The NHL will be changing homes to take viewers inside the teams competing in their outdoor games this season.
After three seasons of HBO collaborating with the league on 24/7, the NHL will take its talents to upstart Epix, according to ESPN. The subscription-based network will produce two “insider” style series: one for the Winter Classic featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, one for the Stadium Series game in Santa Clara featuring the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. Similar to 24/7 , both series will be four episodes long.
Epix only has about 10 million subscribers, and is not even offered by cable companies like Comcast (who own NBCSN, so maybe get on that) compared to HBO’s 28 million subscribers and near ubiquitous availability. However, according to the report, the NHL will have a way to get the show to as many people as possible. Most of Epix’s productions to date have included a Netflix and/or Amazon Instant Video distribution element, so expect something like that.
The series will have a decent budget, and the franchises involved — at least the Blackhawks and Capitals — should be pretty permissive in terms of allowing the cameras inside access. There are questions of distribution, but when has that ever stopped the NHL from doing something?