BRITISH ice hockey is more accessible to supporters than ever due to the power of pay-per-view live streaming, according to the Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats’ marketing manager Keziah Farthing.

The Wildcats are broadcasting all home National League fixtures this season to domestic and international viewers in partnership with disruptive tech company TicketCo Media Services.

It means games at the Link Centre can be viewed in 249 countries globally and accessed by anyone with connection to the internet. The move has been made to accommodate supporters’ demand for live sport via digital platforms because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keziah explained the Wildcats’ ability to broadcast Streaming Series and Spring Cup fixtures during the height of the pandemic while fans could not attend games live played a key role in ensuring the club’s survival.

And now Wiltshire’s only ice hockey team is benefitting further from its newest revenue stream by hosting hybrid hockey matches where fans can choose to attend physically or digitally.

“It’s been a huge period of change and it’s no secret that live streaming helped us to survive through the pandemic,” said Keziah. “Taking control of our own broadcasting has been great for the club.

“We’ve improved accessibility to both home and away supporters. We have fans tune in from all over the country and the last 12 months has been a huge learning curve for the club.

“Our physical attendances this season have been strong. You cannot beat the experience of watching live sport, streaming is being viewed by fans as a secondary platform to watch the game which is important.”

“We understand not all fans can attend games, so we’re granting every supporter the opportunity to connect with the club. This includes away fans, many of whom cannot travel to our rink on game night.”

“But now they can watch the game live at home. It’s great for the sport, helps build more interest in ice hockey and generates additional revenue.”

The Wildcats’ live stream consists of a four-camera set-up - one manually operated and mounted on a tripod, the other three are GoPros. Full commentary is provided while two people work on the stream to ensure every aspect of the broadcast runs smoothly.

Games are streamed in HD and can be viewed on TV, mobile phone or tablet for £10 per device. It helps to make matches accessible to fans who cannot attend games physically due to health, travel or financial implications.

Broadcasting via TicketCo Media Services secure and integrated live broadcasting and ticketing platform means streaming keys cannot be shared.

Keziah added: “I would recommend streaming to any sports club, the extra revenue it can generate and the wider benefits such as increased accessibility are important too.

“Buying a streaming pass means everyone in your house can watch the game live on TV. This represents great value for a family-of-four who might not be able to attend the game live.”

Joe Edwards, Global Key Account Manager at TicketCo Media Services, said: “We are pleased Swindon Wildcats’ new broadcasting service has been well received by supporters.

“It demonstrates not only the value of pay-per-view live streaming, but also underlines the importance of providing all fans with the opportunity to watch their team play regardless of health or travel implications.

“We’d like to wish the Wildcats every success this season and look forward to following their progress.”

TicketCo is a cloud-based event payment and online broadcasting company, with offices in multiple territories.

It has formed partnerships with several ice hockey teams this season including Raiders IHC, Bees IHC, Sheffield Steeldogs, Oxford City Stars and Chelmsford Chieftains to help bring fans even closer to the action.