There were rumours for a while that Astral’s CJAD would take over broadcast rights for Montreal Impact games – as kind of a consolation prize for losing rights to the Canadiens. A few journalists came out with the news before it was announced, although nobody got it exactly right.
The announcement came Monday morning on Andrew Carter’s show: CJAD will be carrying all Impact home games this season, as well as the season opener this coming Saturday in Vancouver. They even got some players to
pretend they care about a radio broadcasting agreement say hi to their fans listening on CJAD.
The broadcast team will consist of CJAD Sports Director Rick Moffat doing play by play, and former Impact player Grant Needham doing analysis. The station will also cover the team outside of games, notably with interviews during Abe Hefter’s Locker Room show.
The press release is here, but it’s a bit short on details. So here’s what I got out of CJAD brand director Chris Bury:
- CJAD will broadcast all home games during the season, plus the season opener. (You can see which games on the Impact’s website)
- CJAD will broadcast all home playoff games (if the Impact reaches the playoffs), but road playoff games are still to be determined. “We’ll take a look at the possibility of broadcasting road playoff games when the opportunity presents itself,” Bury says.
- There are no direct conflicts between home Impact games and Alouettes games, which CJAD still holds the radio rights to. (There are two Impact away games that conflict with Als games, on July 21 and Oct. 20.) But in the event that there might be conflicts during playoffs (which is during November for both leagues), “we will deal with that if it happens,” Bury says. Among the options Astral would have would be moving one of the games to CHOM (a workaround they have used in the past when Alouettes and Canadiens games conflicted).
- Abe Hefter will act as a backup for Rick Moffat if he’s unavailable. (Since Moffat also does Alouettes play-by-play, this might happen a few times.)
- The broadcasting agreement is for two years (the 2012 and 2013 seasons).
Other Impact broadcasters
All of the Impact’s 36 regular-season games will be televised this season, which is a big plus for fans. A third of them, including the season opener, the home opener, the first game at Saputo Stadium and all games involving Canadian opponents (Vancouver and Toronto) will be carried in French on RDS. The other two thirds will be on the new TVA Sports network.
In English, all games that RDS has rights to will be carried on TSN or TSN2.
You can see which games are on which networks on the schedule on the Impact’s website.
The big remaining question mark is French radio. The transformation of CKAC into Radio Circulation complicates matters immensely, because it leaves Cogeco with one talk station, and that station carries Alouettes and Canadiens games, making scheduling difficult. The station’s sports programming director told Métro that they’re working on something, but because of the conflicts it would cause (less than if the Canadiens would make the playoffs this season), it’s unlikely CHMP will air a full season of Impact games.
With the Impact’s season opener just days away, a deal on French radio rights should come soon.