Posted in Canadiens, My articles, TV

The Rogers/TVA/NHL deal: What we know, and what we don’t

TVA press conference on NHL deal. Scott Moore of Rogers and Gary Bettman of the NHL join by videoconference from Toronto.

TVA press conference on NHL deal. Scott Moore of Rogers and Gary Bettman of the NHL join by videoconference from Toronto.

It’s the biggest media announcement of the year: A $5.2-billion, 12-year broadcast rights deal between Rogers Communications and the National Hockey league. Included in it are side deals with the CBC (which will air games but won’t get revenue from them or handle their staffing) and TVA, which becomes the official French-language broadcaster.

We’ve suspected for a while that the CBC wouldn’t be able to afford to keep its rights to Saturday night hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs. But what’s most surprising about this deal is that Bell Media, which owns TSN and RDS, is also a loser here.

A lot of details are still to be decided. Regional rights to NHL games are up in the air. We also don’t know what rights-holders will do with those rights. What games will we see on City TV? On TVA? Who will be the on-air personalities and play-by-play announcers? We’ll start knowing that in the coming weeks and months.

Here’s a story I wrote for The Gazette about the French side of this deal and how it will affect Canadiens broadcasts. Pat Hickey also has his thoughts on the deal.

In short, here’s what we know and what we don’t know about this deal so far:

  • CBC will continue to air Saturday night and playoff hockey for at least four years. And the Hockey Night in Canada brand will continue. But that’s about it. Those programs will be run by Rogers, not CBC. Rogers will pay all the expenses, but also get all the revenue. (Which makes me wonder why CBC is bothering.) This puts the future of personalities like Ron MacLean and Don Cherry up in the air. It will also mean a huge loss of income to the CBC, which means cuts will have to be made elsewhere.
  • TVA gets 22 Canadiens regular-season games a year: TVA will get all national games, which includes all games that air on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (Afternoon games on those days are not considered national.) Whether these air on the TVA network or TVA Sports is still up in the air.
  • RDS gets 60 Canadiens regular-season games a year, plus all preseason games: But these will be available only regionally. So people west of Pembroke and Belleville, Ontario will see RDS blacked out during Canadiens games it airs. It’s unclear if Rogers, which has out-of-market rights, will provide another way for fans to access the games, and if TVA will be involved.
  • There will still be some NHL hockey on TSN. The channel has the rights to all regional Winnipeg Jets games through 2021, as well as some Maple Leafs games in the coming season and beyond. It currently airs some Canadiens regional games, but the future of that deal is unclear.
  • TVA gets all playoff games and all special-event NHL programming. The NHL draft, NHL awards, Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Game will now air on TVA Sports. TSN can keep its TradeCentre and Free Agent Frenzy specials, because those are news broadcasts and aren’t subject to exclusivity deals.
  • TVA will launch TVA Sports 2. This will be a multiplex of the TVA Sports channel, which means it will share a licence with TVA Sports. It’s a relationship similar to TSN/TSN2, RDS/RDS2, Teletoon and The Movie Network, where channels come in groups instead of individually. But TVA Sports 2′s availability will depend on deals Quebecor signs with distributors. (Having it on Videotron is a given, of course.)
  • City TV will air Saturday night hockey. It will be called “Hockey Night in Canada on City.” But the details, and how they will decide which games air on City and which ones air on CBC, are unknown. There are also musings about Sunday night hockey on the City TV network.
  • Rogers and TVA retain mobile and other video streaming rights. Streaming will probably be available, but likely through distributors and only to those who subscribe to the linear TVA Sports channel. On the English side, Rogers gets all the online and mobile rights, including the Saturday night games that air on CBC. This means an end to online streaming on CBC.ca for people wanting to catch out-of-market games. RDS’s deal with the Canadiens for rights to regional games does not include any mobile or streaming rights.
  • Rogers takes control of NHL Centre Ice, NHL GameCenter Live and will sell Canadian ads for NHL.com.
  • No changes to radio. Radio rights are unaffected. Cogeco announced last week a five-year extension to 2018-19 that will see Canadiens games continue to air on 98.5 FM in Montreal, 93.3 FM in Quebec City, 106.9 FM in Trois-Rivières and 107.7 FM in Sherbrooke. The deal for English radio rights for the Canadiens remains with Bell Media until 2018-19, which means they will continue to air on TSN 690.
  • Bell keeps The Hockey Theme.
  • UPDATE: The National Hockey League Board of Governors has approved the deal. Though the Toronto Star reports that the Maple Leafs abstained from the vote, apparently because of internal conflicts between its two main owners, Rogers and Bell.

