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WCHA online streaming deal with Fox Sports Go delayed

Fox Sports had planned to launch the service earlier this month.

After talks about having the WCHA working with Fox Sports to steam all the conference's games online, it appears that the idea is delayed for this season.

Fox Sports had planned to launch Fox Sports Go as a streaming service comparable to ESPN3 earlier this month alongside the new Fox Sports 1 network. However, bugs postponed the start and it doesn't appear Fox Sports Go will be ready for the beginning of the college hockey season.

The ten team WCHA, which sees five teams from the defunct CCHA and independent Alabama-Huntsville join Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State, met in Bemidji for two days in June to discuss the changed (and growing) landscape of the conference. That included media rights. Each member school would be responsible for the costs involved in producing their own broadcast, but it would be bundled together and streamed outside the team's area.

"It'll be a web feed from all of our schools, and while that's not as good as television it's still useful," Bemidji State President Richard Hanson told the Bemidji Pioneer about the plan to stream. "So today we took the first couple of steps. We got the model explained to us."

Instead it appears that schools will pursue other opportunities. Matt Wellens of The Mining Journal reported that Northern Michigan signed a one-year deal with AmericaOne to stream all sports; including hockey. Other schools have local television deals for hockey.

Still, the loss of Fox Sports Go for the time being is a blow to the WCHA in a time where both the newly formed Big Ten and NCHC have national cable television deals (with BTN and CBS Sports Network, respectively).


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