Last week, subscribers of the NHL Live streaming service got some disappointing news in an e-mail from the service. The NHL Live service won’t be available in Canada for the 2022-23 season (and presumably beyond), replaced by Sportsnet Now’s premium tier.
For hockey fans that wanted to watch out-of-market games, NHL Live was essential. If you subscribed to Sportsnet’s television offerings and NHL Live, you could watch any games you wanted with minimal obstructions. (Well, aside from jumping from service to service.)
On social media, fans mourned the loss of the service, as NHL Live (and its predecessor, NHL.TV) have long been a staple of fans’ (and reporters’) media diets. Fans shared some mixed reviews from their recent experiences with Sportsnet Now, so hopefully that improves with more users migrating to the service from NHL Live.
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Last season NHL Live cost $199.99 for a year ($179.99 if you signed up before the early bird deadline) or $29.99 on a monthly basis. Sportsnet Now’s premium tier costs $249.99 for a year or $34.99 on a monthly basis.
Sportsnet television subscribers are provided with complimentary Sportsnet Now standard tier access as a perk of their TV services – the standard tier is $149.99 yearly or $14.99 on its own – but as of right now Sportsnet doesn’t have a mechanism to upgrade that to the premium tier. So if you’re a TV subscriber who wants the same access that NHL Live gave you, you’ll need to pay for a full premium tier subscription in addition to your TV subscription.
It’s worth noting that Sportsnet Now’s premium tier includes more stuff than just NHL Live: it has things like FA Cup and Bundesliga soccer and the streaming version of the WWE Network, so if you’re a fan of soccer or wrestling there is a value-add potentially. But for pure hockey fans, the value may be lessened compared to what they experienced with NHL Live in seasons past.
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