Friday, September 21, 2007

NHL Centre Ice Online - I'm Logged In!

Ok, so literally whilst I was drawing up an email to the NHL with several questions re: Centre Ice Online (price, blackouts, Mac support, etc), they went and updated their site! Man, I'm on the forefront of change! (There's no games on tonight, if you're wondering what the deal is with that screenshot).

So I got my answer about price...get can sign up for the Free Preview, which ends after the first week of the regular season. OR, you can sign up now for the entire season, for the low low price of $200 CDN!!! ROFLLOLWTFNHLBBQ!

Now, I'm no finance wizard, but I'm starting to know a rip off when I see one! For one thing, I could sign up through my cable company for less than that, $170 for the season, $150 at the Early Bird price! Maybe I'm stupid, but I think a cable feed to my TV is a helluva lot better quality than low grade Windows Media over the Internet! How can the Online price be anywhere NEAR the broadcast one?! That's ballz.

Not only that, but they're missing the entire 'secret' of Internet commerce: Micropayments! Ok NHL, I'm gonna say this once: $2 per game. That's what you're going to get from me. I'm not gonna watch every single game this season, therefore, I want to only pay for what I watch. And that's ONLY if I can log in from Saskatchewan and watch Leafs games...again, it's not clear.

Now, I thought I saw, during the sign up process, a reference to something called "Day Pass". I didn't get a screenshot of it unfortunately. However, that sounds like a much more reasonable option. Maybe a Day Pass option will roll out at some point and be about $2.

The NHL is seriously over-valuing its product in this case. I cannot believe it's more money than the actual cable package...that's lunacy!

Anyway, one step forward. I'll enjoy the free preview, and see where we go from here.

On a related note, the CBC will be streaming all its games online this year. They can do that because they have National rights to the games. The LeafsTV only have rights for their "region". Anyways, props to the CBC. I assume they'll use the despised Windows Media as well, but that's what Flip4Mac is for...

It's not that I want everything to be done my way all the just seems like it. :)

Easy Come Easy Go

Ah, now we're seeing the true colours of the Blue & White (and the NHL): So much for my Leafs preseason games on the iMac...Today I need an account!

Ok fine, where do I sign up? Oh, the "Sign Up Now!" button...ok, my, gosh, wait a sec here, seems they've turned on my favourite Web 2.0 feature - Geofencing:

Well, thanks for the 3 games this week fellas, but I guess that's all she wrote. Unless/until I sign up for NHL Centre Ice Online (which I previously mentioned has NO signup info on their site, no price points, nothing)...damn they're making this difficult.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NHL Centre Ice is in fact online

Ok, I was referred to that link for more info about Centre Ice Online. Now, if someone can point to me where on that page is the price, or sign up information, cause I don't see it. I'll guess they haven't set the price yet, since my local cable provider doesn't have info for the Centre Ice TV package either.

After watching two Leafs' preseason games online this week (and a third coming up tonight!), I'm not sure what I'd pay for the season. A lot of times it might be handy, since I'm usually in front of the iMac, love to have a little window open with the hockey pouring in. And I think they just give you a log in, which I could use anywhere, if I'm out of town for example, but I'm not sure about that...doesn't mention it on their site.

On the other hand, there is an HDTV where I live, so ideally you want to watch games on that baby!

It's also not the highest quality stream I've ever seen, and the Mac support is somewhat there, could be I said, it does work in Safari, although last night I had to close and restart it a couple times, and by the end of the game the audio was kind of out of sync. Among the Mac requirements it says "Pentium III 1GHz"

So yeah, how much would you pay is the question. Like I said before, I'd like to see a "per game" micropayment like iTunes, but I bet they're looking for more of a $40 a month or something, judging by the cable/satellite package prices. Also, it's not clear if you can just get the Online package without getting the cable package, unless I missed that somewhere.

Anyways, I'm glad to see the NHL moving in this direction. Wouldn't hurt them to buy a few banner ads on Canadian websites, letting people know that online is now an option, get the word out. Hell, put up one on their own site, be a good start!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NHL streaming Centre Ice?

Jackpot! As you can see in the pic above, the NHL is finally got its Centre Ice package online, and that means Streaming Live Games!

Details are sketchy, I can't find anything about this on the NHL web site, I basically stumbled on it. Here's some instructions on how you to can see these games on your PC (or Mac! Even works in Safari, although it warns about lack of support):

You launch the 'console', then click the right tab, "Centre Ice". Then you can click on the game(s) you want to watch, I think up to 4 at a time! It will likely complain that the URL is invalid. Doesn't matter! Click the little button on the top right, it looks like a square within a square. This should maximize the prefered game screen to the whole pane, and then it will start streaming the game!

Obviously the NHL will want to make money off this (and I'm not even saying they shouldn't). I thought I remembered reading something about Centre Ice being available as on online package, but then I read how much of a rip off it was. Plus, I thought you could only get it if you subscribe to the cable package, you can't just pay for a single online game...which is insanity. They need to move to a "$2 per game" micropayment model. I think (and hope) perhaps they're streaming all the preseason games, in order to wet our appetites. Consider it wetted.

Here's the link for what little info the NHL has, but like I said, nothing about online games here:

So, we'll see where this goes. But for now, it's nice to watch a live Leaf game on my Mac! (Plus they're muting the ads for me!) :)