Your NHL viewing experience is about to get a whole lot different … if you’re willing to shell out the extra cash, that is.



At a press conference today in Toronto, Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, announced what the company is branding “the biggest NHL innovation since the replay”.

Hockey legend and newly-minted Rogers NHL Hockey Ambassador Mark Messier was also on hand to announce the launch of GamePlus, which will be available to all NHL GameCentre Live subscribers for the upcoming hockey season.

So, just what is whole GamePlus thing anyway?

Basically, it will allow viewers to experience the game, at home or on their mobile device, in a way they’ve never been able to before.

Since early summer, Rogers has been testing a variety of high-tech cameras that will give fans a bird’s, player’s and even ref’s eye-view of the action on the ice.

Using small but powerful video cameras, fans will be able to experience the game from the following vantage points:
  • Sky Cam, which sits at the 200 level in the Air Canada Centre and follows the puck red line to red line at six metres per second; for now, Sky Cam will only be available at the ACC, though Rogers hopes to roll it out to all Canadian NHL arenas;
  • Ref Cam, which sits on the referee's helmet and puts fans on the ice to get in on face offs, breakaways and goals;
  • POV Cam, which spotlights the hustle from inside the blue lines and for the first time inside the players' benches;
  • Star Cam, which tracks a single player throughout the game no matter where the puck goes;
  • Goal Line Cam, which provides a top-down view of the ice, directly above the offensive action;
  • MyReplay, which lets fans select multiple replay angles to analyze key plays during the game, including goals, power plays, penalty kills, and the ref's tough calls.
Digital Home was at today’s press conference at Toronto's Air Canada Centre where Gord Cutler, senior vice president of NHL production at Rogers, demonstrated the technology. Using clips from Friday’s pre-season game between the Leafs and Red Wings, reporters were given a first look at the view from the Sky Cam, Ref Cam and Goal Line Cam, among others.

The technology is admittedly pretty cool and definitely provides adds an immersive element to watching the game at home, particularly with things like the Ref Cam, where you feel like you’re actually on the ice.

Subscribers to Rogers’ NHL GameCentre Live streaming service will receive unrestricted access to GamePlus, though a full season plus postseason subscription will set you back a not-so-cool $200 . If you’re willing to part with your hard-earned money, you’ll be able to watch entire games from one unique vantage point or alternate between them throughout the game.

The only real drawback is that in viewing the game on alternate feed, you don’t get to hear the announcers calling the game, just the background noise in the arena; it does take away from the excitement of the game a little bit.

Whether GamePlus is the” biggest innovation since the replay” remains to be seen; if you have a GameCentre Live subscription, you’ll find out when the puck drops on the new season this Wednesday, October 8 th .