Ice hockey fans count down the days until first face-off as streaming series is launched with TicketCo TV
- Clubs appeal to UK ice hockey fans to back Streaming Series
- Successful pilot scheme crucial to helping ice hockey season return
Eight long months after the UK hosted its last competitive ice hockey fixture, the country’s most watched indoor sport is set to return with the help of TicketCo TV.
Ice rinks were amongst the worst-hit venues when the UK was placed into lockdown by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March. For five months, rinks up and down the country were closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19. It left all ice hockey clubs relying on the support of sponsors and revenue generated from merchandise sales to survive.
And with another lockdown announced this week and on-going restriction expected clubs face competing in empty ice rinks if a new season is to go ahead.
But there is now a glimmer of hope thanks to TicketCoTV and its simple, cost-effective and easy to operate pay-per-view live streaming service.
Later this month, Swindon Wildcats, Milton Keynes Lightning, and Sheffield Steeldogs will become the first teams to hit the ice this season. The three clubs have partnered with streaming company TicketCo TV to launch the inaugural Streaming Series – a round-robin tournament that will take place over three weekends in November. It is designed to test run whether it can help support launching a new season with pay per view live streaming.
Tickets are priced £12, and to encourage Wildcats, Steeldogs, and Lightning fans to further support their team there is an option to purchase a family ticket where each additional viewer watching the same stream will be charged £3.
Joe Edwards, global key account manager at TicketCo and Oxford City Stars forward, added: “We are thrilled to be working with the NIHL, Swindon Wildcats, Sheffield Steeldogs, and Milton Keynes Lightning and helping bring British ice hockey back into action.
“It is a pleasure to be working with three forward thinking clubs who are embracing our modern technology to enable them to return to action and broadcast the games to supporters. The Streaming Series should appeal to British ice hockey fans generally, who have missed the sport and are keen to watch some live action again.”
For Swindon Wildcats general manager Steve Nell, the Streaming Series has provided the club with a lifeline while they continue to operate in survival mode.
“We’re still in survival mode and will be until things return to normal,” he said. “Everyone at the club has been impressed with the simplicity of TicketCo’s ticketing platform and streaming service. We’re very excited about our partnership with TicketCo and have big plans to develop our stream to make our fans feel as close to the action as possible.
“We must also thank all of our rink operators, without their hard work and support the Streaming Series would not take place.”
Ali Cree, co-owner of Sheffield Steeldogs, plans to utilise the flexibility of TicketCo’s streamlined service by making fans’ experience of watching home games on their TV screens as close to being rink side as possible.
“We are devastated that we cannot let any fans into our facility for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Therefore, we want to make our streaming service as exciting as possible. By partnering with TicketCo, there are no boundaries with regards to our broadcast capabilities and we therefore have plans to make our broadcast the best it possibly can be.
“We really need UK ice hockey fans to back this pilot scheme as we want to prove there is a fresh revenue stream for clubs to explore amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Andrew Miller, director of the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) said: “We are grateful to the teams, players, and staff as well as our venues for stepping up to stage these pilot games as a key part of our return to play. It is a big step forward in bringing our sport back to some sort of normal.
“The association will be also looking to co-ordinate trial events at other levels of the game in the coming weeks.”
To purchase tickets for any games featured in this year’s Streaming Series, visit nihl-national.co.uk.
TicketCo is a cloud-based event payment company, with offices in Norway, the UK, and Sweden. TicketCo’s technology is designed to make event payments quick and easy. Its payment platform is integrated with its pay-per-view live streaming service.
Photo: Swindon Wildcats by Kat Medcroft