MSN and NHL Hockey sign deal

MSN and the National Hockey League today announced details of an exclusive agreement that makes MSN the official Internet service of the NHL. As a key component of the agreement, the NHL is offering free* live audio broadcasts of virtually every regular-season game as well as playoff games on MSN using Windows Media™ technology, at no charge over the Internet.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "I am thrilled that MSN chose to make the NHL the first major sports league it works with. This innovative alliance gives the NHL featured positioning and placement throughout MSN and will expose millions more consumers to our game around the world. In turn, MSN users will enjoy the in-depth, up-to-the-minute hockey news and information on NHL.com."

Consumers will have quick access to the in-depth news, statistics and game analysis found on NHL.com through its integration with MSN. MSN will offer audio streams of regular-season and playoff games, in both French and English, for U.S. and Canadian fans. Game broadcasts are accessible via the MSN sports section and WindowsMedia.com as well as via NHL.com.

Additionally, the NHL will take advantage of other leading technologies and services from Microsoft, including Microsoft® Passport, enabling single sign-in capability and, in the future, Microsoft .NET Alerts, allowing users to choose to receive the latest NHL score updates when and where they want them. Microsoft and the NHL plan to introduce a co-branded version of MSN Explorer designed especially for hockey fans in the coming months.

News source: Microsoft Press Release

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