In Canada, National Hockey League games that are not scheduled as national telecasts by Sportsnet or TVA Sports are broadcast by regional feeds of either Sportsnet, TSN, or RDS (French), and are blacked out for viewers outside the team's home market. Sportsnet's four regional feeds correspond with each of its NHL teams' designated markets; the Ontario and Pacific feeds are designated to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vancouver Canucks respectively, while Sportsnet West and its corresponding market (which includes all of Alberta and Saskatchewan) is shared by the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Although West is also the main feed for Manitoba, Flames and Oilers games are blacked out there to protect the Winnipeg Jets. As of August 2014, TSN is similarly structured, with the Ottawa Senators on TSN5 (East), Maple Leafs on TSN4 (Ontario), and Jets on TSN3 (Manitoba and Saskatchewan). The Montreal Canadiens were added in 2017 on TSN2 (which was originally promoted as being a secondary national channel).[1] The Canadiens and Senators share the same market, which includes parts of Eastern Ontario (primarily the Ottawa Valley), and the entirety of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, while Saskatchewan is shared by the Jets, Flames, and Oilers.[2][3]

Until the 2014-15 season, all French-language broadcasts of the Montreal Canadiens were available nationally on RDS, which was previously the national French-language rightsholder of the NHL in Canada. As RDS was, until 2011, the only French-language cable sports channel in Canada,[4] the team forwent a separate regional rights deal and allowed all of its games to be broadcast as part of the national package. As of the 2014-15 season, Quebecor Media and TVA Sports is the national French rightsholder as part of a sub-licensing agreement with Rogers Communications.[5][6][7] RDS negotiated a 12-year deal with the team for regional rights to the Canadiens: games are now blacked out for viewers outside Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and parts of Eastern Ontario.[3][8]

Out-of-market games can be viewed using the subscription-based NHL Centre Ice, NHL Live, and Sportsnet Now+ (which carries out-of-market games whose rights are held by Sportsnet channels) although in-market games are blacked out from Centre Ice and NHL Live to protect local broadcasters. NHL Live allows streaming of in-market teams if the user authenticates themselves as a subscriber to Sportsnet and/or TSN,[9][10][11] while Sportsnet Now+ is a direct-to-consumer version of the Sportsnet channels themselves.[12]

  1. "TSN's regional NHL coverage features 191 games", TSN, 2017-09-15. 
  2. Faguy, Steve (August 18, 2014). NHL broadcast schedule 2014-15: Who owns rights to what games. Fagstein. Retrieved on August 23, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Why is RDS/TSN/Sportsnet blacked out? NHL regional TV rights explained. Retrieved on 26 September 2014.
  4. Magder, Jason. New TVA Sports channel takes a shot at RDS. The Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved on 27 July 2011.
  5. "NHL signs 12-year TV, Internet deal with Rogers; CBC keeps 'Hockey Night in Canada'", Toronto Star, 2013-11-26. Retrieved on 26 November 2013. 
  6. "Rogers reaches 12-year broadcast deal with NHL worth $5.2-billion", The Globe and Mail, 2013-11-27. Retrieved on 26 November 2013. 
  7. "What the new NHL broadcast deal means for hockey fans", The Globe and Mail, 2013-11-26. Retrieved on 26 November 2013. 
  8. RDS, Canadiens announce 12-year regional rights deal. Retrieved on 22 December 2013.
  9. Rogers GameCentre Live: Game Availability. Retrieved on September 6, 2015.
  10. "Rogers will allow you to watch even more NHL games online this season … just not all of them", National Post. Retrieved on 18 September 2014. 
  11. "Watching live sports online can be frustrating, even if you're willing to pay", Montreal Gazette. Retrieved on 10 February 2016. 
  12. Rogers lowers cost of Sportsnet Now and launches Now+ with more content (en) (2018-10-11).
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