The Edmonton Oilers posted a question on their social media pages on Monday. They asked, “What if we told you we were doing another all-access, Oil Change-type show…” While some fans suggested it was a bad idea because the teams that partake in these kinds of documentaries tend to have cursed seasons, most fans immediately started to comment that they’d be excited to see what the Oilers come up with.
It was then revealed that the Oilers aren’t just thinking about bringing back the Oil Change documentary (or something like it). They are contemplating the introduction of an entire premium subscription service — like Disney+ or WWE Network for wrestling fans. This will include a ton of content fans could pay for that isn’t part of the Sportsnet cable packages that broadcast the games or the YouTube content the Oilers post on a regular basis.
While the team wanted to know what fans might be willing to pay (rumored to be between $4 and $10 per month) they also wanted to make sure fans knew what was included. Here are a few things fans would get if they subscribed for something being called OILERS+ premium content services.
The Oilers Documentary Series
The big sell would be the relaunch of a documentary series that would go behind the scenes and give fans an inside look at the inner workings of the team. From meetings to daily routines for players like Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, to GM meetings and trade calls or more access to draft day and free agency, fans would see what GM Ken Holland is up to, how the Oilers operate the team, and how the coach deals with the players.
This isn’t a first as the Toronto Maple Leafs recently did a series with Amazon and the entire look and feel of the series took on a new life when the Maple Leafs failed to get through the first round of the playoffs again. These types of documentaries come with the good and the bad. There’s a lot of content the fans love to see but don’t often get to and there’s the whole debate about whether fans have a right to see some of the things that go on or that are meant to stay inside the locker room. Players don’t always love these shoots.
Exclusive Pre and Post-Game Shows
Those who subscribe to the services would also get access to pre-game shows and interviews, as well as post-game productions that aren’t part of the regular media, avails the players do following a win or a loss. Again, there’s good and bad to this as it’s asking the players to do more than they might normally want to, especially after a loss, but the fans would certainly be eager to watch as those media avails draw some strong traffic on the Oilers’ social media pages.
This will also include banner-raising ceremonies and archived footage like the Boys on the Bus documentary the Farewell to Rexall.
One thing that could be really interesting is the in-depth, one-on-one interviews the team plans to do with players, coaches, scouts, and others involved in the organization. This could include a wide range of topics and allow fans to really see behind the curtain and get to know the players on a lot more intimate basis.
One would imagine that these would be shot like the 30-for-30 interviews on ESPN or like an HBO series that digs deep into a player’s journey or the decision to go a certain direction with a trade or signing. Would you be interested in hearing how Zach Hyman got into the gaming world and created a million-dollar company called Eleven Holdings Corp. that does competitive gaming? Me too. That’s not to say this idea is on the schedule, only that it’s the type of interviews the Oilers would probably look at. Want to know more about what went into the Oilers’ decision to let Evander Kane look around the market before coming back to the team in free agency? Perhaps this service will answer that question.
Live-Streams With High Production Value
If you want to watch intrasquad or preseason games, Oilers fans are currently stuck having to log in online and deal with a clunky stream that isn’t of the best quality and doesn’t include the high production value the Oilers bring to their games on Sportsnet and with Rogers. All that will change with this streaming service.
Fans will get to watch these games as though they were regular season games. The same level of insight and commentary will be brought to each broadcast which will be great for fans who want to know a lot more about the prospects they don’t get to see on a regular basis.
Are you looking to improve your game and become a better hockey player? The Oilers will now have lessons that hockey fans can take from some of the best experts in the game. If you’ve ever seen MasterClass, imagine that for hockey fans who want to take lessons from the Oilers pros.
This could include player-taught videos, but will more likely come from strength and conditioning coaches, trainers and other specialists.
All in all, the service itself sounds pretty cool. The question will be how much there is an appetite for fans to spend more on Oilers’ content than they already do. I’ll bet a month’s worth of the cost of a subscription that the appetite is fairly strong.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”