According to MultiChannel.com
The National Hockey League drops the puck on its 2009-10 season on Oct. 1 and In Demand will extend a free preview of the circuit's out-of-market package, replete with a number of enhancements, for three weeks to cable customers.There's a slight discrepancy in some of the articles that I've seen. Some of the articles state that the free preview runs from October 2nd and others say that it runs from October 1st. Since the season starts tonight it would make more sense if it was the first. But, the logical answer is never the right answer when it comes to cable providers.
Distributor In Demand Networks said the NHL Center Ice out-of-market subscription package will skate into its longest-ever free preview, from Oct. 1 until Oct 24, 2009.
Among the cable operators offering the package distributed by In Demand this year are: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Bresnan Communications, Midcontinent, plus a number of independent MSOs.
Update: Also, just found out that NHL Game Center (online version of Center Ice) is also offering a free three week preview
After the jump, I've included more details from the press release...
NEW YORK, Sept. 30 2009 – NHL Center Ice out-of-market subscription package of professional hockey games skates into the new season with the longest-ever free preview, from Oct. 1 until Oct 24, 2009, announced package distributor iN DEMAND Networks. Digital cable customers will have free access to the package which gives fans who live away from their favorite team an opportunity to follow the games, and superfans a way to follow the whole league. The package provides up to 40 live out-of-market games per week across 14 channels, and includes a wealth of enhancements to enrich the viewing experience. Customers who order by October 31 will save with the early bird price of only four installments of $40.95 each.
MULTI-SCREEN MOSAIC: This season, fans will continue to receive free enhancements, including the popular rotating mosaic of multiple screens that shows all the live action games being played around the league, along with score, time clock and channel location. The multi-screen mosaic can be found on the first channel of the system’s package lineup.
SAME DAY REPLAYS: One new enhancement available for the first full season this year is replays of same day games. Free to all NHL Center Ice customers, the package will re-air each current day’s game beginning approximately one hour after the live game ends so that fans can see games they might have missed. Each game will replay in its entirety, repeated continuously overnight and the next day, on the same channel, until the following day’s live games begin.
DUAL FEEDS: Returning this year are the popular "dual-feed" telecasts to deliver home team announcers. Whenever possible, iN DEMAND will deliver both local market broadcasts of the same game so that fans can choose which telecast they want to watch.
STAT CHANNEL: In addition, customers receive NHL CENTER ICE EXTRA™, a live source for scores, statistics, game previews, game recaps and schedule information. This can be found on the second channel of the system’s package lineup.
HD GAMES: The package also offers up to 12 games each week in high definition. HD availability varies by system.
Throughout the regular season, NHL Center Ice provides fans the opportunity to watch over 1,000 live NHL games, plus select games from the first two rounds of Stanley CupÒ Playoff competition, as in past seasons. More information about NHL Center Ice is available at www.gethockey.com. Residential customers as well as commercial establishments can order by calling 1-888-SPORTS-iN or their local cable provider. Blackout and other restrictions apply.