First round of NHL playoffs saw 8.6 TB of data used on AT&T networks

They’re smaller than football stadiums so hockey arenas aren’t going to generate wireless-data numbers as big as we’ve seen at events like the Super Bowl. But according to AT&T, wireless data use by NHL fans at playoff time took a big leap forward in the first round of the Stanley Cup action, with an average 41 percent increase in data use versus regular-season games at the same venues.

In total, AT&T said it saw more than 8.6 terabytes of wireless data used on its cellular networks at venues hosting first-round NHL playoff games, with an average of 191 GB used at each game. Winning the highest-average data contest was the Dallas Stars, whose fans used more than 379 GB per game during the first round games in American Airlines Center. In a statement that clearly needed a copy editor with sense and facts, AT&T said that the second-place Philadelphia Flyers, who play in a city that is “home of the country’s most passionate sports fans,” averaged 267 GB per game. In Chicago, where the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks took their series to a Game 7, THE most passionate sports fans used an average of 270 GB per game.

Remember, these are only AT&T stats for users on AT&T networks. And anytime the Philly-loving AT&T folks want to talk about passionate sports fans, they know where to find me. We can watch tapes of the Blackhawks-Flyers Stanley Cup finals together while we converse.

AT&T: Hoops fans use more data than hockey fans

In a somewhat-not-surprising statistical revelation, AT&T said that basketball fans used more wireless data on its network than hockey fans at the respective arenas during both leagues’ recent championship series.

Using measurements of only AT&T customer traffic from the AT&T digital antenna system (DAS) deployments in arenas in Miami, San Antonio, Los Angeles and New York, AT&T said that hoops fans at the NBA Finals had both higher average data consumption rates and peak data rates than their NHL-watching counterparts. And when it came to home-fan data use, Miami’s American Airlines Arena hit the highest mark, with an average of 177 gigabytes of data used at the two games played in South Beach.

Though the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA title, fans at AT&T Center in Texas used an average of 138 GB of data. Miami’s arena also generated the highest peak data total of 223 GB of data. Of course maybe most of that was Miami fans using OpenTable to make early dinner reservations as the Spurs started blowing the Heat off the court.

On the frozen side of things, Los Angeles won both the real title and the data title, with fans in the Staples Center using an average of 98 GB of data during the three games there during the Stanley Cup Final. The average data usage in New York at Madison Square Garden was 83 GB of data on the AT&T network.

In defense of hockey fans, it’s really no surprise that they used less data since hockey games, especially playoff games, are mostly action and excitement, and not a million time outs. Plus, we all know that had the Chicago Blackhawks been rightfully in the Final to defend their title from last year, Da Hawks fans would have pushed everyone to shame with video renditions of the Chelsea Dagger. Next year.

NBC and NHL provide TV Everywhere for Stanley Cup Playoffs


The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are here and the NHL, along with its playoff broadcast partners are using a variety of mobile and digital strategies and programs to engage fans including streaming broadcasts of the games.

The highlights are probably having all of the games presented nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group for the third year in a row and for the second consecutive year NBC Sports Live Extra will stream every game live. To fans that closely follow the games this might not be a surprise but for the casual fan this could be news.

The live streaming will reach a variety of devices that have downloaded the NBC Sports Live Extra app and can stream the events as they are shown on NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC. It will work with desktop and laptop PCs to tablets and smartphones as long as they are authenticated customers.

This is part of the growing push for “TV Everywhere” partnerships between cable providers, networks and sports leagues that all are starting to promote more aggressively. CBS and Turner Sports along with the NCAA saw strong online viewership growth for the recently concluded March Madness even when broadcast viewership slightly declined; and NBC’s push with cable partners during the Winter Olympics also produced large digital audiences. (Editor’s note: So maybe finally broadcasters are really realizing that online audiences are additive, not subtractive ones. Huzzah.)

In addition there will be a stronger social media push for this year’s playoffs including a very interesting deal with Magisto called Making Stanley Cup Movie Magic with Magisto. Magisto is a video creation and sharing app for both Android and Apple platforms and it will enable fans to create movies about experiences and events at the game such as the Blackhawks’ I Was There promotion.

The NHL and CBS are taking an interesting turn at Twitter as well this season. The @NHLonNBCSports twitter account will be handled by a variety of celebrity guests including CBS personalities, ex-players and celebrity hockey fans over the course of the playoffs.

That is just part of its much larger social campaign that also includes the basic news for the playoffs at #StanleyCup, an effort to highlight fans through photos that at #CelebrateStanley Photo Campaign for the Fans and the news and information site of NHL on NBC All-Access Social Media that is located at

It appears that select sports leagues and networks are increasingly coming to the realization that as an increasing number of fans are also cutting the cord to broadcast and cable TV the best was to reach them is via mobile digital media and programs like these from the NHL and NBC seem like the right approach to encourage that engagement.

