Alouettes broadcasts return to CKAC

For the second consecutive year, the Alouettes have prematurely ended their deal with their official French-language radio broadcaster and switched to its major competitor.

It was announced on Tuesday that the Alouettes will be returning to Cogeco’s CKAC Sports for the 2011 season. CKAC will broadcast 20 games (the regular season has 19 18, so this covers all of those and the two preseason games), plus all playoff games.

Pierre Martineau, a spokesperson for Cogeco Diffusion, says the deal is for this coming season only, and some games will also air on Cogeco’s regional FM stations.

Having CKAC Sports broadcast the games seems like such a no-brainer, and indeed they broadcast the games for many years, signing a five-year deal in 2007. But that deal was mutually dissolved so that the Alouettes could strike a deal with Astral Media’s NRJ for broadcast rights in 2010. That deal was supposed to last until 2013.

The switch to NRJ wasn’t perfectly smooth. NRJ is a music station (like CHOM, which also broadcasts some Alouettes games), and license limits meant they couldn’t broadcast five games last season, according to La Presse.

Fans also weren’t crazy that NRJ used the RDS play-by-play audio instead of their own staff, though CKAC did the same thing.

A representative of the Alouettes did not immediately respond to voice mail messages requesting comment.

The Alouettes’ English radio rights are held by Astral, with games airing on CJAD and CHOM until 2013. It’s unclear if the move away from Astral on the French side will have any impact on the English rights. No doubt the Team 990 would be more than happy to pick up rights to Alouettes games, much like they would love to take rights to Canadiens games away from CJAD someday.

Last month, CKAC announced an agreement to air Canadiens games for two more seasons, ending in 2013-14.

8 thoughts on “Alouettes broadcasts return to CKAC

  1. Fassero

    Steve – CFL teams actually play 18 games each during the regular season. They play them over 19 weeks (each team has a one-week bye.) Thus, I’d imagine the Cogeco deal is for all pre-season and regular season home and away games.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      CFL teams actually play 18 games each during the regular season. They play them over 19 weeks (each team has a one-week bye.)

      D’oh! You’re right. I fix. Thanks.

      Reply
  2. Franc

    “NRJ used the RDS play-by-play audio instead of their own staff, though CKAC did the same thing”

    Not true! CKAC may have done that in the past, yes, but the last two years on CKAC, it was Charles-Andre Marchand and Bruno Heppel doing the play-by-play on the radio.

    I still don’t get why NRJ is trying to get into sports. You’re a music station. Maybe you should start by playing full songs instead of half of them all the time…

    Reply
  3. AlexH

    If the rumors about the Team990 picking up the Habs broadcasting is true, it would be a major shift in the Montreal radio world for the first time in a long time. It might also make it more likely that they pick up the Alouettes on the next contract, because I can imagine CJAD having to cut back their sports department dramatically without the Habs on the air.

    Now I wonder this: Might this be a good time for the Team990 to end up as the Team 940, with 990 becoming the traffic channel instead? It could see much more benefit of having the Habs game on a clear channel rather than having traffic there. I doubt the CRTC would be brilliant enough to mandate that sort of thing.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Might this be a good time for the Team990 to end up as the Team 940, with 990 becoming the traffic channel instead?

      They’ve had a year to grab the frequency and haven’t. I would guess they’re not interested.

      Reply
  4. Manu

    Does anyone know what the coverage of CJAD and 990 is like ? For example, does it reach the Eastern Townships or the East Ontario region (Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Ottawa) or Burlington, VT ? Also, is there an English speaking Habs Radio Network that provides coverage to local stations elsewhere such as the Maritimes ? Or do they prefer to carry Sens (or Leafs) games there ?

    Reply
    1. Paul Tremblay

      The following links may help you. Please note that the red contour is the most reliable to determine the area that receives a reliable signal, and that due to IBOC interference from the U.S. the actual coverage at night or in the hour or so before sunset may be reduced by 10 to 20 percent compared to what the maps say.

      CJAD 800 daytime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CJAD&service=AM&status=F&hours=D
      CJAD 800 nighttime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CJAD&service=AM&status=F&hours=N
      CKGM 990 daytime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CKGM&service=AM&status=F&hours=D
      CKGM 990 nighttime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CKGM&service=AM&status=F&hours=N
      CINW 940 daytime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CINW&service=AM&status=F&hours=D
      CINW 940 nighttime
      http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=CINW&service=AM&status=F&hours=N

      As far as I know, ever since CKTS 900 in Sherbrooke was closed (it was a fulltime CJAD rebroadcaster), there has been no English network for the Habs (or for any other sports team for that matter).

      Reply

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