FanPost

NHL Gamecenter blackouts raw deal for Pens fans





I usually subscribe to NHL Center Ice(though I have gotten a couple of seasons for free because COMCAST forgot to discontinue the feed. THis year, I decided to go with NHL Gamecenter because I was getting tired of the limited/no HD for their Center Ice feeds on COMCRAP. The 49.99 price for this season was a great deal and a no brainer to sign up for another season despite the strike shortened season. (BTW, I laugh at those midseason promos of their lowest price ever when they haven't really reduced it from the preseason price).

I love the archiving features on Gamecenter. With Center Ice, you pretty much have to remember to record each game in advance. Also with cable's version of Center Ice, you were not guaranteed multiple feeds for each game.

I like the flexibility of Gamecenter. You can use a PS3 or SONY TV app to watch it on TV, or you can watch it on your laptop. The subscription is portable and you can "lend" your subscription as long as it is not viewed at the same time. The quality is pretty damn good if you have a decent connection.

This year, I traveled overseas(to Asia) for a month and Gamecenter is the best for such a scenario because there are NO BLACKOUTS at all, even games that are on NBC or NHLN or NBCSN. The problem arises when you are in the US in a place which has no access to those networks, especially NHLN and NBCSN and you need to watch the game. What is the point of paying a high premium for Gamecenter and then you get blacked out of the game?

Here is where it sucks for Pens fans subscribing to Gamecenter this year. It seems like more than half the Pens games are on one of the cable networks or NBC. So you can't catch them on Gamecenter. I lucked out when I traveled overseas for a month since there are no blackouts. But no more. I am traveling to FL for a week next week and my hotel won't have access to NBC Sports or NHLN, but ALL THREE PENS GAMES next week are on one of those networks. My slingbox remote sensors are messed up and I will have to get a friend to turn the channel at home for me to even catch the games via slingbox.

NHLN and NBCSN get free exposure via Gamecenter for their network feeds. In fact, why can't NHLN just be part of gamecenter for a slightly higher addon fee? It's not like I will choose to watch Gamecenter if I have access to NHLN already. Or they could have a traveler's allowance of overriding a few blackouts a year on your account, especially if your home team happens to be featured on those networks a disproportionate amount of time.

THe least they could do is do what the NFL does and at leastt have the games available the next day instead of 48 hours. NHL needs to do more to attract more viewers to their games. Here I am willing to pay extra for games, and I got to make such an extra effort to catch my games. I am still glad I got Gamecenter this year, but it's only because my international travel saved me from the blackout rules. It is a raw deal for Pens fans traveling domestically.

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at Pensburgh.com. FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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