The 2019-20 NHL regular season begins when the puck drops October 2nd at 7:00 p.m., ET with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Ottawa Senators. It’s the first of 1,271 hockey games that comprise a full NHL regular season, at least until Seattle’s new expansion team hits the ice in 2021.
What’s the best way to watch all those NHL games this season? We take a look at the top cable networks for watching live NHL games, the NHL Center Ice sports package and how to stream live NHL games to get you to and through the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals.
What channels show NHL games?
- NBC Sports Network
- NHL Network
- Regional sports networks
Nationally-televised NHL games will air on NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the NHL Network throughout the season. Look to your regional sports networks for matchups featuring your local, or in-market, hockey teams.
NBC and NBCSN will feature the most nationally-televised NHL games throughout the season. NBC is also scheduled to host the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, January 25, with NBCSN airing the always-entertaining NHL All-Star Skills competition the day before. Additionally, NBC and NBCSN are likely to broadcast much of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
NHL Network will broadcast live NHL games throughout the season, but much of the network’s programming is dedicated to game reruns, league highlights, hockey analysis and the occasional documentary. It’s a great source for NHL coverage, but you’re more likely to find live hockey on NBCSN.
Where can I get channels to watch NHL games?
NBC, NBCSN, NHL Network and your regional sports networks are available from most major cable and satellite TV providers. NBC is likely to be included with even the most basic TV packages, but you may have to choose a more robust package or add a sports pack to get NBCSN, NHL network and regional sports networks.
Check with your TV provider to see if these channels are included with your package, or shop for a new TV service/package with the channels you need to watch live NHL games.
Best sources for out-of-market NHL games – NHL Center Ice and NHL.TV
If the NHL coverage you get from your TV provider isn’t quite enough — especially if you’re looking for out-of-market NHL games — you may want to consider NHL Center Ice or NHL.TV. Both sports packages are likely to cost you over $100, so take a look at each before committing to one because you likely won’t need both.
NHL Center Ice – best for all-around hockey coverage
NHL Center Ice is an add-on sports package offering up to 80 live, out-of-market games during the regular season. You can watch live games on your TV or stream live NHL games on your mobile device. NHL Network is also included with your subscription, an added bonus if you don’t already have the channel. Blackout restrictions apply to in-market teams and nationally-televised games.
Most major TV providers offer NHL Center Ice as an add-on package. An NHL Center Ice subscription will cost around $165 total, but some providers such as DIRECTV allow for monthly payment plans so you don’t have to fork it all over at once.
NHL.TV – best for single-team coverage and live NHL streaming
NHL.TV lets you stream live NHL games at home and on the go using the NHL App. Like with NHL Center Ice, blackout restrictions apply, which means you likely won’t be able to get in-market games or nationally-televised broadcasts with NHL.TV.
At $144.99, a full subscription to NHL.TV costs about the same as NHL Center Ice. However, NHL.TV does offer a “monthly pass” which offers all the games you’d get with a full subscription starting at $24.99/mo. You can also get a single-team pass, which will bring you every game that isn’t already scheduled for national broadcast for a discounted price of $115.99.
OTT services and networks with live NHL streaming
If you’ve given up on cable but aren’t ready to do the same with your passion for hockey, there are a few over-the-top (OTT) streaming services that will have live NHL streaming.
When choosing a streaming service to watch NHL games on, you’ll want to favor those that include NBC, NBCSN and your regional networks. NHL Network would also be ideal, but not many OTT services offer that channel yet.
Streaming services for watching live NHL games
|OTT service||NBC||NBCSN||NHL Network||Regional sports networks|
|AT&T TV NOW||✔||✔||✘||✔|
|Hulu + Live TV||✔||✔||✘||✔|
Sling TV is currently the only OTT service that offers NHL Network, but only as part of an add-on sports package that will cost you an extra $10/mo. If you choose Sling TV for NHL Network, beware that the service does not offer NBC in select markets, NBCSN is only available with the Blue or Orange & Blue packages and regional sports networks are not available.
NHL Center Ice is currently not available via any major OTT services, including AT&T TV NOW and Hulu + Live TV. Cord cutters who want more out-of-market hockey games should consider NHL.TV as it does not require a traditional TV subscription to sign up.
Do you have what it takes to watch live NHL games this season?
To get the most NHL action this year, you’ll need a TV subscription, a fast internet connection or possibly both. Find available TV services and packages in your area, and get an internet plan with ideal speeds for streaming sports with Allconnect®.
For more information about live sports streaming and other budget-friendly hacks for getting the entertainment you want most, check out other articles on our resource center.