What has been reported but not confirmed:

  • How much TVA is paying Rogers. No comments, despite repeated questions. We know that the Rogers deal is for more than $300 million a year, and that it includes the sublicensed deals. The Globe and Mail reports it was $120 million a year, though because they lost regional Canadiens games to RDS, that number has dropped to $52 million a year, reports Radio-Canada’s Martin Leclerc. To give some perspective, TVA Sports’s entire budget for 2012 was $30 million.
  • How much Bell (TSN) and CBC were willing to pay. The CBC said it couldn’t meet the high bidding of its competitors in a fiscally responsible way, and they’re probably right about that. Radio-Canada’s Martin Leclerc reports that Bell’s final offer was $5 billion, very close to the Rogers bid, and that Bell wasn’t given a chance to match what Rogers offered.
  • How much RDS is paying the Canadiens for its regional deal. Martin Leclerc of Radio-Canada says RDS’s deal for 60 regional games a year is worth $68 million a season, or about $1.1 million a game.

What either hasn’t been decided yet or hasn’t been told to us:

  • Details of the negotiations. Though this Maclean’s story has some general idea (Maclean’s is owned by Rogers) and the Toronto Star put together a timeline of the talks between Rogers and CBC. There’s also this story talking to Rogers executives.
  • How English regional Canadiens games will be split up. In English, TSN carries some Canadiens games regionally on a special channel. It’s unclear what will happen with them next season.
  • How out-of-market games will be distributed. The NHL’s deal with Rogers says there won’t be regional blackouts for the games Rogers owns rights for. But there are still regional rights deals. So I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. Rogers owns NHL Centre Ice and out-of-market games, so we could see a different situation than we’re used to. It seems clear that games carried on Rogers won’t be regionally restricted, but for those carried by its competitors, it’s unclear. Rogers has said it’s too early to tell what they will do with these rights.
  • Whether games will air on TVA. A sample schedule published by Rogers suggested Canadiens Saturday night games could air on the over-the-air network, but TVA president Pierre Dion said they haven’t decided whether to use it yet. There are good arguments for and against airing Saturday night and playoff games on the conventional network. Keeping them on TVA Sports would drive subscriptions to the specialty channel. But with the games available in English on CBC and/or City, that effect will be mitigated. There’s also a huge promotional value for TVA Sports by putting big games on TVA. The decision will also depend on how many games TVA will get the rights for.
  • What happens to hockey on CBC after four years. This deal includes a strange agreement with CBC that sees the games continue to air on the public broadcaster and carry the Hockey Night in Canada branding, but under the control of Rogers, not the CBC. This means the CBC doesn’t have to worry for now about filling Saturday nights on their schedule. But otherwise there’s no real advantage here. And because Rogers has its own over-the-air television network, it doesn’t really need CBC, except to reach areas of the country where City doesn’t have local stations. But Rogers says the plan is not to phase out the CBC, and the deal will probably be renewed unless there’s a dramatic shift in the way people watch television.
  • What on-air talent will look like. We have almost a year before this deal comes into effect. That leaves plenty of time for TVA Sports to poach more personalities from RDS, and similarly for Rogers to grab people from CBC and TSN. (Apparently there will be discussions with Don Cherry, and others have already expressed interest.) Who does play-by-play is up in the air. UPDATE (Jan. 13): After losing Michel Bergeron and Félix Séguin to TVA, RDS says it has multi-year deals with its on-air personalities.
