Being a Flyers fan can be complicated. Most of us aren't lucky enough to get to one game a year, yet alone multiple games per year or all of them, so we need to rely on other methods to get our fix.
And with new NHL TV contracts and complicated blackout rules making everything confusing, it can be impossible to know exactly how to watch any one particular game.
But we're here to help. Let's go over the various ways in which you can consume the Flyers ... aside from actually going to the game.
In the Philly area? You better have cable, not satellite
For local fans of the Flyers, watching games is (in theory) easier than it is for anybody else, but there's also a lot less freedom.
You need to have both Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and Comcast Network or you're going to miss a substantial amount of games, and only two of the region's five television providers have both channels.
The problem there is that due to antiquated FCC loopholes and awful, greedy tactics from Comcast, you can't get either of these channels on DirecTV or Dish Network. If you have RCN, you'll get Comcast SportsNet but won't get Comcast Network, which will carry nine games this season.
Comcast/Xfinity and Verizon FiOS are the only local television providers that carry both CSN Philly and Comcast Network, and therefore you must have one of those providers if you expect to watch every Flyers game from the comfort of your own home.
Aside from CSN and TCN, 12 Flyers games will be exclusive to NBC or NBCSN this season, but everybody in Philadelphia area should have those channels regardless of TV provider. Depending on your exact package, you might need to pay a little bit extra to get NBCSN, but most basic packages in the area have it these days.
For American out-of-market fans...
NHL GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice are the two legitimate, legal options for out-of-market fans. I reviewed both services several years ago and the review basically stands up over the test of time. Check that out if you're interested. We'll go over the basics below.
NHL GameCenter Live
GameCenter Live is the NHL's online streaming service. In 2014-15, it will get out-of-market Flyers fans 58 of 82 regular season games -- excluding games that are available on local TV in your area, so if you're in Washington you'll have to watch Flyers-Capitals games on CSN Washington, for example. It's available for $159 or eight payments of $19.99.
You don't need a cable/satellite subscription to subscribe to GameCenter Live, but if you want to get all 82 games instead of just the 58 you'll get with GCL, you will need a cable/satellite subscription with access to NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network. That unfortunately means you can't completely cut the cord if you want to watch every game from home.
On most TV providers, NHL Network is available for an extra price. It will carry 10 Flyers games this season for out-of-market fans and those games will be blacked out on GameCenter Live, just as the 12 games carried on either NBC or NBCSN will be blacked out on GameCenter Live.
GCL allows you to watch on your computer, your smartphone, or via set-top boxes/game consoles like PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV or Roku. In terms of freedom and ability to watch in many different ways, it's probably the best option, although there is about a 90 second delay between live action and the transmission GCL users see.
NHL Center Ice
Center Ice is the package that lets you watch out-of-market most games via your existing cable or satellite subscription. You purchase it through your TV provider, and the quality of it depends on that provider.
On DirecTV for example, you'll get every single game in high definition and you'll have the option of selecting which feed (home or away) you'd like to watch. But on Comcast/Xfinity and most cable TV providers, you'll only get two games at a time in HD and no choice of home or away feed. In fact, the Flyers feed is rarely the one selected, for whatever reason.
Center Ice will cost you $159.96 or four payments of $39.99, and the blackout restrictions are the same as via GameCenter Live. You'll get 58 of 82 games (again, excluding games that are available on local TV in your home market) and you'll need NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network to complete the 82 game circuit. There's no delay in the feed like with GCL, but you also can't watch on your computer, phone or tablet.
What's the deal for Canadians?
Canada works basically the exact same way as it does in the States for Flyers fans. NHL Centre Ice and NHL GameCentre Live are available for purchase, and each package will get you roughly 60 regular season Flyers games, excluding nationally-broadcast games and games local to your region. If you're in the Vancouver region, you'll need the local Vancouver station -- in this case, Sportsnet Pacific -- to get that game.
20 Flyers games are slated to be broadcast nationally in Canada, so in order to watch those games, you'll need the rather large collection of national TV networks -- the Sportsnet family of stations, mostly -- that now carry the NHL in Canada.
What about the playoffs?
The playoffs are a little complicated. Games are blacked out on Center Ice and GameCenter because they are available on national television. Every game is available on national TV in the United States -- that means on NBC, NBCSN or CNBC -- so in theory, if you have a cable or satellite subscription, you should be totally fine.
But for the early rounds of the playoffs, the local networks also have the right to broadcast games, so we have to deal with that whole "CSN Philly isn't available to everybody" problem.
Take the 2014 playoffs, for example. Some games were on CNBC nationally but also simulcast on CSN Philly. Basically everybody in the United States has CNBC through their cable/satellite provider, meaning you could flip on a TV anywhere in America and see the Flyers vs. the Rangers in Round 1 ... except if you lived in the Philadelphia area and didn't have Comcast SportsNet. And as we've already established, lots of people in the Philly area don't even have the option of getting CSN via their cable/satellite provider.
