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Rogers Communications is the sole national rightsholder of the NHL in Canada as of the 2014–15 NHL season. Most national telecasts air on Sportsnet properties, and include, but are not limited to:[1][2][3]

  • Hockey Night in Canada:Exclusive national window for Canadian teams on Saturday nights, multiple games airing across CBC Television, City, and Sportsnet channels.
    • In rare circumstances, due to non-hockey programming conflicts, the Sportsnet regional channels may air different games.[4] However, all four Sportsnet regional channels are available nationwide through the digital services of most providers.
  • Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey; Exclusive national Wednesday-night game on Sportsnet.
  • Rogers Hometown Hockey: National Sunday-night game on Sportsnet, with a travelling pre-game show broadcast from various Canadian cities.
  • Assorted simulcasts of games from U.S. broadcasters, including regional sports networks and NHL on NBC coverage (often on Thursday nights).
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; early rounds divided between CBC and Sportsnet. All games from the conference finals onward are simulcast by both networks.
  • Canadian distribution and marketing rights to the NHL.tv (Rogers NHL Live) and NHL Centre Ice services, which carries out-of-market games and U.S. nationally televised games not aired by Sportsnet channels.
  • Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition: Coverage of selected Hockey Night in Canada games with Punjabi language commentary on Omni Television.[5]

French-language rights were sub-licensed to Quebecor Media; all coverage airs on TVA Sports. La super soirée LNH serves as the flagship broadcast on Saturday nights, typically featuring the Montreal Canadiens.[6][7]

RegionalEdit

Canadian teams also contract with local or regional broadcasters for selected pre-season and regular season games not covered by the national contracts. These deals are separate from the national rights deal, and may cover up to 60 regular-season games per season. Rights are current as of the 2018–19 NHL season.

Each team's regional game broadcasts are restricted to viewers of that team's designated home broadcast region as assigned by the NHL. Outside said region, these broadcasts are made available exclusively through NHL Centre Ice (TV) or Rogers NHL Live (streaming). If the originating channel is available outside a team's region (e.g. out-of-market Sportsnet feeds), the game broadcasts must be blacked out in these other areas. Sportsnet also operates part-time channels for the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers in case of scheduling conflicts: these channels are tied to the Sportsnet One licence. During the period that it held the rights, Sportsnet used City station CJNT as the overflow channel for Canadiens games instead.

Under previous (2002–14) rights deals with RDS, the Canadiens forewent a separate regional rights contract (at the time of its establishment, RDS was the only national French-language sports channel in Canada) and allowed all of its games to be broadcast nationally in French in conjunction with RDS's package. With the transition to TVA Sports as national rightsholder, the Canadiens chose to negotiate a 12-year regional rights deal with RDS (the team is partially owned by the channel's parent BCE Inc.) in the team's designated broadcast region.[8][9]

U.S. teams in close proximity to the Canada–US border are now also able to sell Canadian regional broadcast rights to their games. As of the 2013–14 season, Bell Satellite TV and Bell Fibe TV own regional rights to Buffalo Sabres broadcasts for portions of Canada within a 50-mile radius of First Niagara Center, approximately stretching from Niagara Falls to the community of Stoney Creek in Hamilton. Sabres game broadcasts are available to Bell TV subscribers in this region at no extra cost, and moreover are no longer available as part of the NHL Centre Ice package through other providers serving this region.[10] The Detroit Red Wings, whose market borders on Windsor, Ontario, is presumably able to sell similar rights but has not yet done so.

As with other sports properties, game broadcasts on U.S. terrestrial stations carried in Canada, such as the NBC broadcast network's national rights package as well as WGN-TV's broadcasts of the Chicago Blackhawks, are not subject to blackout for Canadian cable/satellite subscribers receiving those stations.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Rogers scores national NHL TV rights for $5.2B. CBC (2013-11-26). Retrieved on 2013-12-07.
  2. 500-plus NHL games to air under Rogers deal. Sportsnet (2014-02-04). Retrieved on 2014-02-05.
  3. Rogers Media (2014-06-22). Rogers Unveils 2014-15 National NHL Broadcast Schedule. CNW Group. Retrieved on 2014-06-22.
  4. Faguy, Steve (2014-06-22). NHL schedule: Rogers will air 32 Canadiens games nationally in 2014-15. Fagstein. Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  5. Canadians to Experience NHL Content in 22 Languages, This Season on OMNI Television. Rogers Media. Retrieved on 24 September 2014.
  6. TVA SPORTS DÉVOILE SON CALENDRIER. TVASports.ca. Groupe TVA (2014-08-05). Retrieved on 2014-09-20.
  7. NHL, TVA Sports launch French-language agreement. Retrieved on 21 September 2014.
  8. "Canadiens reach new TV deal with RDS", The Gazette (Montreal), 2013-12-20. Retrieved on 2013-12-20. 
  9. Cousineau, Sophie. "TVA to pay Rogers $120-million a year to be NHL's French-language broadcaster", The Globe and Mail, 2013-11-28. Retrieved on 2013-12-20. 
  10. Buffalo Sabres (2013-10-09). SOUTHERN ONTARIO IS NOW "SABRES COUNTRY". Retrieved on 2013-10-16.
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