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NHL, MLBAM unveil details for redesigned platforms

by Dan Rosen / Arizona Coyotes

NEW YORK -- The NHL and Major League Baseball Advanced Media unveiled details for three redesigned digital platforms on Monday aimed at giving hockey fans a better user experience on all devices.

The redesigned NHL.com, NHL app and NHL.tv (a rebrand of NHL GameCenter Live) are scheduled to launch this weekend.

The announcement Monday came 175 days after the NHL and MLBAM announced their digital rights deal, which began with the redesign and relaunch of NHL Network prior to the start of the season.

"These platforms are going to give us the ability to provide more and more content to the hockey fans, and it's also going to make it more user friendly," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We couldn't be more excited and, perhaps more importantly, more pleased with the start this relationship [between the NHL and MLBAM] has gotten off to."

The live stream of games are expected to be closer to real time than ever before, Commissioner Bettman said. They will feature a higher quality picture to match the HD viewing experience on a regular television by speeding to 60 frames per second streaming on the app. It was previously 30 frames per second on all devices. The speed gives the user a better quality and makes it easier to track the puck.

"It's more investment, but it's the kind of quality you'd expect if you were going to throw it up on the big screen and compare it to HD," MLBAM president and CEO Bob Bowman said.

Bowman said the NHL will be the first of MLBAM's clients to use the 60 frames per second model. He said Major League Baseball will also begin using it for its streaming service starting with the 2016 season.

"That [MLBAM] felt the push to go to 60 (frames per second) from 30 on us is great," Commissioner Bettman said. "It tells you what they're all about and how they treat this relationship."

The redesigned app will give users more tools and expanded push notifications for real time data. There is a personalization option that will allow fans to get real time notifications for their favorite team and to follow other teams as well in order to get as much real time data as they want.

"This new branding is completely optimized for all the information you need about your team," said Matt Restivo, MLBAM's senior director of product development. "Their current ongoing game, the schedule, top stories for that team, video and more info."

There is also a new scoreboard view that will give a quick list view of all the games going on that night along with the scoring summary.

"With a few quick swipes, you can see the story of the game," Restivo said. "And there is a play button for you to watch highlights right there. It's literally never been easier to see every goal in every game."

In addition, the app will include a new package called NHL Premium, an out of market monthly service for all mobile devices that will allow fans to specifically watch the final five minutes, plus overtime and the shootout, of every game. The cost will be $2.99 per month.

The upgrades to the League's out-of-market digital game streaming package (NHL.tv) are significant as well. They will be available for all major connected devices starting with the games played on Feb. 2.

The redesigned look of NHL.com is expected to launch following the All-Star break.

"It's a brand new responsive platform that looks great on your mobile phone, tablet and any desktop," Restivo said. "The website is just really snappy, really quick."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

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