Cisco Enables NHL to Super-Serve Avid Fans With Digital Video Content

MONTREAL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Jan 23, 2009 -- NHL All-Star Weekend -- The National Hockey League (NHL), the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced a new strategic agreement whereby Cisco will support the league's strategic digital media initiatives with Cisco technology. The implementation of Cisco technologies will help the league super-serve millions of avid hockey fans across North America with digital video of their favorite teams and players.

The NHL is strategically using digital video in many ways:

  • It is capitalizing on the convergence of media (Internet, mobile, television) and satisfying the most passionate, tech-savvy fans in all the major pro sports.

  • It serves a significant "displaced" fan population that lives in a different local market than their favorite team.

  • And is exposing fans across North America to all of the incredible action, compelling storylines and behind-the-scenes footage from all of the league's 30 teams.

The league is embracing Cisco's Internet-based networking and advanced technologies as the platform to strategically deploy digital video applications and capitalize on these fan activation opportunities. For example:

  • NHL GameCenter LIVE™ is the NHL's popular new online subscription service that puts fans in control of the premium experience for interacting with and viewing live NHL games. NHL GameCenter LIVE streams up to 40 games per week (blackout and other restrictions apply), and is specifically designed for those avid fans looking for the most complete, in-game NHL viewing experience, as well as for the nearly 50 percent of NHL fans that live away from their favorite team's local television market and crave more live game coverage. Sales of the NHL's live streaming video have increased more than 250 percent this season.

  • NHL Network Online™ is a groundbreaking broadband media service that is available free to fans at NHL.com. A key component of the NHL's strategy to build global scale through digital media, the NHL Network Online is delivered to fans through a sleek broadband media player. This immersive, all-access experience invites fans to NHL.com to spend more time behind the scenes with their favorite players and teams. Fans will now enjoy seven dedicated channels of NHL multimedia, each programmed around distinct themes. Cisco powers the LiveWire channel, which is dedicated to bringing fans live events from around the league; and Cisco technology enables the NHL to deliver millions of game highlight videos per month through the popular Game Highlights channel. Game highlights power a significant majority of video starts and completions, key measures of fan enjoyment and engagement for the league.

  • Cisco technology is a critical part of the NHL's ability to, for the first time ever, quickly move video highlight packages to arenas throughout North America during live games for display on Jumbotrons. This fundamentally changes and improves the in-arena experience for NHL fans and exposes fans in a given market to all of the exciting plays and storylines throughout the league, increasing interest and encouraging subscriptions.

The NHL intends to work with Cisco to deploy new technologies that will enhance the delivery of all video across platforms to achieve the highest resolution available to consumers.

Supporting Quotes:
John Collins, chief operating officer, National Hockey League
"Video is a strategic business application for the NHL. It provides a platform for distributing unique, proprietary content to build fan interest, engagement and loyalty. As the trend toward convergence continues, Cisco is a key partner for us as we fully leverage our video assets across all media and devices."

Rob Lloyd, senior vice president, U.S., Canada and Japan, Cisco
"Cisco has developed solutions for the NHL that will not only benefit the league and its global fan base but also help ensure that the game of hockey maintains a high degree of relevancy now and into the future. The collaboration between Cisco and the NHL will ensure that the game of hockey continues to transcend borders, time zones and digital mediums to deliver the ultimate fan experience today, tomorrow and into the future."

Mike Ouellet, chief of business affairs, National Hockey League Players' Association
"The NHLPA is pleased to partner with Cisco, an organization that is increasing the exposure of our membership's great hockey skills and unique personalities to new audiences across virtually every digital platform."

Supporting Links:

Technorati Tags: Cisco, sports, NHL, collaboration, video, TelePresence

About the National Hockey League Players' Association
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. The players' program has donated full sets of hockey equipment to more than 9,000 economically disadvantaged children in 17 countries and assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas world-wide. To date, Goals & Dreams has donated more than $17-million to grassroots hockey programs around the world making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit nhlpa.com.

About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League's international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, ASN and NHL Network) and radio (NHL Radio, Sirius XM Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League's charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to www.NHL.com.

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks and NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network Online, NHL Network and NHL Radio are trademarks of the National Hockey League. NHLPA is a registered trademark of the National Hockey League Players' Association. All Rights Reserved.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

Cisco, the Cisco logo and Cisco Systems are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

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