Despite all of the statements being released by the No Hockey League and the Never Have Leniency Players Association – see how this lockout has reduced me to making such cheap shots? – I had secretly spent the last two months harboring optimism regarding the lockout. Specifically, I was foolish enough to hope that each side would realize that losing another season was no way to run a business, unless you’re trying to run said business into the ground.
Now that it’s clear that everyone involved in this mess shares the goal of ensuring that the NHL goes the route of the Arena Football League, I have decided to wave the white flag and admit defeat. I have a better chance of sharing a winning lottery ticket with Elvis Presley this year than I do of watching NHL hockey, so I am turning my attention to the AHL and its AHL Live subscription service.
For the past two years, I have been shelling out $170 a season for NHL Gamecenter, a small price to pay for near-unlimited access to every regular season NHL game, especially when you consider the fact that I could watch games either live or on demand if I had been unable to get to my TV or computer during the live broadcast. I was expecting a similar price for the AHL’s all-access package . . . and was slapped back into reality when I discovered that the AHL charges $399.99 for access to every regular season game!!!! I don’t know if that has always been the price the AHL charges for their premium subscription, or if they are just price gouging us NHL fans this year because we have nowhere else to go. Regardless, I quickly ruled out that option on the grounds of not wanting to be divorced, and found myself with three other options to consider. For $199.99, I could pick one team and have access to all home and away games during the regular season, while $124.99 would get me all of the away games for any one team. I considered subscribing to the home and away games for the Rochester Amerks, but then my brain woke up and realized that I would STILL be paying more than I did for NHL Gamecenter, and would be still be getting LESS content for MORE money.
Fortunately, there was a fourth option, and this is the one I ultimately decided upon: for about $60, I could handpick any ten AHL games I wanted. This option made my wallet happy, and it just made sense; realistically, there’s no way I can watch even half of the Amerks games this season, but committing to a mere ten games over the course of the season is well within my means. Plus, if I surprise myself by watching all ten reasonably quickly, I can always go back and purchase games in groups of one, five, or another ten.
Bottom line: I’m signed up to watch hockey again, baby! First chance I get, I’ll watch an Amerks game and let you know how the AHL Live experience is, in case you are considering it as the cure to your NHL lockout blues. Stay tuned!