NIHL director Andrew Miller has praised the Streaming Series used to make the upcoming inaugural Spring Cup possible.
Miller says the Streaming Series, in partnership with TicketCo, is “crucial” in helping club’s generate much-needed revenue with games set to be played behind-closed-doors.
The success of last autumn’s Streaming Series combined with a carefully structured Return to Play plan means UK ice hockey will return to fans’ television screens this weekend as the Spring Cup begins.
It will be contested by Streaming Series champions Sheffield Steeldogs and runners-up Swindon Wildcats plus Bracknell Bees, London Raiders and Telford Tigers. The seven-week round-robin competition is part of phase one of the National Ice Hockey League’s (NIHL) Return to Play process.
Although no fans will be allowed to attend fixtures due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, they can view every minute of the action via TicketCo Media Services HD quality pay-per-view live streaming service.
“We are delighted that we can put our first phase of return to play into practice with the Spring Cup and both the league and the teams are looking forward to getting back into action,” said Miller.
“Given current restrictions around spectators it was crucial that the games could be shown online and, following on from the successful pilot in the Streaming Series last November, getting TicketCo on board once again to help with the full online sales package for clubs is brilliant. The system allows clubs to generate revenue through streaming tickets and associated add-ons and support the competition and the whole ‘return to play’ agenda going forward.”
The tournament starts on Saturday, February 13, when Swindon Wildcats host Sheffield Steeldogs at the Link Centre with both teams completing the return fixture 24 hours later.
For Steve Nell, general manager at Swindon Wildcats, the tireless work of rink operators in addition to the power of live streaming has made the return of UK ice hockey amid the pandemic possible.
He added: “It has been a season like no other not just for us but all hockey clubs across the UK and further as we continue to deal with the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Sport has provided many people with an escape from their lockdown routines, so we are naturally thrilled to be part of the Spring Cup and look forward to a competitive series that we hope the fans will enjoy.
“Following the success of the Streaming Series in the autumn, we have complete confidence in our live streaming model and once again are excited to be working with TicketCo to deliver HD quality pictures into the homes of Wildcats’ loyal fanbase. We are continually looking to improve our streaming service and the Spring Cup will help us to further strengthen and develop our stream to make our fans feel as close to the action as possible.”
Joe Edwards, Senior Global Key Account Manager at TicketCo Media Services, added: “Ice hockey in the UK has been sorely missed by so many and me personally, we are proud to continue to help the sport return to play. Last autumn’s Streaming Series proved that there is a great demand for ice hockey via live streaming, and we are thrilled that the NIHL has again decided to work with us to help make the Spring Series possible.”
To purchase tickets for Saturday night’s Spring Cup opener between Wildcats and Steeldogs, visit: Tickets – Swindon Wildcats.
TicketCo Media Services is a cloud-based platform that provides pay-per-view streaming and on-demand services combined with a digital ticketing solution.
For further information about TicketCo Media Services’ live streaming and digital ticketing solutions visit: https://start.ticketco.events/uk/tv/.
Photo credit – Kat Medcroft