  • The future of shows like 24CH: These aren’t broadcast rights deals, but they are deals between broadcasters and hockey teams, so you can imagine that there will be more such deals with TVA and fewer with RDS. The next season of a 24CH-like show could be airing on Quebecor-owned channels.
  • How plans for the Nordiques are affected. Quebecor has made no secret of its desire to bring the National Hockey League back to Quebec City. TVA’s Pierre Dion wouldn’t make any comments about the Nordiques today. But while this deal is great news for TVA, and national rights to a theoretical Quebec City franchise would likely be included in the TVA deal, this is probably bad news for the Nordiques for two reasons. First, it means that TVA no longer needs another NHL team to drive subscriptions to its sports channel. And second, revenue sharing on this national deal means that every NHL team becomes several million dollars a year richer. Even with an inevitable salary cap hike, this will mean less pressure for struggling teams to sell to new owners who would relocate them.
  • What happens to rights for other sports. This deal will mean a huge shift in programming, which will undoubtedly have consequences. TVA and Sportsnet will have less money for other sports like UFC, MLS, NBA and baseball. And TSN/RDS will be desperate to add high-value content to replace lost hockey games. We could see some of these rights go back to Bell. A first step has already been taken with Bell winning rights to 4pm NFL games from Rogers.
  • How many jobs are lost or gained. CBC has said there will be job losses as a result of this deal. (This story explores the consequences for the CBC in more depth.) For the rest, we don’t know yet.
  • How much more consumers will have to pay for Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Neither Rogers nor Quebecor can simply absorb the extra costs in this deal. Ad revenue will surely go up, and they’ll be creative about platforms, but expect both companies to take a harder line during negotiations with distributors. TVA Sports gets about $5 a year on average from each of its 1.6 million subscribers, compared to RDS, which gets $30 a year on average from 3.5 million subscribers (for both RDS and RDS2). Sportsnet gets $17 a year per subscriber (for the regional channels, which doesn’t include Sportsnet One, Sportsnet World or Sportsnet 360), plus about $10 a year from its 6 million Sportsnet One subscribers. TSN (which includes TSN2) gets $26 a year from its 9.2 million subscribers. Expect the gap to narrow significantly as deals come up for renewal.
  • Who will be carrying TVA Sports by next fall. The big players in Quebec all have the channel: Bell Fibe, Shaw Direct, Videotron and Cogeco, plus Telus and Rogers. But major players like Shaw cable, MTS, SaskTel and Eastlink still don’t have it. Francophone Canadiens fans outside Quebec will have more trouble, as will anyone with analog cable.
  • How much money (if any) Rogers and TVA Sports will make on this deal. That, of course, is the biggest question, and the one nobody can answer. Analysts take a lukewarm look at this deal, neither loving it so much (because of its high cost) nor hating it so much (because of all the benefits it brings). All we can say for sure is that this is a big gamble, and both broadcasters will need to be very creative to make it work financially.

A petition has already started to ask — well, it doesn’t say who it’s asking, but presumably the NHL — to reverse its decision and put Canadiens games back on RDS. This obviously won’t go anywhere. The NHL isn’t going to walk away from a $5.2-billion deal.

What’s funny about this is that the reaction to RDS losing the Canadiens is similar to the reaction when it won Canadiens rights in the first place. Before the 2002-03 season, Saturday night games aired on Radio-Canada. When RDS picked up the rights to the entire Canadiens package, there was nationwide outrage. Heritage Minister Sheila Copps even went to the point of demanding Radio-Canada explain itself in front of a hearing. The summer 2002 controversy led to a deal between Radio-Canada and RDS to air Saturday games on RadCan, but eventually all 82 regular-season Canadiens games became exclusive to RDS.

