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Our NHL.TV review for 2020: Is it worth it?


Feb 12, 2020 — 6 min read


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  • Plans start at $24.99/mo.
  • No free trials
  • Streams every out-of-market NHL game that’s not nationally televised
  • Stream live video up to 60 fps
  • Watch games from up to five alternate camera angles
  • Pause and rewind live games with ease

NHL.TV is an independent streaming service that lets you watch hundreds of out-of-market National Hockey League (NHL) games live. With 31 teams playing 82 games each season, not every channel that broadcasts hockey will air all the games from each team. An NHL.TV subscription makes sure you don’t miss out on the action for out-of-market teams, though local and national blackouts still apply.

NHL.TV boasts of exceptional video quality, letting you stream games at 60 frames per second (fps) on supported devices. This gives you an enhanced and realistic viewing experience, which allows you to get involved in the action from the comfort of your home.

Compare NHL.TV plans

All live games are subject to blackouts, so keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the app to watch nationally or locally broadcast games live. 

NHL.TV offers three types of plans, accommodating the needs of both dedicated hockey fans and casual viewers. They all offer similar functionalities except when it comes to subscription length and all-team access. Note that blackout restrictions apply across every NHL.TV plan.

At $24.99/mo., the Monthly Pass gives you month-long access to every game that doesn’t fall under a local or national blackout. If you add the total for an entire season, this plan will cost you more than the yearly All Access Pass. But on the bright side, you have the freedom to stop your subscription at any time.

For those who only want to follow a single out-of-market team not covered by a local or national blackout, we recommend the Single Team Pass for $114.99. This plan makes sense if you have to move to another state for a while and want to keep following your home team. Though for serious hockey fans, nothing beats the All Access Pass, which will set you back $129.99 for the entire season.

NHL.TV also regularly offers mid-season discounts, so consider waiting for those deals if you don’t necessarily need access throughout the season. The service also has military and student discounts.

What types of games do you get with NHL.TV?

An NHL.TV subscription gives you live access to NHL games and lets you stream them on the go. But like with other sports streaming services, blackout restrictions still apply. This means you won’t be able to live stream games televised by your local broadcaster. But NHL.TV archives these games and lets you watch full-length replays after 48 hours.

In addition, you won’t have access to nationally-broadcast and in-market games until 48 hours later. For instance, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals won’t be available for live viewing on NHL.TV since these are nationally-televised games.

Note that local blackouts depend entirely on your IP address and not on your purchase location. So, for example, you can view live broadcasts of local home games when traveling to a different state.

What about the user experience?

The quality of user experience on NHL.TV starkly varies by device, with the web view offering the best. Like with most streaming services, the video player automatically hides controls during a live game. Move your cursor over the player to access playback options and easily navigate through the game.

You can pause, play or restart games at your leisure. If you want to go back to a specific point in the game, go to the scrubbing bar at the bottom and select where you want to go.

The web version also lets you easily switch to a different game feed. When you want to watch a different team’s game feed, click on the “Alternate Views Available” button at the top of the video player and choose the feed you want to see.

As smooth as the web navigation is, we can’t say the same about the user experience on the NHL app, especially for mobile devices. You get tons of ads that disrupt the stream and cause the app to crash. This doesn’t really help with the viewing experience. If you want undisrupted streaming, try avoiding the mobile app unless NHL makes some improvements to address these issues.

On the other hand, the NHL.TV app offers excellent streaming quality. It lets you watch live games at 60 fps on supported devices, providing exceptional video quality and a realistic viewing experience.

NHL.TV even comes with up to five alternate camera angles depending on the game and arena. You’ll have the option to watch the game through the first-person ref cam, over-the-goal cameras or the zipline aerial cam. This feature sets NHL.TV apart from many other sports streaming services and gives you the opportunity to analyze the game closely from multiple angles.

Can you pause or rewind live games on NHL.TV?

Did your team score a goal while you were distracted, or do you have to make a quick bathroom run? NHL.TV comes with DVR controls, which lets you pause and rewind live games. This feature makes sure you never miss any exceptional goals or saves. Use the interactive timeline to effortlessly detect the game highlights and jump back to wherever you need.

Can you watch more than one game at the same time?

Yes. NHL.TV comes with a Mosaic View option, which makes it easy for users to keep up with multiple games at a time. This lets you view up to four games on a single screen, so you don’t have to miss out on the action. Note that this option only works when you stream from your computer.

Are there any additional usability perks?

Streaming quality and camera angles aside, what we love most about NHL.TV is the effort that goes into making the service accessible for viewers with varying physical capabilities. The NHL.TV media player comes with closed captioning for both live and archived games, allowing viewers with a hearing impairment to enjoy hockey action.

In addition, it has a screen magnification feature, which makes the game easier for visually-impaired viewers to follow. The media player even supports screen readers, so visually-impaired hockey fans can make use of the app. When it comes to accessibility support, NHL.TV gets our vote.

Which streaming devices work with NHL.TV?

NHL.TV offers the best user experience when you stream from your browser, but make sure you use a supported operating system. For Mac computers, you’ll need at least OSX 10.8, while Windows computers require at least Windows 7. Plus, you should update your browser to the latest version to stream NHL.TV from your computer. Aside from these, NHL.TV works with a robust list of devices:

Streaming devices

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV 3 and above
  • Chromecast
  • Roku 2 or newer

Gaming consoles

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

Mobile and tablets

  • Android phone (version 5.0 and higher)
  • Android tablet (version 5.0 and higher)
  • iPad (iOS 11.0 and higher)
  • iPhone (iOS 11.0 and higher)
  • iPod Touch 6th Generation

What internet speed do you need for NHL.TV?

Although the NHL.TV media player will work on a minimum bandwidth of 1.8 Mbps, the NHL recommends at least 3 Mbps if you want to stream in High Definition (HD). Any speed lower than that will only allow Standard Definition (SD) streaming. To get the highest streaming quality at 60 fps, you need at least 5 Mbps, along with device capable of streaming at that frame rate.

Is NHL.TV worth it?

For our NHL.TV review, we narrowed down on areas where the streaming service shines the most – accessibility features and web user experience. Though the mobile app experience leaves much to be desired, you still have plenty of other devices to stream from.

Plus, you get DVR controls to pause or rewind live games at your leisure. And you get to choose from multiple camera angles for a closer and more accurate analysis of the game. Although local and national blackouts still apply, most sports streaming services have the same restrictions.

So for serious hockey fans who wish to regularly follow out-of-market teams, an NHL.TV subscription makes sense. The same goes for viewers with physical disabilities because the service comes with accessibility support features like closed captioning, screen magnification and screen reader compatibility.

Cost-wise, the All Access Pass makes the most sense at $129.99. Though for those who only plan on following a single team and don’t watch other games, we still recommend the Single Team Pass. But make sure to check if blackout restrictions will affect the games you want to watch before you sign up for this plan.