You would almost think Bill Wirtz had risen from the grave to formulate the National Hockey League’s broadcast plan. The late Chicago Blackhawks owner, known as “Dollar Bill”, refused to put his team’s home games on the local TV broadcasts, slowing the growth of local support. His short-sightedness echoed in the NHL’s efforts in recent years to restrict viewing parties — you know, those huge, public events where fans go to whip themselves into a fervor over the product the NHL is trying to sell.
Some people wonder why the NHL wants to limit viewership. Watch parties are perfect for certain segments of fandom: those who can’t afford to watch in person but want the communal experience; bandwagon jumpers (who just might get hooked); and folks who live out-of-market or are traveling. FanWide has the world’s largest database of sports fan clubs, making it easy for NHL fans to find the closest game watch party, wherever they live or travel.