PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Monday that it has signed an agreement with B2 Networks to be the league’s “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider”.
The broadcasts will be accessible at ECHL.com and on the home pages of the teams offering their games on B2 Networks in 2005-06. The 22 teams are Alaska, Augusta, Bakersfield, Charlotte, Columbia, Dayton, Florida, Fresno, Greenville, Gwinnett, Idaho, Johnstown, Las Vegas, Pensacola, Phoenix, Reading, San Diego, South Carolina, Stockton, Texas, Trenton and Wheeling.
This will mark the third season fans will be able to watch games from the Premier “AA” hockey league on B2 Networks. The network has carried every game of the conference finals and the Kelly Cup Finals each of the past two years. The first hockey game ever broadcast by B2 Networks was the Las Vegas Wranglers in February 2004 and the first hockey championship broadcast by B2 Networks was the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
“B2 Networks is excited to make official our partnership with the ECHL,” said Greg P. Bell, B2 Networks Owner and CEO. “For the past two seasons we have seen the passion and enthusiasm of ECHL fans and hope through the collective efforts of the league and B2 that we will be able to bring more action than ever to homes around the world.”
“The ECHL is excited to officially partner with B2 Networks to provide ECHL fans with a great opportunity to experience their favorite team from home or work, via the Internet,” said Glen Thornborough, ECHL Senior Vice President of Marketing/Business Development. “The introduction of the webcasting medium by B2 Networks introduces endless possibilities for the ECHL and its member teams.”
The 2005 Kelly Cup Playoffs had more connections than any other hockey playoff series in B2 Networks history and the most viewers of any league in the postseason. The 2005 Kelly Cup Finals were the most-watched playoff series ever carried by B2 Networks highlighted by Game 6 of the National Conference Finals which had the highest number of subscribers of any event with more than 1,400 users.
Fans will be able to watch the action live while listening to their team’s audio, if available. The games cost $6 each and require a high speed internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 or higher.
B2 Networks (B2now.com) is a premier provider of reliable and secure international television and video broadcasting systems, pay-per-view and billing systems. The broadband broadcasting company’s network of arenas, stadiums, local venues, billing systems and data centers are currently in use to distribute live events to computer and television screens around the world. B2 manages and owns the digital distribution rights to distinct areas of entertainment, sports and television. Working with teams from the ECHL, the American Hockey League, the United States Hockey League, the United Hockey League and baseball’s Northern League and Pacific Coast League, B2 has established itself as a leader in innovative direct-to-home internet and television broadcasting.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL began in 1988 with five teams in three states. The league welcomes new markets in Phoenix, Stockton (California) and Utah (Salt Lake City) and will play with 26 teams in 15 states and one Canadian province in 2005-06. The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and there have been 256 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. The ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 16 years, there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.