Live professional hockey games are coming to Yahoo.
The tech giant today announced a deal with the National Hockey League to live stream four out-of-market games per week, at no cost to viewers. That means fans will be able to watch the games online without entering any cable subscription authentication credentials starting with the March 11 matchup between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
Yahoo will also stream on-demand game highlights, top plays, and “condensed games.” The company said today it will sell online-only advertising to run in between commercial breaks during live games and offer advertisers ways to engage with viewers after a game ends.
Yahoo also has a separate partnership with NBC Sports Group to promote the cable giant’s NHL games, but it does not stream them.
This builds on Yahoo’s recent live streaming deals with the PGA Tour and MLB, and follows Yahoo’s deal with the NFL last season when paid a reported $17 million to air the first NFL game to be broadcast strictly online that attracted 15.2 million unique viewers.
“This alliance brings us one step closer to providing fans a live professional sporting event every day, on Yahoo, completely frictionless and for free – no cable subscription or authentication required,” Phil Lynch, VP, Media Partnerships at Yahoo, said in a statement.
It also is part of a new partnership between the NHL and the technology arm of Major League Baseball — MLB Advanced Media — which recently inked a 6-year deal for media rights to the NHL’s digital properties.
This is yet another example of sports leagues finding ways to stream live content online. Companies like Yahoo, Amazon, Verizon, Facebook, and others are also vying to sign a deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football next season.