HBO Max gets live hockey, thanks to new NHL deal
Live hockey is coming to HBO Max, thanks to a new seven-year agreement between the National Hockey League and WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports. The news can be a bit surprising, as WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said just a few weeks ago. sport would not appear on HBO Max in 2021.
Along with HBO Max launching into the sports streaming spotlight, Turner Sports also announced that TNT and TBS will broadcast the Stanley Cup three of the seven years outlined in the deal. (Specifically, WarnerMedia channels will broadcast the Championship Series in 2023, 2025 and 2027, according to the NHLThe remaining years will be hosted by Disney’s ESPN Plus and ABC, as part of the sports league’s other major streaming deal, now that its contract with NBC ends this year. The various properties of WarnerMedia will also be able to distribute:
- Half of the conference finals and half of the first two rounds of the playoffs each season
- 72 regular season games per season
- The NHL Winter Classic every season (exclusively)
For any die-hard NHL fan who cuts the cord, this creates a tricky scenario. To make sure you can watch the Stanley Cup for the next seven years, you’ll either need to alternate between HBO Max and ESPN Plus, or use the NHL’s own streaming service, NHL.TV, if you live in one. other services are not available.
ESPN Plus currently costs $ 5.99 per month or $ 13.99 per month with Disney Plus and Hulu. HBO Max costs $ 14.99 per month. NHL.TV costs $ 34.99 for an “All-Access Pass” for the 2021-2022 season or $ 29.74 for a specific team’s games. (The NHL says some games will not be on NHL.TV if they are available on local live TV.)
Bringing live hockey to HBO Max is remarkable because the brand really isn’t known for live sports. Outside of airing a bit of tennis and boxing, HBO’s biggest investment in sports media has come in the form of documentaries and series, including the Peabody Award. Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
While it may disrupt the already confusing HBO Max content library, having some sort of live sports programming seems to be more and more of a table stake for any streaming service that wants people to stay subscribed. Amazon does it, Disney does it Hulu and ESPN Plus, and Paramount Plus from ViacomCBS also has a solid sports offer. If anything, WarnerMedia is doing what’s expected – which, for any hockey fan already subscribed to HBO Max, should be a nice addition.