Welcome to the Hangar for our first Sunday home game of the season, our visitors tonight are the Milton Keynes Lightning and I hope the visiting fans all had a safe journey down here. MK are a team that usually travel well supported, and their supporters are among the loudest in the league so I think we’ll be in for a good atmosphere tonight.
Last week, in between working on episodes of Jets TV, I noticed a thread on THF (I’m fortunate enough to not still be waiting for a membership to be created) regarding providing live streaming of games. I believe it was mainly aimed at the EIHL clubs rather than those in the Premier League but I think it’s jointly relevant. I can fully understand the reasons behind people asking for streaming but here’s why I think it’s a no no at this time. Every weekend the same game is a home game for some fans and an away game for some fans. In the case of a long trip on a Sunday night I can see why the away fans would like to see the game streamed live but what you have to remember is that the home team will still like to attract fans to the game.
Ice Hockey is a minority sport in this country, every fan through the door matters to the teams. Good quality hockey doesn’t just happen, it needs to be financed and that means fans through the door. Aside from that, imagine an empty arena with just 44 players, the on-ice officials and off-ice officials and all the fans sitting at home watching a stream. What sort of an atmosphere would that be for the players to play in? What sort of an atmosphere would that even make for the fans watching the stream?
The simple fact in my opinion is that we should all be doing what we can to try and attract as many people as possible to the games. Not only will that help all the clubs financially and help to keep the standard of hockey that we all enjoy watching but it will make a much better and more exciting atmosphere at the games. When every team in the league can boast regular sell-outs and are forced into turning away fans because they are sold out on a weekly basis then that’ll be the time to investigate streaming to bring our sport to all those who want to attend but can’t due to the sell outs.
Some of the clubs, like ourselves, Manchester, Basingstoke, Guildford do provide Youtube channels for the game highlights which is great but I believe we’re along way from a time when live streaming of the game is even worth considering.
Anyway, back to tonight and with a four point weekend last weekend and two tough opponents this weekend it’ll be a tough challenge to repeat the results
Enjoy the game
My team, your team, OUR TEAM