Hockey Fans Rejoice: NHL now on Google Video

Dennis Faas's picture

Did you miss last night's hockey game? Well you, and me -- and every other hockey fan for that matter -- are in luck!

Early last week, NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises -- the digital division of the National Hockey League -- announced a deal that will provide Google Video with fresh NHL video content.

In addition to providing select NHL classic games, the NHL will also show the current season's full-length games (on delay) via Google Video. (Source:

If you log on to the web site, you can now view and download dozens of recent hockey games organized by team, as well as a fairly large assortment of "some of the National Hockey League's most historic play-off matchups", including some of the Stanley Cup Final battles. (Source: League Commissioner Gary Bettman directed this initiative, which is a first in professional sports history. Bettman wanted the league to figure out how to amplify the popularity of the game by utilizing the NHL's large stores of digital assets. (Source:

Keith Ritter, President of NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises, and his colleagues have decided that a partnership with Google is the way to go:

"When web users are searching for diverse video content, Google Video is the first place they go, just as is the first place hockey fans go when they want NHL video... The combination of our content and Google's massive reach is a terrific pairing, and we're excited to add fan-generated content to the mix." (Source:

The NHL is hoping that this venture will draw in new hockey fans, and thus increase revenues (either through buying game tickets or NHL merchandise).

For now, the video content is free. However, this may change in the near future as the NHL determines whether or not it will attempt to generate revenue (which will also be shared by Google) from the videos -- either by charging for the downloads or by selling advertising. Rick Broadhead, a Toronto-based Internet consultant, said that the league has the potential to make huge amounts of money by taking advantage of its video archives. He also thinks that if the NHL moves to charging for the downloads, fans would still be willing to pay: so long as the downloads are reasonably priced. (Source:

As a hockey fan and an avid Internet user, I personally can't wait to see the outcome of this joint venture between the NHL and Google Video.

And in case you were wondering, just for the record: the NHL's official website makes note that the videos will be free "without ads -- for the first two weeks of November." (Source:

So as Don Cherry would say, "All you kids out there," logon to watch, "The Good Old Hockey Game."

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