Luckily this isn't an issue for the majority of the postseason, but it's a pretty huge smack in the face from Comcast to some local fans during the most important and most fun time of year. If you live outside of Philadelphia in either the USA or Canada, you'll get every Flyers playoff game on your television.
What about in Europe, or otherwise internationally?
The NHL isn't really all that great when it comes to reach outside of North America, and you'd think they'd be better at it given that such a large number of their players come from Europe. But it's kind of a mess these days, and you definitely won't be able to watch every single Flyers game in any legal way from outside Canada or the US. Not on television, at least.
Here's a list of league broadcast in various nations around the world. These networks will carry several games a week, but will not allow you to see every game of a specific team, unfortunately.
You can subscribe to NHL GameCenter in many European countries, but the details and availability varies widely by country.
Other less than legal options
If you're a law-abiding citizen, there are no other options.
There are plenty of illegal streams available for free on the Internet, but as anybody who's used them before can tell you, it's kind of a nightmare trying to wade through the muck and find a decent feed, and it's even worse if you try to blow that feed up large enough for quality viewing on your television screen. Don't get started on the pop-up ads that'll take over your computer.
There's an online option called HockeyStreams that's pretty popular. It only costs $109 for a calendar year with no blackouts and it also offers minor league, European and junior hockey.
They evade US law by placing their servers overseas, apparently in the Netherlands. I've never used it, but it appears as though the quality is hit or miss. It's hard to argue with the plethora of games they offer, but keep in mind that you're giving your money to an illegal enterprise that probably runs the risk of being shut down at any point.
Note that we are not endorsing the use of illegal means. In fact, we'd strongly recommend against it. But the options are indeed there for you if you wish to break the law.
Your full guide to watching every Flyers game
Below you'll find a guide to every game this regular season. Philadelphia broadcast details are listed, as are TV details in the opposing team's market and nationally in both the United States and Canada. Bookmark and refer to this guide all year long, but keep in mind that details are subject to change.
Note that the "GCL/CI" column refers to blackout restrictions in the USA only. Rules are different and kind of complicated in Canada regarding those packages, especially under the new Rogers' national TV deal there.
|2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers Schedule||In the Philadelphia area...||Outside the Philadelphia area...|
|Date||Game||Time (ET)||TV||Radio||Opposing Team TV||US Nat'l TV||GCL/CI||Canada Nat'l TV|
|Wed, Oct 8||at Bruins||07:30 PM||NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗|
|Thu, Oct 9||vs Devils||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG+||✔|
|Sat, Oct 11||vs Canadiens||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||City TV, TVA (Fr)||✔||City TV, TVA (Fr)|
|Tue, Oct 14||vs Ducks||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||Prime Ticket||✔|
|Sat, Oct 18||at Stars||08:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||FS Southwest||✔|
|Tue, Oct 21||at Blackhawks||08:30 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||CSN Chicago||NBCSN||✗|
|Wed, Oct 22||at Penguins||08:00 PM||NBCSN||97.5 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗||TVA 2 (Fr)|
|Sat, Oct 25||vs Red Wings||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Detroit||✔||Sportsnet 360|
|Tue, Oct 28||vs Kings||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS West||✔||TVA (Fr)|
|Thu, Oct 30||at Lightning||07:30 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sun Sports||✔|
|Sat, Nov 1||at Panthers||07:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||FS Florida||✔|
|Tue, Nov 4||vs Oilers||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sportsnet Oilers||✔|
|Thu, Nov 6||vs Panthers||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Florida||NHL Network||✗|
|Sat, Nov 8||vs Avalanche||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Altitude||✔||HNIC, TVA (Fr)|
|Fri, Nov 14||vs Blue Jackets||07:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||FS Ohio||✔|
|Sat, Nov 15||at Canadiens||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||HNIC, TVA (Fr)||✔||HNIC, TVA (Fr)|
|Wed, Nov 19||at Rangers||08:00 PM||NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBCSN||✔||Sportsnet 1, TVA (Fr)|
|Thu, Nov 20||vs Wild||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS North||NHL Network||✗|
|Sat, Nov 22||vs Blue Jackets||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||FS Ohio||✔|
|Mon, Nov 24||at Islanders||07:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||MSG+||✔|
|Wed, Nov 26||at Red Wings||07:30 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||FS Detroit+||NBCSN||✗|
|Fri, Nov 28||vs Rangers||01:00 PM||NBC||97.5 FM||NBC||NBC||✗||Sportsnet|
|Sat, Nov 29||at Rangers||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG||✔|
|Tue, Dec 2||at Sharks||10:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗|
|Wed, Dec 3||at Ducks||10:30 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||FS West||✔|
|Sat, Dec 6||at Kings||04:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS West||✔||TVA 2 (Fr)|
