On the heels of getting agreements with MLB and the NBA to stream local games in-market, Fox has now gotten the green light to begin streaming NHL games to local fans next season. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that after five years of talks, Fox and the NHL reached an agreement that allows in-market streams of the 12 teams to which it owns the rights.
NBC Sports Group which is the other large cable rightsholder with the NHL has not made a deal for its teams nor does it have one in place for MLB.
Goddamn you, Comcast-NBC. Goddamn you.
Slowly but surely, the world is coming around on streaming. Particularly in-market streaming sports. Major networks and providers are figuring out ways to keep their interests – subscriber login required – while still giving customers the ability to stream content. Comcast, of course, remains the holdout, first for baseball, and now for hockey, which is even more laughable because they own the national broadcast rights – not to mention the Flyers – and do a fairly decent job with the stream.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Here’s what I wrote last year when it was reported that FOX and MLB were approaching an in-market streaming agreement (which has since come to fruition):
This is a big deal. Local sports, as you know, are sort of the last thing standing in the way of many people cutting the cord. The NFL doesn’t really factor in because most of their games are on network TV, which you can access through a digital tuner and other means. ESPN, which airs Monday Night Football, is dipping its toe into streaming packages that don’t require cable subscriber credentials with Dish’s Sling TV. Hockey and basketball aren’t quite there yet (CSN does allow you to stream Sixers games, with cable credentials), but if Major League Baseball is able to strike a deal with regional networks like FOX and CSN, expect the other leagues to follow suit. But why do I get the feeling that NBC-CSN is going to be the company that holds all this up?
So not only are they the holdout for baseball, but also for hockey. A TWOFERFUCKINGYOU.
Now, there are other options. You can subscribe to Playstation Vue, which includes local broadcast affiliates and CSN. It’s a viable option. Or, you can get a VPN and subscribe to MLB.tv or GameCenter. It works just fine. By next season, Comcast is supposed to join the ranks for in-market baseball streaming, or else MLB.tv won’t be able to raise their prices, apparently, according to some lawsuit I still don’t fully grasph. But the fact that you are paying for CSN, if you have cable, and can’t watch Phillies or Flyers games online is completely ridiculous.