Some confusion here. Since the OP is in the Pittsburgh media market, I'll direct the answers to him:
1) An antenna will work for games on NBC only (assuming you have a good line of sight and a good enough antenna). So that's probably 3-6 regular season games. NBC also will have them available online (which is really cool because you can select which camera to view). NBC broadcasts WILL be blacked out for Game Center/Center Ice (NBC being national). In the past few years a couple of games showed up on NBC's digital substation MeTV or the CW. I doubt either will happen this year, but those would be available OTA.
2) Game Center will not work for you in Beaver Falls. Every Penguins game will be blacked out on it given that Root has paid a lot of money for the rights to air them in Pittsburgh, and they need you subscribing to cable to pay that bill. As others have said you CAN do things with a VPN to make it appear that you are from another location, but by the time you'd paid for that and paid for Game Center (and the possibility they find you in violation of the TOS and cut your service) you could just subscribe to cable for the 6 or so months of hockey season.
3) Assuming you do decide to use the VPN method, many Penguins games will still be blacked out. All game on NBC, NBC Sports Network, or the NHL Network will be blacked out. The NHL Network one is the killer - often they pick which game to broadcast that night based on current standings or rivalries - they aren't predetermined already. So if a Tuesday night Penguins at Colorado game becomes important for that reason it will still be shown locally on Root, and then nationally on NHL Network. Given it is available nationally, its blacked out. I don't have the number for last season but in 2011-2012 about 30 games were blacked out on Game Center/Center Ice because of this.
My personal solution has become to subscribe only during the season and then cancel for the summer. I've gotten new subscriber 6 month promos the last few years that I've done this. I'll call in October and tell them I'd really like to watch the hockey games if I can afford to and I'm always offered the 6 month introductory price. Since I own my own DVR, I'll record tons of things over those 6 months (stuff off History, Discovery, Nat Geo, etc) and then spend all summer watching those programs instead of channel surfing.
knives of ice wrote:If you use unblock.us or any similar site you will get every single game regardless of location or network via gamecenter
Sure about this? The blackouts on NBC/NBC Sports/NHLN are because those networks have paid for national broadcast rights. For this to work it would seem like it would have to be tricking the NHL into thinking you're in another country.http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/n ... omers.html
I think they're starting to see how few people in the 18-30 age group are subscribing to cable and are going to be forced to address it. As a single guy the idea that I could get $100+ worth of value from cable tv a month is ridiculous. I can rent two or three blurays a day from Redbox, go see 10 brand new Hollywood films, buy several of my favorite shows on DVD or itunes, or just save the money and find completely free alternatives.