According to a report from the Triangle Business Journal, live NHL games may be coming soon to a wireless device near you.  “NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said the league is close to an agreement that would have many of its 24 U.S.-based teams launch in-market streaming of live games on both broadband and wireless platforms,”.  The deal would see regional sports networks (RSN) offer live streaming of NHL games to both broadband and wireless mobile devices, but any potential deal is hinging on the implementation of an effective economic model.

The league is reportedly already in talks with Fox Sports Net, who currently hold the rights to 13 American NHL clubs, although there have been talks between the NHL and Comcast SportsNet, too.  Both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have offered streaming capabilities to fans to a much lesser degree than the proposed NHL deal, with mixed results.  The sticking point on more wide-reaching streaming capabilities has been a lack of an effective monetizing plan, which is where bidding for wireless/streaming rights would come in.

“For us, our willingness to jump ahead and talk about wireless rights was a big motivator,” Collins said. “A lot of the RSNs and clubs are planning on doing some work around that this year. Some will be in broadband. Probably more will be in wireless. We’re still working through this.”
American hockey fans shouldn’t get too amped up on the prospect of watching hockey on their mobile devices yet; talks between the NHL and potential partners could take some time as the two sides will work on a plan that will be beneficial to everyone – fans included:
“We’re not in a rush,” an FSN spokesperson said. “The product we offer has to make sense for us and our viewers.”
There was no word on how Canadian NHL clubs would figure into the possibility of live streaming, although as with anything wireless:  Canadian companies will likely let their American counterparts iron out the details before climbing on-board.