29 thoughts on “The Rogers/TVA/NHL deal: What we know, and what we don’t

  1. Josh

    And the Hockey Night in Canada brand will continue. But that’s about it. Those programs will be run by Rogers, not CBC. Rogers will pay all the expenses, but also get all the revenue. (Which makes me wonder why CBC is bothering.) This puts the future of personalities like Ron MacLean and Don Cherry up in the air. It will also mean a huge loss of income to the CBC, which means cuts will have to be made elsewhere.

    I think you answer your own question. Without hockey, CBC would immediately have to fill 7 hours on Saturday nights and countless evenings in the spring (playoffs) with new programming. And they’d have to do that at the same time as they’re losing their biggest money-maker. They’d have to find some kinda magic bullet by October, basically. This way, they have a cushion of several years to figure it out.

    Reply
  2. Dilbert

    Reasonably good story, but there is at least one wrong assumption here:

    “This deal will mean a huge shift in programming, which will undoubtedly have consequences. TVA and Sportsnet will have less money for other sports like UFC, MLS, NBA and baseball. And TSN/RDS will be desperate to add high-value content to replace lost hockey games. We could see some of these rights go back to Bell.”

    If those sports products were break even, it is likely they would want to continue with them. Business wise, they are each a case unto themselves. Money isn’t the big issue, it’s on the air time. Adding the TVA2 matrix channel would address most of that, as they would literally double their available airtime.

    You are correct however that TSN/RDS may have to bid more to try to lure away other sports. However, you have to figure that their budget situation (without extra Bell money) would be almost certainly impacted by losing hockey. However, there may never be any huge impact on the number of subscribers, as TSN and RDS tend to be included in most basic sports packages by default at this point – and Daddy BELL has a big impact on that situation with Fibe and sat TV.

    I am sure some programming will move, but anything that was profitable for Rogers before will likely continue with them unless Bell is throwing money around like drunken sailors.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Money isn’t the big issue, it’s on the air time.

      Well, it’s both. And my point is that Rogers has a lot less of that to worry about, and TSN has a lot more. Which is why I suspect some (but not all) sports rights being grabbed by TSN and RDS.

      However, there may never be any huge impact on the number of subscribers, as TSN and RDS tend to be included in most basic sports packages by default at this point

      That will probably change, as cable companies move toward custom packages. The flip side to that is that the cost of sports channels is going to go up a lot.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Any chance the CRTC will get involved seeing this TV deal is in fact a monopoly of sorts?

      It’s no less of a monopoly than it was before. And if competition is a consideration, it would be the Competition Bureau, not the CRTC, that would intervene.

      Reply
  3. Johnny

    TVA will do whatever it takes to keep the 60 regional games off RDS. So I would bet the farm on TVA getting all the Habs games. Can’t imagine what RDS would do to fill the massive gap in their schedule.

    Already reeling from a 100 million dollar cut from their budget the next three years, this is the beginning of a fairly quick massive reorganization for the CBC. They have nothing else that actually makes any money.

    Personally I look forward to some of the smarmy goofs on CBC news being shown the door.

    “New NHL TV deal will have minimal effect on Habs fans”. That’s the funniest Gazette headline in a while.

    Do editors even look at this stuff anymore being being published?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      TVA will do whatever it takes to keep the 60 regional games off RDS.

      I’m not sure what “whatever it takes” includes here. This will be a question of money. And both parties will put up a lot of it.

      Personally I look forward to some of the smarmy goofs on CBC news being shown the door.

      I don’t.

      Reply
  4. Chris

    I wonder what will happen with TSN2/RDS2. They will have trouble filling airtime for 2 networks (especially on the French side)

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I wonder what will happen with TSN2/RDS2. They will have trouble filling airtime for 2 networks (especially on the French side)

      No they won’t. They’ll still have CFL, NFL, tennis, golf, MLS, Formula One, NBA, baseball, winter sports, curling, the World Juniors, poker, darts, and lots of sports talk. It won’t be as good as hockey, but there will still be plenty of content.

