If you love to be confused by the NHL’s strict regional broadcast rules, you’ve come to the right place. The Rogers-owned Sportsnet Now streaming service has gotten a huge NHL-focused upgrade, but it’s still not a one-stop-shop platform for hockey.
That’s not to say this isn’t a good deal; for some fans, this is a perfect option. But it seems like it’s going to be a letdown for others.
The announcement is that subscribers of the top-tier Sportsnet Now+ option are now given access to the NHL Live app as well. That basically means you can stream hockey from two apps for the price of one.
Why would you need two hockey streaming apps, you might ask? Well, that’s because nothing in life is ever easy, and surprise, a lot of people are going to need three apps because TSN exists, too! To start, I’ll outline what each app offers and then I’ll end the story with what you still won’t get.
Sportsnet Now and Sportsnet Now+
There are two tiers to Sportsnet Now. A basic level and the ‘+‘ option. Sportsnet Now+ is likely where most hockey fans end up since it offers users streams of the Flames, Oilers, Canucks and Leafs, plus every national game from Hockey Night in Canada and Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, and every Stanley Cup Playoff game.
That said, it’s 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 need to subscribe to TSN.
Sportsnet has the rights to regional games from the Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Leafs, so if you live in one of those regions, you will get to see your local team’s local games. That said, Canucks fans who live in Toronto will still be locked out of watching regional Canucks games since those are only broadcast in B.C. and the Yukon via Sportsnet.
You can learn about all the Sportsnet Now pricing tiers here.
NHL Live isn’t designed to give you regional games, but it does give you access to every single game outside of your region.
This means that if you’re a Canucks fan living in Toronto, then you can watch almost every single Canucks game on NHL Live. The one caveat is if they are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs and it’s one of Toronto’s regionally blacked-out games, in which case you’re going to be blacked out.
What this new package won’t get you
If you’re a fan of Ottawa, Montreal or Winnipeg, and you live in your team region, this package isn’t going to be for you. Since Sportsnet doesn’t hold any regional rights for these teams, it won’t broadcast any of their regional games.
Toronto Fans don’t get all of their games with both of these packages, either; Sportsnet only has broadcasting rights for 82 games. TSN has the rights to the remaining 26 2021 leafs games, so those games will only be available for people in the Leafs’ region via TSN.
If you live outside of the Leafs’ region, then you can stream a vast majority of games via NHL Live.
This package could be a dream come true for you depending on where you live, but it’s still not a one-stop-shop for the NHL.