Mika. NeuLion’s player was used to broadcast over 17,000 live games on NHL.com this past season.
“The NHL is making digital its central platform for achieving scale. We believe broadband distribution is part-and-parcel to that strategy,” adds Mika.
Chris Wagner EVP and co-founder of NeuLion, says the new NHL video player is more interactive and more advertising friendly as ads can be implemented into it. The NHL recently signed deals with Cisco Systems, Budweiser and Dodge. “Channels have rolling dasherboards like the ones on the ice rink,” says Wagner.
Wagner and Mika agree that the player appeals to an NHL fans individual passions. “The player itself is what I like to call a, ‘liquid environment,'” says Mika. “It lets the fan jump in and out of the different channels, as well as all of the video clips on those channels, with remarkable ease.”
On NHL Network Online all highlights are free. Fans have the ability to search and watch video clips of any player’s goals, hits or saves over a three year period. Other channels on the online network include, LiveWire, a channel for pre-game warm-ups and post-game conferences and The Hockey Show, a daily show with live updates on all the teams in the playoffs.
Next year, NeuLion. will drive more user generated video online with the MY NHL channel, which delivers from video inside the arena to the Internet. “Television will always remain and important platform for the NHL,” says Mika. “There’s nothing like seeing an NHL game in high-definition.”