NHL To Embrace Streaming in Local Markets, on Mobile Devices

From John Ourand of Sports Business Journal:

The NHL believes it has a game-changer in convincing regional sports networks to embrace in-market streaming of live games — by extending the rights to mobile devices.

NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said the league is close to an agreement that would have many of its 24 U.S.-based teams launch in-market streaming of live games on both broadband and wireless platforms, marking a potential sea-change in the way fans can view local game telecasts.

Fox Sports Net, which holds the rights to 13 teams, is the one closest to agreeing on a deal allowing in-market live streaming to both broadband and mobile devices, sources said. Comcast SportsNet, which holds the rights to four teams, also is talking to the league.

A deal with either RSN heavyweight instantly would make the NHL’s in-market streaming efforts much broader than other leagues’ offerings. MLB, for example, has only two teams operating an in-market service; the NBA has just one team with concrete plans to stream games in its coming season.

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