You knew it was coming, and this All-Star weekend, everything you know about the NHL on-air, online, and on the go is going to change.
Back in August, the NHL and MLB Advanced Media announced a six-year, to create a digital-rights partnership to change the way we experience the game.
Then in October, NHL Network moved out of the TSN Studios they’ve called home since its inception to the MLB Network studio complex in Secaucus, New Jersey. NHL Live film their show out of Studio K, which is normally the home of MLB Network’s off-season morning show Hot Stove. Both NHL Tonight and On The Fly film their show out of Studio 21, which is normally the home of MLB Network’s in-season morning show MLB Central, its Sabrmetric-centric show MLB Now, and its in-season nightly recap show Quick Pitch. Also, both NHL Tonight and On The Fly respectively reformatted their shows to be hockey versions of MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch. Heck, some MLB Network talent moonlighted NHL Network programming during the MLB off-season, such as The Rundown hosts Kelly Nash and Matt Yallof. Nash filled in for Jamie Hersch on On The Fly from time-to-time, and Yallof, who was a former Flyers rinkside reporter when he worked at CSN Philadelphia, filled in when either Jamison Coyle, Tony Luftman, or Kathryn Tappen wasn’t available to host NHL Tonight. The same goes for MLB Network reporter Scott Braun, who like Yallof, was a fill-in host for NHL Tonight.
On February 1, 2016, a brand-new NHL.com and NHL App will launch. So too is NHL.tv (currently GameCenter Live).
NHL.com is gonna look more clean, much like its soon-to-be sister page, MLB.com. The new NHL App is gonna look more like the MLB At Bat app. And if you know how to use MLB.tv, that’s what NHL.tv will be.
To read more about this, check out Greg Wyshynski’s article about this dramatic digital makeover.
By April 4, NHL Network will finally have a dedicated studio of their own, so as there will be no conflicts in sharing sets with MLB Network when the 2016 MLB season kicks off the night prior.
Bob Bowman, President and CEO of MLB Advanced Media, said “It’s a work in progress. We’re trying to come to a common ground, but I think there’s a difference yet to be resolved. We’re trying to get everything cleaned up and orderly. We’re trying,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “Once we get through the basics, the sky’s the limit.”
Get ready hockey fans. The future is almost here.