Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Live NHL Hockey! Online!

Live sports...on the internets? It's true!  Well I've been promised the wonderment of live sports online ever since I ditched my old 33.3 kb modem (if you don't know what that is, just believe me that it's been a while).  In reality however, the live broadcasts haven't materialized like I had hoped.  For a while I was stuck with re-streamed feeds from or similar 'stream your own' websites.  The quality was beyond poor, and choppy, and dropped out constantly.  In short it just was not worth the effort.
     But that was then.....

Now I've finally stumbled on Yahoo! Sports' "Hockey Night on Yahoo! Sports".  They stream at least one, and frequently two games per night, all a good assortment of teams too, which is great for a fan of an out-of-market team like myself.    The games are of good quality or better, very few hiccups, even on my moderately-high speed service, and best of all, completely free.  Yes free, which is saying something, because Yahoo is really pushing their 'NHL Gamecentre" where you can watch any game online any night in HD.  OF course THAT service is $169 CAD for the season, a bit hefty if you only want to catch a game or two a week.  That's where the Hockey Night on Yahoo! is great, a random game every night, but free.

 Perfect right?

Well almost, the one catch is, that the Hockey Night games aren't available in Canada, where most hockey fans are, including me.  The site scans your IP address and if it finds you are in the great white north, you are blocked from watching the stream.  So what is a fan to do?  Hotspot Shield.  A simple little app (for Mac and PC) that blocks your IP address from the internet.  Switch it on (or click 'connect') and surf on over to the Hockey Night stream, and there you are!  Easy, simple and issue free.  Seldom do things like this work so well, especially when there is money to be made.
    For the record, I don't consider this stealing, as the stream IS free, you can't buy it anywhere, it's free in the USA and elsewhere, just not available (probably due to broadcasting rights) in Canada.
     On another note, this trick also works for sites like, and where you can't watch shows or programs from those site due to international rights and blah blah blah.

dear international buddy....
Hope this helps someone enjoy some previously-unavailable programming online!

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