I believe you need to be a current subscriber to the Sports package or a new subscriber to the new ExtremeHD package which appears to be replacing the Sports package for new subscribers. I have the Sports package and receive the NHL Network on Ch87, in SD. I don't have HDTV.
I also subscribe the Extreme HD programming and the channel is supposed to be included, but I get an error message saying I'm not a subscriber. When I call, all the techs can say is "sorry", they don't know what the problem is. I've called nearly every day since joining in January...service in South/Central Jersey.