NHL Center Ice is available as an add-on with most cable and satellite TV providers.
NHL Center Ice Review
What is NHL Center Ice?
NHL Center Ice airs any NHL games not already broadcast by NBC, CNBC, USA Network, or NHL Network. Almost all cable and satellite services let you add NHL Center Ice so you can see all those sweet cheddar shots. You get up to forty out-of-market games a week, which is more puck juggling than even diehards may be able to take.
NHL Center Ice gives you both NHL.TV and NHL Network, which is normally its own channel—and if you want NHL Network only, you may have to add it to your cable or satellite in a sports package.
Some games won’t be in your market. Due to local and national coverage licensing, you won’t be able to see all of your team’s games—unless you get NHL Center Ice to round out your TV package coverage.
Which TV providers have NHL Center Ice?
You can add NHL Center Ice to just about every cable or satellite TV provider as an add-on. This includes Comcast Xfinity, Cox Communication, Spectrum, Optimum, Verizon Fios, DIRECTV, and DISH Network.
And with all providers, NHL Center Ice is about the same price: between $130 to $160 for the season.
Halfway through the season, you can expect the price to be half off.
NHL Center Ice includes NHL Network (a 24-hour NHL-dedicated channel) and NHL.TV (the dedicated app and streaming network, which you can buy separately).
How can I stream NHL Center Ice?
No live TV streaming offers NHL Center Ice at the moment. Sigh.
But through NHL.TV or the NHL app, you can view all the games included with your NHL Center Ice package. You can watch NHL Center Ice on the following devices:
- iPod Touch
- Android phones and devices
How can I try NHL Center Ice before I buy it?
You can check out a free preview during the first few weeks of the NHL season—or if you’re a bit late to the game, after the NHL All-Star Game.
NHL Center Ice blackouts
Alright, listen up, you hosers: blackouts exist on NHL Center Ice and NHL.TV. That’s just the way the biscuit crumbles. But why?
Local markets need viewership both in and out of the arena. So if your favorite team is playing on NBC or NBCSN, then you won’t be able to watch via NHL Center Ice or NHL.TV.
The licensing agreements are meant to promote the local broadcasters while protecting them from becoming obsolete. Basically, everyone needs to make some cash, and the NHL and its affiliates are no exception—but maybe that money will help some hot dog vendors live their best lives, too.
Avoid blackouts with a VPN
Nothing’s worse than living in Denver and having all the Colorado Avalanche games blacked out. Luckily, it’s just like Dr. Ian Malcolm says, “Life . . . uh . . . finds a way.” As in we’ll find a way to watch our games no matter what.
If you’re like us and want to make absolutely sure you can watch every game, blackout or not, then you'll want a VPN.
VPNs give you an anonymous way to browse the internet, and you get to choose where your IP location is, meaning you can wheel around blackout games like a true beautician.
By setting your location outside of your region, you should be able to see if your team can make it to The Show while avoiding blackouts.
How can I watch NHL games without NHL Center Ice?
You can watch NHL games on the following networks:
- NHL Network
So, if you want to stream NHL games and don't want to pay over $100 for NHL Center Ice, you can stream NHL games with the following live TV streaming services:
|DIRECTV streaming||$69.99-$159.99*||View Plans|
|YouTube TV||$34.99-$489||View Plans|
|Hulu + Live TV||$69.99-$89.99||View Plans|
All of the services above include TNT, ESPN, and ABC. With YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, you'll want to order their sports add-on for about $11 extra per month to get access to NHL Network and a handful of other sports channels.
DIRECTV Streaming includes NHL Network in its lineup, but you'll have to at least get the ULTIMATE package for $115 with 140+ channels.
As for ESPN+, you can watch lots of live hockey games with this $11 streaming service. It's practically essential for any NHL fan.
Recap: Is NHL Center Ice worth it?
If your team is out of market, e.g. you live in LA but love the Detroit Red Wings, then we’d say NHL Center Ice is worth it. It’s the apple you need so you can watch your team make it to The Show.
However, if you’re in-market and you’re only going to miss a few games, then the cost might make you leave those games on the bench. Aside from the price, NHL Center Ice is what the most avid NHL fans need.