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Load up on free hockey, and enjoy the NHL Center Ice free preview through Oct. 24

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As the battle between DirecTV and Versus rages on, one other broadcast venue for hockey fans is opening up a bit. I just received a press release from the company which distributes NHL Center Ice, announcing that digital cable customers will receive an extra-long free preview of the hockey package, running through October 24th (typically, these free previews only last 1 or 2 weeks).

DirecTV customers aren't left out, as their free preview runs through Oct. 24 as well.

If you have Comcast digital service in the Nashville area, for example, that means you'll get to catch a boatload of hockey games for free over the next three weeks. Enjoy! I've had NHL Center Ice for over 10 years now, and consider it well worth the money.

After the jump, I've included more from the press release...

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 2009NHL Center Ice out-of-market subscription package of professional hockey games skates into the new season with the longest-ever free preview, from Oct. 1 until Oct 24, 2009, announced package distributor iN DEMAND Networks.  Digital cable customers will have free access to the package which gives fans who live away from their favorite team an opportunity to follow the games, and superfans a way to follow the whole league.  The package provides up to 40 live out-of-market games per week across 14 channels, and includes a wealth of enhancements to enrich the viewing experience.  Customers who order by October 31 will save with the early bird price of only four installments of $40.95 each.


MULTI-SCREEN MOSAIC: This season, fans will continue to receive free enhancements, including the popular rotating mosaic of multiple screens that shows all the live action games being played around the league, along with score, time clock and channel location. The multi-screen mosaic can be found on the first channel of the system’s package lineup.


SAME DAY REPLAYS: One new enhancement available for the first full season this year is replays of same day games. Free to all NHL Center Ice customers, the package will re-air each current day’s game beginning approximately one hour after the live game ends so that fans can see games they might have missed.  Each game will replay in its entirety, repeated continuously overnight and the next day, on the same channel, until the following day’s live games begin.


DUAL FEEDS: Returning this year are the popular "dual-feed" telecasts to deliver home team announcers. Whenever possible, iN DEMAND will deliver both local market broadcasts of the same game so that fans can choose which telecast they want to watch.


STAT CHANNEL: In addition, customers receive NHL CENTER ICE EXTRA™, a live source for scores, statistics, game previews, game recaps and schedule information. This can be found on the second channel of the system’s package lineup.


HD GAMES: The package also offers up to 12 games each week in high definition. HD availability varies by system.


Throughout the regular season, NHL Center Ice provides fans the opportunity to watch over 1,000 live NHL games, plus select games from the first two rounds of Stanley CupÒ Playoff competition, as in past seasons.  More information about NHL Center Ice is available at Residential customers as well as commercial establishments can order by calling 1-888-SPORTS-iN or their local cable provider. Blackout and other restrictions apply.