PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced that it has extended and expanded its partnership with B2 Networks as the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider of the ECHL”. The new three-year agreement will provide ECHL fans with the largest and widest variety of services and options ever offered by B2 Networks.
“The ECHL was the first place B2 Networks was able to show our company’s technology and make games available to fans around the world,” said B2 Networks Chairman and CEO Greg P. Bell. “This contract renewal shows the strength of our partnership to the league, teams and fans. We look forward to being a premier broadcaster of hockey for many years to come.”
“B2 Networks provides the ECHL with a very attractive global medium platform,” said ECHL Senior Vice President of Marketing/Business Development Glen Thornborough. “This partnership allows the ECHL to take advantage of B2 Networks’ innovation and advancements in the constantly evolving tech world. We look forward to being part of their growth as they launch new products and platforms in the broadband and wireless digital media era.”
B2 Networks will continue to telecast ECHL games live online for $6 per game, but beginning in 2007-08 will also offer fans the opportunity to purchase a “Season Ticket Package” for a one-time payment of $130 or seven monthly payments of $20. In addition to access to home and away regular season games, the “Season Ticket Package” also provides a “Highlights” section where teams will be able to feature as many as five highlights each week and access to the “B2 Networks ECHL Game of the Week”.
B2 Networks also announced that it will offer B2toGo, a mobile network that will enable its subscribers to view ECHL games and highlights on mobile devices. Fans will have the opportunity to combine the “Season Ticket Package” and B2toGo for access to games and highlights from anywhere.
B2 Networks is also offering to provide each ECHL team an audio-only online broadcast that would be available at no cost to listeners.
B2inVenue, a new system developed by B2 Networks to allow the use of cellular telephones and personal data assistants for text auctions, was unveiled in January at the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Idaho. B2inVenue will be integrated into more arenas and game events throughout the ECHL during the length of the new agreement.
B2 Networks has broadcast ECHL games the past four seasons, including the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game as well as every game of the conference finals and the Kelly Cup Finals each of the past three 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. During the current season,
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, including the 2005 Kelly Cup Finals which were the most-watched playoff series ever carried by B2 Networks.
B2 Networks is a premier provider of reliable and secure international television and video broadcasting systems, pay per view and billing systems. Its network of arenas, stadiums, local venues, billing systems and data centers are currently in use to distribute live events to personal computers, mobile devices and television screens around the world. Working with organizations such as the National Lacrosse League, the AHL, ECHL, UHL, USHL and selected NCAA institutions, B2 Networks has established itself as a leader in innovative direct to home, mobileand television broadcasting. For more information about B2 Networks, visit B2Now.com.
The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2006-07. There have been 328 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 in 2005-06. There have been 183 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL in the past five seasons.
The ECHL was represented for the sixth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team, including Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette, who is the first ECHL coach to win the Stanley Cup.
The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League in 2006-07 and for the past 17 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion. The ECHL has had more players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined each of the past four seasons with 1,646 call ups involving almost 1,000 players.
Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.