NCHC TV: Improvement Needed

Zach Driscoll

The 2022-23 college hockey season is finally upon us. For National Colegate Hockey Conference fans, it’s time to renew your NCHC.TV subscription. Are you ready to peel off  $116.00? That’s the renewal fee for another season of the NCHC league package.

Earlier this summer, I was reading Brad Schlossman’s Daily Skate: Five questions for new NCHC commissioner Heather Weems.

After reading Schlossman’s article, I had some questions, too. The NCHC is a great hockey conference, but they have a few areas they need to clean up. It’s not a secret, the NCHC’s streaming platform is a bit to be desired. What are you going to do to make the video platform better?

This isn’t a new thing. It has been an ongoing problem for the NCHC. I’ve covered this subject a couple of times on my blog. From this past February.

According to a source, after the November 12 game between Miami University and UND (in Oxford, OH), the league sent out a memo instructing member schools that there would be a minimum standard for NCHC.TV. From what I have seen, their broadcast has been better. Not great, but better.

This issue isn’t going away, today, the NCHC tweeted this.

My Tweet

It will be interesting to see what improvements if any are made. As the 2022-23 season approaches, I still have questions. Trust but Verify.

During the 2021-22 hockey season, fans purchased the NCHC.TV paid $112 for the NCHC’s Annual Pass. I will be honest with you, that’s an awful lot of money to pay for the quality of the product received. I can name 3-4 NCHC schools that have an atrocious webcast. If I was an Athletic Director for one of these schools, I’d be embarrassed. Have these schools done anything to improve their product? We will soon find out.

Two of the schools that have substandard webcasts are Mid-Major MAC schools. The last time I checked, they’re a bigger school than any other schools in our conference, yet they put out less desirable webcasts. Two of the schools outclassing them are Division II schools. The head-scratcher, these same MAC schools have very good college football broadcasts on ESPN+. Why can’t these schools put a decent product on NCHC.TV? What’s holding them back?

If I had to rank the top four schools in the conference, the ranking would go like this: 1. UND, 2. DU, 3. SCSU, 4. UMD. The other four schools in the conference need to up their broadcast product.

Comparing the other Division I hockey conferences, the NCHC is lagging behind. The Big Ten hockey conference’s streaming product is very good. Yes. They are a Power Five conference. Hockey East recently signed a new six-year media rights agreement with ESPN and ESPN+. Atlantic hockey and CCHA hockey teams use Flo Sports. Another platform that is outclassing the NCHC threefold.

Speaking of ESPN+; NCHC Commissioner Heather Weems was asked during the 2022 NCHC Media Day if the league explored any other streaming options besides NCHC.TV?

“During the last year under Josh Fenton’s leadership, we went through a pretty comprehensive review process in discussions with the Athletics directors and from a branding perspective and the ability to control our message and our output, retaining NCHC.TV was our best option,” Weems said.

Apparently, the NCHC.TV platform brings member schools a lot of money. With that said, not every school has the rabid fan base that UND has.

I recently purchased a ROKU for my television, and the NCHC app is available in their app store. You can download it for free. I am waiting for NCHC.TV to be available in the Google App Store. There’s no reason, it can’t be done.

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