Having been unable to go to big games for a while – for health and logistical reasons that I won’t bore you with – I was very pleased to learn that Widnes Wild have decided to offer a livestreaming service for their home matches this season.
It is being operated by BASN who produce the “Drop The Puck” series and the first game was screened this weekend when the Wild took on Whitley Warriors in the NIHL Moralee Division, which - if you don’t happen to know - is the third tier of British domestic hockey.
Now, I would much rather have been at the game in person – doing all the things I normally do - but, as that wasn’t practical, being able to sit and watch from the comfort of my own home (with considerably fewer layers of clothing on…) was a fairly decent substitute.
Having been brought up in the days before everything was IT-based and digital, I tend to be wary of modern technology and still possess things like VHS videos, audio cassettes and 78rpm records. Having said that, I found this livestream very easy to sign up for and also to access on the day of the game. I found the picture clear and easy to watch and the commentary audio was very entertaining and, more importantly - I got to see a game that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
There is a cost involved in this, however, and the price of a viewing ticket for a Wild game to be streamed this season is £15.00. There have been some discussions about how that figure compares with online streams of, say, Elite League games or NIHL National Division games which are of a higher level of competition – but all clubs and leagues have different economic considerations and, just because it MIGHT be cheaper to watch somebody else’s game in a supposedly “better league”, that’s not really any great attraction for me to want to do so.
A single adult ticket to a Wild home game costs £12.00. On top of that you have the cost of petrol to get there, drinks and snacks while you are there and so on. Paying £15.00 for an online livestream would, therefore, probably save you money – although not be anywhere near as much fun – but it is, at least, an option. Especially for away fans who might be unable to make the long journey down from Whitley Bay or Billingham on a Sunday evening.
And all profits from the livestream go to the Wild club funds.
So there you are – those are my thoughts on the Widnes Wild livestreaming service for the new NIHL season – take them or leave them as you wish. Go along to the game if you can as you will enjoy the atmosphere and the match night experience - but watching online is certainly better than missing out all together!