Now that the summer heat has cooled off, it’s time to return to the ice with NHL hockey! The Colorado Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup last season, claiming their franchise’s third championship, but just about every team has the hope that this year can be better than the last. With the wild offseason behind us, there are a lot of intriguing storylines that are set to unfold entering the 2022-23 NHL season, and here we’ll be telling you how you can watch them all!
In the NHL, each team plays a total of 82 games in the regular season, meaning there will be a grand total of 1,312 regular season games taking place between now and April 29th, pending a potential break for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Whether you’re aiming to watch some of every game or just want a better, more convenient way to watch your team play, there are a variety of different cable and satellite tv sports packages you can choose from, and you can even create your own. Keep reading to learn more about the options that are right for you.
All channels that broadcast NHL games
- NHL Network
- NHL Center Ice
- ESPN 2
- Regional sports networks
The 1,312-game regular season takes place over six months, so you’ll definitely need both in-market and out-of-market viewing options if you want as much coverage as you can get. If your favorite team is based far away from where you currently live, you’ll also need out-of-market options to watch every game they play.
In-market vs out-of-market
Before going into detail about the different networks and the NHL season, we first want to help you understand the difference between in-market and out-of-market game coverage. If a broadcast is in-market, it means that the coverage is related to your physical location when turning on the TV. For example, if you live in Detroit, the in-market game coverage will almost always be a Detroit Redwings game, regardless of if they are playing on their home ice or not. But a Detroit Redwings fan that lives in Florida would be considered out of market, as the Panthers and Lightning are the local in-market teams. This fan likely would not be able to see their redwings play unless they were playing one of these local teams.
So, what does this mean for sports packages and your viewing habits? As you may have guessed, if you live somewhere where your favorite team would not be considered an in-market team, you’ll need to get out-of-market coverage options to see them play consistently. And if you want to watch as much NHL action as you can, you’ll also need out-of-market coverage.
In-market game coverage: Regional sports networks and NHL Network
As the name suggests, regional sports networks only broadcast coverage of local sports. Live game programming is determined by the sports teams located within a specific region. Because the reporters, commentators, and TV personalities are covering these teams closely throughout the season rather than traveling to different rinks and interviewing players from different teams throughout the week, you’ll be able to learn a lot more about your favorite players, the coach, and the organization itself. You can only get the regional sports network in your area by subscribing to a TV provider that carries it.
NHL Network is also very self-explanatory – it’s the official TV channel for the NHL. When it comes to game coverage, NHL Network acts like a regional sports network because it typically broadcasts local in-market games. In addition to these games, NHL Network also airs a variety of other hockey-related content like NHL Tonight. NHL Network is also a channel that you will need to pay to get from your cable provider.
Out-of-market game coverage: ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, NHL Network, NHL Center Ice, TNT, and TBS
With those 1,000+ regular season games, it shouldn’t be a surprise that you’ll need a variety of networks to catch most of the out-of-market games. ESPN, ABC, and TNT all regularly televise NHL games throughout the week, with ABC broadcasting games only on Saturdays. ESPN 2 and TBS serve as “overflow” channels for ESPN and TNT, and they are almost always included in packages that also include the aforementioned networks.
Unfortunately, even if you have a combination of ESPN, ESPN 2, ABC, TNT, AND TBS, you still won’t be able to tune into every single out-of-market game played this season. The only surefire way to catch as many NHL games as you can with cable is with NHL Center Ice. NHL Center Ice allows hockey fans to watch up to 40 out-of-market games a week of their choice and is an add-on that you must purchase through a provider.
Key NHL events
- NHL Winter Classic: January 23rd on TNT
- 2023 NHL All-Star Game: February 4th on ABC and ESPN
- NHL Stadium Series: February 18th on ESPN
- NHL Playoffs: April on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, and TBS
- Stanley Cup Finals: June on TNT
As you can see, if you’re serious about watching as much hockey as humanly possible this season, you’ll need to add on at least your regional sports network and NHL Center Ice to your cable or satellite tv package. Whether you’re set on enjoying every minute of NHL hockey possible or just want to be able to follow your favorite team like never before, we can help you create the perfect cable package. Just compare your different options here on our site, contact us for more information if you need it, and then schedule your installation!