AHL, B2 partner for on-line broadcasts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced a multi-year partnership with B2 Networks to offer fans around the world the opportunity to watch AHL regular-season and Calder Cup Playoff games on B2 Networks’ broadband broadcasting network.

All 1,080 games (plus playoffs) played in the AHL during the league’s upcoming 2005-06 season are scheduled to be available worldwide for just $6 (US) per game. Fans will be able to watch the action while listening to their own team’s audio on the live broadcasts. Any fan worldwide with a high-speed cable modem, T1 or DSL broadband connection and Windows Media Player 9 or higher will be able to view the games through the links to be provided on the official Web sites of the American Hockey League (theahl.com) and all 27 of its member teams.

“Our partnership with B2 Networks is the start of an exciting new chapter for the AHL,” said David Andrews, AHL President and CEO. “As we commemorate our 70th anniversary in 2005-06, B2 Networks offers us a terrific opportunity to allow our fans everywhere to follow the excitement of AHL hockey on a nightly basis.”

The AHL and B2 Networks teamed to broadcast 48 contests from five AHL cities via the broadband broadcasting company’s state-of-the-art network during the 2004-05 regular season and the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs.

“We at B2 are proud to add the AHL to our growing list of teams and leagues,” said Greg P. Bell, owner and chairman of B2 Networks. “It is an honor for our company to partner with the AHL and we look forward to broadcasting their games to fans around the world.”

B2 Networks (b2now.com) is a premier provider of reliable and secure international television and video broadcasting systems, pay-per-view and billing systems. The broadband broadcasting company’s network of arenas, stadiums, local venues, billing systems and data centers is currently in use to distribute live events to computer and television screens around the world. In addition, B2 manages and owns the digital distribution rights to distinct areas of entertainment, sports and television. Working with teams from the AHL, United Hockey League, ECHL and United States Hockey League and baseball’s Northern League and Pacific Coast League, B2 has established itself as a leader in innovative direct-to-home internet and television broadcasting.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 80 percent of NHL players in 2003-04 were AHL graduates, and in 2004-05, more than 7.1 million fans – an all-time league record – attended AHL games across North America.