MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter join forces
Watch baseball and hockey now for just $139.95
Major League Baseball is 30 clubs full of hope; Opening Day excitement; a fresh infusion of irrepressible prospects; favorite stars like Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Tim Lincecum; All-Star voting; serene days and nights at the park; walk-off homers and high heat; the intense rush of pennant races; and a crisp postseason that brings either a Phillies repeat or brand-new bliss.
The National Hockey League is 30 clubs full of hope; a beautiful ballet on ice with torrid speed and skill; Washington's Alex Ovechkin scoring his 200th career goal and claiming no peer; Boston's surging Bruins vying for a big share of Red Sox fans' attention; the San Jose Sharks in single-digit losses; three stars every night; and a race for the Stanley Cup that brings either a Red Wings repeat or brand-new bliss.
Now they have come together in a new way, as Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the National Hockey League have introduced a partnership that makes available each league's live online streaming product. Subscriptions are under way for MLB.TV Premium and NHL GameCenter LIVE as a package available to U.S. residents for a one-time fee of $139.95 at MLB.com and NHL.com.
Earlier this month, MLB.TV Premium went on sale with its full-season package (March-October 2009) for $109.95, a $10 discount off the 2008 yearly pricing. The NHL will launch its own standalone Race for the Cup streaming product on Feb. 16 for $79.95.
This first-of-its-kind content partnership will allow subscribers to watch more than 2,500 out-of-market MLB Spring Training, World Baseball Classic and regular-season games in 2009, via MLB.com -- and also up to 40 out-of-market NHL games per week for the remainder of the current regular season as well as select Stanley Cup playoff games, via NHL.com. Blackout and other restrictions apply.
"We believe this partnership with the NHL is an important initial step in the future of online subscription programming for valuable content providers," said Bob Bowman, MLBAM President and Chief Executive Officer.
"We couldn't be more excited about this tremendous opportunity to introduce our groundbreaking NHL Game Center LIVE experience to an even bigger audience," said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins. "MLBAM has built a great business by engaging their audience with a best-in-breed product. This partnership is all about our mutual commitment to deliver world class digital sports experiences to sports fans everywhere."
MLB.TV -- now in its seventh season with more than a million total subscribers since its inception and 500,000 in 2008 alone -- is introducing significant upgrades to its Premium product in 2009. The new MLB.TV Premium will feature proprietary speed detection allowing a high-definition quality picture on any screen size; live game DVR functionality; live game picture-in-picture capabilities; multi-game viewing options; home and away feeds for every available game; live game radio option; and real-time player tracker alerts for live at-bat look-ins.
NHL GameCenter LIVE streams up to 40 games per week and is specifically designed for those avid fans looking for the most complete, in-game NHL viewing experience, as well as for the nearly 50 percent of NHL fans who live away from their favorite teams' local television market and crave more live game coverage. NHL GameCenter LIVE surrounds these avid hockey fans with TV-quality streaming video, multiple and exclusive camera angles, multi-game views, real-time stats, chat and much more.
Users will require separate logins for MLB and NHL. These will be set up in the purchase process.
Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have been outdoor and indoor staples in the regular lifestyle of fans for many generations, and it was just this past New Year's Day when the Red Wings played the Chicago Blackhawks on the ice of none other than the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. Baseball and hockey are becoming closer friends than ever, and with this combo subscription package, fans of both sports now have a solution to seeing it all happen live over their computers.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.