It was announced on Wednesday morning that the Hockey East Association has partnered with ESPN, ESPN+, and NESN to broadcast the league’s games over the next six years.
#HockeyEast has announced historic, multi-year partnerships with @ESPN, @ESPNplus, and @NESN to make @collegehockey easier to watch than ever before. Read more— Hockey East (@hockey_east) April 6, 2022
Fans will be able to watch league games on live TV with ESPN or NESN when broadcasted, or on ESPN+ for games that are only available through streaming. The final weekend of the Hockey East tournament will continue to be broadcasted on NESN.
ESPN+ is a paid streaming platform not included with most cable packages like NESN and regular ESPN. The monthly cost for ESPN+ is $6.99, or alternatively it can be bundled with Disney+ and Hulu all for $13.99 per month. This is an increased cost for fans compared to this past year, as most games were free in 2021-22 due to a lack of a network deal.
But overall fans should be very happy with this development. Other NCAA hockey leagues have resorted to putting games on networks like FloSports or the Big Ten Network, each of which can be expensive and offer much less interesting content outside of college hockey. In a world where Hockey East needs a long-term streaming home, ESPN+ is the option with the most accessibility and overall value for its cost.