|Tue, Dec 9||at Blue Jackets||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Ohio||✔|
|Thu, Dec 11||vs Devils||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG||✔|
|Sat, Dec 13||vs Hurricanes||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Carolinas||✔|
|Tue, Dec 16||vs Lightning||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sun Sports||✔|
|Thu, Dec 18||vs Panthers||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Florida||✔|
|Sat, Dec 20||at Maple Leafs||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Hockey Night||✔||HNIC|
|Sun, Dec 21||at Jets||09:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||TSN 3||✔|
|Tue, Dec 23||at Wild||07:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||FS North+||✔|
|Sat, Dec 27||at Predators||08:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||FS Tennessee||✔|
|Mon, Dec 29||at Coyotes||09:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Arizona||✔|
|Wed, Dec 31||at Avalanche||09:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Altitude||✔|
|Fri, Jan 2||at Hurricanes||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||FS Carolinas||✔|
|Sat, Jan 3||at Devils||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG+||NHL Network||✗||HNIC|
|Tue, Jan 6||vs Senators||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||TSN 5, RDS 2 (Fr)||✔|
|Thu, Jan 8||vs Capitals||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||CSN Washington||✔||Sportsnet 360, TVA (Fr)|
|Sat, Jan 10||vs Bruins||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||NESN||NHL Network||✗|
|Mon, Jan 12||vs Lightning||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sun Sports||NHL Network||✗|
|Wed, Jan 14||at Capitals||08:00 PM||NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗||TVA (Fr)|
|Thu, Jan 15||vs Canucks||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sportsnet Pacific||NHL Network||✗|
|Sat, Jan 17||at Sabres||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||MSG Buffalo||✔||HNIC|
|Mon, Jan 19||at Islanders||01:00 PM||Comcast Network||93.3 FM||MSG+||NHL Network||✗|
|Tue, Jan 20||vs Penguins||07:30 PM||NBCSN||97.5 FM||Root Sports||NBCSN||✗||Sportsnet 1, SN Ontario|
|Tue, Jan 27||vs Coyotes||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Arizona||✔|
|Thu, Jan 29||vs Jets||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||TSN 3||✔|
|Sat, Jan 31||vs Maple Leafs||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||93.3 FM||HNIC||✔||HNIC|
|Thu, Feb 5||vs Islanders||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG+||✔||Sportsnet 360, TVA (Fr)|
|Sun, Feb 8||at Capitals||03:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||CSN Washington||✔|
|Tue, Feb 10||at Canadiens||07:30 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||SN East, RDS (Fr)||✔|
|Fri, Feb 13||at Blue Jackets||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Ohio||✔|
|Sun, Feb 15||at Sabres||07:30 PM||NBCSN||97.5 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✔||City TV|
|Tue, Feb 17||vs Blue Jackets||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Ohio||✔|
|Thu, Feb 19||vs Sabres||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG Buffalo||✔|
|Sat, Feb 21||vs Predators||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Tennessee||NHL Network||✗|
|Sun, Feb 22||vs Capitals||03:00 PM||NBC||93.3 FM||NBC||NBC||✗|
|Tue, Feb 24||at Hurricanes||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗|
|Thu, Feb 26||at Maple Leafs||07:30 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||TSN 4, TVA (Fr)||✔||TVA (Fr)|
|Sat, Feb 28||vs Rangers||08:00 PM||NBC||97.5 FM||NBC||NBC||✗||HNIC|
|Tue, Mar 3||vs Flames||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sportsnet West||✔||TVA (Fr)|
|Thu, Mar 5||vs Blues||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Midwest||NHL Network||✗||Sportsnet 360|
|Sat, Mar 7||at Bruins||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||NESN||NHL Network||✗||TVA (Fr)|
|Sun, Mar 8||at Devils||05:00 PM||Comcast Network||97.5 FM||MSG+||✔|
|Tue, Mar 10||vs Stars||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Southwest+||✔||TVA (Fr)|
|Thu, Mar 12||at Blues||08:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Midwest||✔|
|Sat, Mar 14||vs Red Wings||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Detroit||✔|
|Sun, Mar 15||at Senators||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||City TV, TVA (Fr)||✔||City TV, TVA (Fr)|
|Tue, Mar 17||at Canucks||10:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sportsnet Pacific||✔|
|Thu, Mar 19||at Flames||09:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||Sportsnet West||✔|
|Sat, Mar 21||at Oilers||10:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||HNIC||✔||HNIC|
|Wed, Mar 25||vs Blackhawks||08:00 PM||NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗||Sportsnet 360, TVA (Fr)|
|Sat, Mar 28||vs Sharks||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||CSN California||✔|
|Wed, Apr 1||at Penguins||08:00 PM||NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBCSN||NBCSN||✗||Sportsnet 1, TVA (Fr)|
|Sat, Apr 4||at Hurricanes||01:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Carolinas||✔|
|Sun, Apr 5||vs Penguins||07:30 PM||NBC / NBCSN||93.3 FM||NBC / NBCSN||NBC / NBCSN||✗|
|Tue, Apr 7||vs Islanders||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||MSG+ 2||✔||SN East/West/Ontario|
|Thu, Apr 9||vs Hurricanes||07:00 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||FS Carolinas||✔|
|Sat, Apr 11||vs Senators||12:30 PM||CSN Philly||97.5 FM||TSN 5, RDS 2 (Fr)||✔|