If you love being confused by the strict NHL regional broadcasting rules, you’ve come to the right place. Rogers-owned streaming service Sportsnet Now has gotten a big NHL-focused update, but it’s not yet a one-stop-shop platform for hockey.
That is not to say that it is not a good deal; For some fans, this is a perfect option. But it looks like it’s going to be a disappointment to others.
The announcement is that subscribers to the top-tier Sportsnet Now + option now also have access to the NHL Live app. That basically means you can stream hockey from two apps for the price of one.
Why would you need two hockey streaming apps? Well that’s because nothing in life is easy and, surprise, a lot of people are going to need three apps because TSN exists too. To get started, I’ll describe what each app offers and then finish the story with what you won’t get yet.
Sportsnet Now and Sportsnet Now +
There are two levels to Sportsnet Now. A basic level and the ‘+‘option. Sportsnet Now + is likely to be where most hockey fans end up, offering users streams of Flames, Oilers, Canucks, and Leafs, in addition to all the national Hockey Night games in Canada and Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, and all Stanley Cup Playoff games.
That said, it is still subject to local blackouts. Meaning, you won’t get any regional games for the Sens, Jets, or Canadiens if you live in those areas. To get those local games, you have to subscribe to TSN.
Sportsnet has the rights to the regional Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Leafs games, so if you live in one of those regions, you will be able to watch the local games of your local team. That being said, Canucks fans living in Toronto will not yet be able to watch the Canucks regional games as they are only streamed in BC and the Yukon via Sportsnet.
You can get information on all price levels from Sportsnet Now here.
NHL Live is not designed to bring you regional games, but it does give you access to all games outside of your region.
This means that if you are a Canucks fan living in Toronto, you can watch almost every Canucks game on NHL Live. The only caveat is if they are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs and it is one of Toronto’s regionally blocked games, in which case you will lose consciousness.
What this new package will not offer you
If you’re a fan of Ottawa, Montreal, or Winnipeg, and you live in your team’s region, this package won’t be for you. Since Sportsnet does not have any regional rights for these teams, it will not broadcast any of its regional games.
Toronto fans don’t get all of their games with these two packages either; Sportsnet only has broadcast rights to 82 games. TSN has the rights to the remaining 26 2021 leaf sets, so those games will only be available to people in the Leafs region through TSN.
If you live outside of the Leafs region, you can stream the vast majority of the games through NHL Live.
This package might be a dream come true for you depending on where you live, but it’s still not a one-stop shop for the NHL.