TORONTO – Consumers will now depend largely on Rogers for their NHL coverage in Canada as the telecom giant reached a 12-year, $5.2-billion agreement with the hockey league.
Here’s what consumers need to know:
• “Hockey Night in Canada” will continue to air on CBC Saturday nights (but Rogers has editorial control and will also air Saturday games on Rogers channels Citytv and Sportsnet)
• CBC will air the Stanley Cup Finals, though Rogers noted if a Canadian team was in the finals, they would look at the option of simulcasting the game on many different channels (e.g. Citytv, Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360, etc.)
• No more regionalization of games or local blackouts. On Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Rogers will broadcast any game involving a Canadian team
Here’s what a Saturday night might look like, according to a tweet from the Sportsnet public relations team:
• Starting at 4 p.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays, Rogers will expand pre- and post-game coverage (future NHL all-star games and NHL drafts will now also be exclusively owned by Rogers)
• Rogers will stream games online, and fans can use wireless and mobile devices, satellite radio, desktops or tablets to watch (this can be done on many platforms by purchasing the NHL Gamecenter Live app)
• The NHL Centre Ice cable programming can also be purchased as a digital TV subscription package (which Rogers now controls in Canada)
• Quebec’s TVA network has all of the Canadian French-language multi-media rights, but it only includes 22 Montreal Canadiens games. The remaining 60 are part of an additional broadcast package that the team and league control. A broadcast partner will be decided in the future.
• The deal needs to be approved by the NHL Board of Governors who meet Dec. 9-10
• If approved, it’s a 12-year deal that begins with 2014-15 season and runs through the 2025-26 season