      Reply
  5. Media Man

    Well, let’s see how do I weigh in to this one…knowing that I wasn’t a fan of the Bell-Astral merger, I don’t feel at all sorry for Bell. But I feel sorry for those that can’t afford Cable or Satellite, after 4 years could lose over-the-air from CBC…

    Which games will CBC’s HNIC carry? Will it still be like now, the Habs in the east,Leafs in Ontario,etc,etc..or would we get stuck with some crappy game? so lots of questions to be answered. These are some of the first that come to mind.

    On a side note, noticing that COEGECO keeps the French radio rights intil 2018, the big loser here is TTP’s 850 radio all-sports French network, but their slowness and their questionable underlying financial situation that’s been alluded to isn’t helping credibility.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I feel sorry for those that can’t afford Cable or Satellite, after 4 years could lose over-the-air from CBC…

      Francophones lost over-the-air games years ago, but hockey is still popular among francophones. And we don’t really know what will happen in four years. Rogers could decide to put what CBC has now on City TV, which would still be free-to-air.

      On a side note, noticing that COEGECO keeps the French radio rights intil 2018, the big loser here is TTP’s 850 radio all-sports French network, but their slowness and their questionable underlying financial situation that’s been alluded to isn’t helping credibility.

      The group didn’t seem that convinced that acquiring broadcast rights was the key to success with sports radio. I don’t know if that’s true, but I don’t think this Cogeco deal will change their plans much.

      Reply
    2. Dilbert

      “I don’t feel at all sorry for Bell. But I feel sorry for those that can’t afford Cable or Satellite, after 4 years could lose over-the-air from CBC…”

      News flash for you: Over the air TV is a dinosaur looking for a place to turn into a fossil. The number of households using OTA to get TV right now is remarkably small, and has only recently increased because of better quality video in the hi-def offered OTA, less compression.

      As much as I am not a fan of Bell, they are right on the money betting on FIBE. High speed internet and IPtv is pretty much the future, along side digital cable. They can see where things are going, you can deliver a near endless number of channels / streams / feeds / PPV items to customers without having to deal with the issues of maintaining a transmission site, or dealing with things like coverage areas and such. There may be a need for OTA to fill out some remote areas, but it seems also a given that even those people will just get switched to dishes – even if it’s so variation of FTA or basic local channels free service.

      As for TTP, they are slow out of the starting blocks, plenty of talk up front and now the proverbial radio silence as they appear to be in the ditch and waiting for a tow. This deal gives them ANOTHER reason to try to delay their debut on the air for a while longer, what do you think?

      Reply
  6. Apple IIGS

    News flash for you: Over the air TV is a dinosaur looking for a place to turn into a fossil. The number of households using OTA to get TV right now is remarkably small, and has only recently increased because of better quality video in the hi-def offered OTA, less compression.

    I see it as the other way around. To me, and most others I know, Cable TV is the dinosaur. So many people are cutting the cord so to speak and dumping their overpriced, crappy quality and poor selection cable TV services. Whether that’s replaced with OTA or online streaming like Netflix or Hulu Plus is one thing, but who in this day and age still wastes time and money on cable TV? Yeah, I know a few people here will chime in and tell me how wonderful some of their cable channel packages are but quite frankly, sitting in front of the TV all day is a thing of the past. I spend more time on the Internet these days than anything else….it’s not like 70′s or 80′s were TV was such a big part of life!

    For what TV I do watch though, I still prefer OTA myself, better quality picture (non-compressed) and it doesn’t cost a dime. Sure cable has a few specialty channels, but nothing I’d care to pay for and can certainly live without. Sad though that hockey won’t be one of those free OTA offerings in 4 years from now…it has been freely broadcast since what, the 1950′s or 60′s? Oh well, I’ll just live without it.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      So many people are cutting the cord so to speak

      We haven’t actually seen evidence of this yet. Maybe it will happen soon, but right now 90% of Canadians are watching TV through a distributor.

      Yeah, I know a few people here will chime in and tell me how wonderful some of their cable channel packages are but quite frankly, sitting in front of the TV all day is a thing of the past.

