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How Long Do Hockey Games Last on TV?


So, you’re getting ready to watch this big hockey game? 

You know timing is everything in sports, so you want to perfectly plan your evening so you can have the right amount of snacks and know when to take bathroom breaks. 

So, how long are hockey games, and how long do they last on TV? Is there anything else that adds to the game length? If so, what? 

Keep reading to find out! 

How Long Are Hockey Games With Breaks?

Hockey games are typically 150 minutes with breaks. 

a hockey game

Hockey games are usually two and a half hours (150 minutes) from start to finish, including breaks, entertainment, and interruptions.  

The actual playtime in a hockey game lasts 60 minutes (one hour), broken up into three 20-minute intervals

Between the first and second playtime interval is an intermission, which lasts 17 minutes for National Hockey League (NHL) games but could last a minute or two more or less for other leagues. 

Hockey games also feature entertainment, which adds to the game length. 

This time includes overtime for any other unexpected events that could happen during a hockey game. 

See the table below to see how a hockey game’s game time is broken up. 

Hockey Game Timetable 

PeriodTime in Minutes
1st Section of Playtime 20
1st Intermission/Break17
2nd Section of Playtime 20
2nd Intermission/Break17
3rd Section of Playtime20
Entertainment and Stoppages56
Total Time150 

What Else Adds to the Game Length?

A few different occurrences can add to the game length. 

Though playtime and intermissions last around 94 minutes, the game lasts about an hour longer because of the following things.

These interruptions would cause the game to stop until they’ve been resolved. 

Let’s learn what adds to the final game length!

Players/Audience are Injured 

a hockey player got leg injure

Hockey can quickly turn into a high-impact sport should two players race after the puck and collide. Players may also slip on the ice, injuring themselves. 

Audience members could also find themselves with a puck-shaped bruise. Though a plexiglass barrier protects the audience from these unfortunate injuries, it still occasionally happens. 

In these cases, the game would temporarily stop to remove the injured person from the scene and ensure they receive medical attention. 

Fights

hockey players in a fight during a game

Sports can be exciting, and we all enjoy some friendly competition. However, hard-core sports fans (and players) sometimes take their devotion too far. 

Unfortunately, fights are common, and security must act quickly to ensure they’re broken up before someone gets seriously hurt. 

Players may also get in fights with the referee over yellow or red cards. 

So, if you’re going to a hockey game, don’t be surprised if you see a fight between a few passionate fans. 

Penalties 

a hockey player doing a penalty in a hockey game

The game is one-to-one, but time is running out. 

So, they have no choice but to hold penalties

Here, each team is allowed to have a player take a shot at the goal. 

Though it only takes a moment for the players to shoot their shot, the referees need to ensure that everyone is in place and the player and goalie comply with hockey rules. 

Each team must choose who shoots the penalty shot, which can take some time. 

Problems with the Goalie Net 

a goalie net in hockey game

Hockey pucks slide on the ice at incredible speeds, which can sometimes cause them to fly through the net. 

When this happens, the game must stop so the net can be fixed or replaced. 

Although the process of fixing a goalie net is relatively quick, officiants must check it to ensure it’s up to code. 

No net means no goals, so it’s imperative that it’s properly placed. 

Puck Flies Off the Ice

It’s not uncommon for the players to hit the puck out of bounds.

When this happens, the game must be stopped, the same puck must be retrieved, or the referee should acquire a new one. 

The referee must also discuss where the puck will be placed and ensure everyone is in position. 

How Long Do Hockey Games Last on TV?

Hockey games last 2.5 hours on TV. 

man watching hockey game on TV at home

Since hockey games are broadcasted live, they last the same time on TV as they do in real life. 

Short commercial breaks and channel identification announcements are taken throughout the timeouts during playtime. 

Longer TV breaks and ads are played during the intermissions. 

So, if you’re watching hockey on TV, you can expect 2.5 hours of runtime, though you may miss a few 30-second TV breaks here and there. 

Wrapping Things Up

Hockey games are a great opportunity to relax with your other sport-loving friends and bond over the shared experience of watching men chase each other on ice. 

Hockey games last 2.5 hours, both in-person and on TV. Penalties, fights, and other mishaps add to the game length. 

What’s your experience watching hockey games on TV? What’s your favorite part of watching this popular winter sport? 

Let us know in the comments below!


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