(Editor’s second note: Not EVERY game is being shown live, there are still local blackouts… look what we got when we tried to tune in San Jose – LA:)

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Streaming Stanley Cup Playoff App a Big Hit for NBC Sports


For the first time the ability to watch all of the Stanley Cup playoff games live from a variety of mobile devices as well as computers has been warmly greeted by fans according to the early numbers released by NBC. Over 40 million minutes have been streamed through the first three rounds.

While in the past there has been some streaming, with 12 games shown last year, viewership is up 289% compared to last year and 1,198% from 2011, when the league showed only 8 games while this year so far there has been 76 streamed games, not counting the finals.

The games are available on NBC Sports Live Extra, a live streaming product from the NBC Sports Group that supports not only desktop and notebook computers but also mobile devices and tablets for the first time.

The first two years that the network streamed games it was only available on computers and still the numbers showed strong growth, going from 3,126,562 in 2011 to 10,427,216 in 2012 and leaping to 26,296,641 so far this year.

However this year is the first where users can also load the games on mobile devices, and they have accounted for more minutes than the first two PC years combined at 14,293,950. The games air on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and CNBC

So far the two most popular games have been the Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final double overtime win by the Boston Bruins over the Pittsburgh Penguins with 2.59 million minutes and the Game 5 of the Western Conference Final where the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, in double overtime to clinch their spot in the finals. 2.58 million minutes were streamed for that event.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

NHL FanCam to Engage Fans at home and at Stanley Cup Games

I think everybody knows at least one sports fan that is always claiming that they were at any number of prestigious events, but oddly never seems to have the ticket stub or any other evidence. Well if you are attending the Stanley Cup Finals in the upcoming days you will have a unique way to prove you were there.

A second round of the NHL FanCam presented by Ticketmaster will make its appearance for both games 1 and 3 that will be played on May 30 and June 4 respectively. It is as simple as it is high tech, but you have to be in your seat at the right time. The first time the NFL broke out the FanCam was earlier this year for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

The FanCam takes a high-definition, 360 degree photo of the inside of the arena. All a fan has to do is find their image in the photo at the FanCam website, and any friends that might be along for the games as well. You then ‘tag’ yourself and you can share it with friends via email, Twitter and Facebook. Proof for everyone to see and believe!

The NHL is also using the FanCam to engage fans in another way. It is holding a contest called Hunt for the Cup in which fans can search for a picture of the Stanley Cup that will be in the FanCam and posted at the website. The advantage to this is that for the unfortunate fans that cannot attend the Stanley Cup Finals they may still participate in this event.

All of the fans that find the cup are entered into a drawing for a chance to win two tickets to the 2013 Bridgestone NHL WinterClassic, two roundtrip airfare tickets, two New Year’s Eve Party passes,
as well as transportation, accommodations and fan apparel for the event. This sweepstakes is open to US and Canadian citizens 21 years or older and the sweepstakes closes July 31.

This is an interesting use of this type of technology and much better than the relatively static approach of just showing fans in the stands so that they can cheer for themselves. By using a bit of high technology and a simple approach it can really engage fans into visiting the web site. By creating a contest that fans that cannot attend the games the NHL helps expand the experience for them as well.

NHL expands Digital Presence for Stanley Cup Playoffs

We don’t talk that much about the NHL around here, we enjoy hockey but it does seem to generate less social media buzz than other sports, at least around the digital corners I hang out at. Still I found this piece from the Sports Business News interesting about hockey’s latest push into the digital market.

I was surprised at how much activity the league has in regards to using social media for fan interaction, and that is something I will have to keep a closer eye on going forward, but you can still vote for the cover of Electronic Arts’ NHL 13 cover, for instance.

Anyway the league has released a number of offerings that are designed to entice fans as the Stanley Cup approaches, and while the playoffs are already well under way it still good to recount a few of the efforts, even if my team was once again eliminated in the first round.

There is a Daily Digital Video Shorts which calls for the league to deliver videos on the action, twoce a day seven days a week. I wonder if the Hossa hit made the cut? They will be two official releases a day- the “Stanley Cup Countdown,” available immediately after the night’s games are completed, and an afternoon edition that it is calling “Melrose’s Place.” Really?

Then there is NHL Social which is an umbrella effort for its social media including Facebook and Twitter. It said that it has experienced a 211% increase in social followings in the last three years. You can grow a virtual beard in honor of the players’ tradition of doing so with real hair, submit photos for fan photo mosaics, and Locker Room Postcards, a polite way to needle your friends when their team is eliminated.

There is more available and go take a look and see, even if your team has once again been eliminated.