Beginning in the 2016-17 season, fans whose television subscription covers Fox Sports regional networks will be able to watch live, streaming local telecasts on devices other than their television.
On the same day that it was announced that the NHL would stream weekly out-of-market games on Twitter, it was also announced jointly by the NHL and FOX Sports that cable television customers would be able to watch live, streamed games on FOX Sports GO as part of a “multi-year agreement.”
FOX Sports GO is the live streaming application available for iOS, Android, Android TV, Fire tablets and phones, select Windows devices, and online at FOXSportsGO.com. The mobile app is available, free of charge, at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store.
“We’re excited to enhance the pay-TV subscription for Kings and Ducks fans across Southern California,” Henry Ford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX Sports West, Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego, shared with LA Kings Insider. “Our partnership with the NHL and our distributors will allow fans to access their hometown teams from their connected devices, at home or on the go.”
Subscribers to FOX Sports’ regional networks will be able to watch their team’s games across the United States, though streaming rights necessitate blackouts in Canada, Mexico and points beyond. For example, Kings fans who receive FOX Sports West as part of their television package will be able to stream games via FOX Sports GO in Vancouver, Washington, but not Vancouver, British Columbia.
The agreement also allows distributors, including new streaming services, to deliver NHL games via their digital platforms as part of their carriage of the Fox RSNs.
“We are pleased that hockey fans that subscribe to FOX Sports Regional Networks will now have more ways to follow their favorite NHL teams,” said David M. Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution and Strategy / Business Affairs. “We believe increasing accessibility to NHL games benefits not only fans, but the League and its partners.”
“We see in-market streaming as a valuable extension of the customers’ pay-TV subscription,” said Jeff Krolik, President, FOX Sports Regional Networks. “We’re happy to partner with the NHL to bring in-market streaming to hockey fans, and we look forward to collaborating with the league on this effort.”
The added accessibility comes at a time when Kings and Ducks broadcasts have set significant marks in viewership as both teams have benefited from hockey’s growing scope and permeation in the region during the two teams’ championship windows. According to figures provided by FOX Sports West in the spring, the Kings finished with the highest-rated regular season on the network since 1999-00 and produced ratings that rose 28 percent compared to the 2014-15 season. The ratings rise also carried over to Anaheim, as the Ducks finished with the second highest-rated regular season on Prime Ticket since 1999-00 and experienced a 49% growth compared to 2014-15. Even though it was a shorter playoff series, Los Angeles’ household ratings for the first round of the 2016 playoffs were 54% higher than the 2014 first round series against San Jose.