The good news keeps on coming: Besides offering more games than ever on television, Rogers announced today their plans for GameCentre Live and the main talking point is that you will be able to watch more games than ever on your laptop/phone/tablet/etc with fewer blackouts.
Here are the highlights:
- All national games will be available to streamers, no matter the team and no matter where you live in the country. This is definitely the biggest change and the biggest difference between the Canadian and US versions now.
- For regional games that Rogers owns rights to (Canucks, Habs, Oilers, Flames, and some Leafs), these games will also no longer be blacked out to you. The difference here though is to view these games you will need a cable TV subscription to Sportsnet and unlock the games via BDU authentication.
- The only games that will remain blacked out to in-region viewers will be TSN’s properties: Sens, Jets, and half of the Leafs regional games.
- For French-language viewers, beginning in January (delayed due to technical issues according to Keith Pelley, Rogers Media President) you will get to see all TVA Sports broadcasts of the Senators and Canadiens.
- All Stanley Cup playoff games will be available for streaming.
- GCL will be available on your computer, phone, and tablet with more devices and screens (e.g., Xbox) to be announced.
- UPDATE: Like the previous version, full length on-demand games, condensed games and highlights will be available as well as over 800 archived games dating back to 1960.
If you’re a Rogers wireless or internet customer, you can enjoy free access to GCL from the beginning of the season until the end of the year. For the rest of us, a full season will cost you $200 with a discounted rate of $180 available until October 3 (GCL was $150 for early bird last year). From January 1 onwards, for Rogers and non-Rogers subscribers, a half-yearly subscription will be available for $130. For those in the country who prefer their games in French, a French-only package including 60 Canadiens and 54 Senators games will be available for $60.
So, if you’re a fan of a team that Rogers owns the regional rights to, you’ll see all (or next to all if you’re a Leafs fan) games online this season. For the remaining teams, you’ll need to watch via TSN, TSN.ca or TSN GO. Here are the total games available with no local blackouts: Montreal, 82 English & 72 French; Ottawa, 29 English & 68 French; Edmonton, 82; Vancouver, 82; Calgary, 82; Winnipeg, 22.
Rogers promises more information will be released in the coming weeks in regards to GameCentre Live (and presumably Centre Ice). Personally, I would love the option for a team-specific season pass or even a USA pass (for those of us who support an American team). Registration will open early next week at rogers.com/nhl.