Tuesday, 26 November 2013

UPDATED: How does the NEW Hockey Television landscape affect me?

A very quick round-up of my understanding of the new National Hockey rights deal here in Canada and how it will affect your Montreal Canadiens viewing habits.

As a part of the new National TV deal, Sportsnet/CBC have rights exclusively to games played on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This would mean that TSN (for the regional channel only) would be able to pick up games not scheduled on those nights. However, as Sportsnet/CBC would be the national rights holders, they will have some affect on the scheduling. Expect to see more Sunday night Hab games in the future.

As Rogers will be taking over control of Hockey Night in Canada, Expect to see the Habs on the CBC every Saturday night (with the Leafs appearing on all four Sportsnet channels). Between CBC/Sportsnet, expect to find (approximately) 40 regular season games. Based on the current regional deal, another 30 or so would still be on TSN's regional Habs feed. Making for approximately 70 games being available on English television.

As far as French Language, it is much more straightforward. RDS is losing only it's National rights as well, which means 22 Canadiens games will now air on TVA/TVA Sports. The other 60 or so games will  likely still air on RDS, however they would be blacked out outside of Quebec. As is the case with the TSN regional Habs feed, RDS' regional coverage deal also expires following this season, however it is expected they will bid heavily to retain those rights. This is a developing story.

The reason that RDS currently airs all Habs games nationally (and the reason that future blackouts on Sportsnets Sens/Oilers/Leafs/Flames games will be lifted) is because they are also the national broadcaster. With them no longer being the National broadcaster the games are likely to be blacked out outside of Quebec.

Radio deals currently in place will not be affected at all by this deal.

To Summarize, beginning next season:

English - 40 regular season and all playoff Habs games NATIONALLY on CBC/Sportsnet/City TV (Deal runs through the 2025-2026 NHL Season)
            -42 regular season Habs games REGIONALLY on Sportsnet East (3 games will be on City Montreal - Deal runs through 2016-2017 season)

French - 22 regular season, and all playoff Habs games NATIONALLY on TVA/TVA Sports (Deal runs through the 2025-2026 NHL Season)
            - 60 Regular season, and all pre-season Habs games regionally on RDS (Deal runs through the 2025-2026 NHL Season)

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