      I don’t think there was ever a time that people spent “all day” in front of the TV. But TV viewing has remained stable despite all the new technology. The fact that you can live without it doesn’t mean it’s on its way to extinction.

      Reply
  7. Apple IIGS

    We haven’t actually seen evidence of this yet. Maybe it will happen soon, but right now 90% of Canadians are watching TV through a distributor.

    I’m sure most Canadians have no idea OTA even exists, let alone an option. Believe it or not, most service reps at Bell and Videotron have NO what you’re talking about when you explain you’ve switched from their cable TV to OTA with an antenna. And some people I have spoken to think OTA is somehow stealing a signal, like satellite piracy.

    No doubt there’s still that big chunk of the population subscribing to cable TV, but I’m just saying more and more people are now questioning spending $50/month (or more!) on their TV these days. It’s an out dated concept, for the most part still a one way medium with no interaction.

    I don’t think there was ever a time that people spent “all day” in front of the TV. But TV viewing has remained stable despite all the new technology. The fact that you can live without it doesn’t mean it’s on its way to extinction.

    Maye not all day, but I remember as a kid growing up in the late 70′s and 80′s (and even well into the 90′s) TV was a big part of life, and not just for me, but my whole family and friends. Before laptops, tablets, smartphones, portable media gadgets or even the Internet itself, what technology did we have to entertain us?

    Generally it was the TV with a cable hook up. Later if you weren’t watching it live, you’d be taping shows off cable and catching them later. Heh, if the cable went out back in the 80′s, it was a major disaster! Well maybe it’s just me, but “Internet time” has replaced what used to be “TV time”. Or just doing other things in the outside world that don’t involve technology, I just don’t find what’s on these days as compelling to watch as years ago (I’m thinking back to all the good sitcoms from years ago). Or remember as a kid, Saturday Morning cartoons? You were literally glued to the TV between 6 AM until noon in the 70′s and 80′s.

    Well as I said, cable TV (and OTA to be fair) is just a one way medium…..you sit in front of it and just stare. The proverbial idiot box as it was once called. I just don’t find myself watching TV all that much, hence why I cut the cord 10 years ago, I was paying for something I rarely used.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m just saying more and more people are now questioning spending $50/month (or more!) on their TV these days. It’s an out dated concept, for the most part still a one way medium with no interaction.

      I’m perfectly fine with my TV programming not being interactive. I’m not a choose-your-own-adventure type.

      Reply
      1. Apple IIGS

        I’m perfectly fine with my TV programming not being interactive. I’m not a choose-your-own-adventure type.

        I’ll admit, sometimes I feel the same and OK with a sit and stare session. There’s a handful of TV shows I still watch, but instead of watching live (making me schedule my life around the TV!) I just download them and watch them at my leisure, AND commercial free too.

        Not really anything I watch live these days. Local news? The occasional hockey game? (and even then, usually just during the playoffs).

        What programming is on cable that makes it worth paying for? Unless you’re a sports fan and like getting live games, can’t see the appeal.

        Reply
  8. Martin

    Does this mean the end of analog cable for Videotron in fall 2014 since a lot of people can’t watch TVA Sports and need a good reason to make the switch to digital…

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Does this mean the end of analog cable for Videotron in fall 2014

      Unlikely. Most sports fans have already made the move to take advantage of high definition or other digital channels. The move to TVA Sports might prompt some more to move to digital cable, but it won’t be all of them, and I doubt it would even be close to a majority.

      Reply
  9. Apple IIGS

    Hmm, so what percentage of Videotron subscribers are still on analog cable these days? Can’t be that big a number, but whatever it is, I’m sure VIdeotron is eager to cease service to free up bandwidth.

    Another thought. A lot of apartment buildings and hotels tie security/lobby cameras to the analog cable (usually channel 78 or 125). What’s going to happen with that?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Hmm, so what percentage of Videotron subscribers are still on analog cable these days?

      17%.

      whatever it is, I’m sure VIdeotron is eager to cease service to free up bandwidth.

      Yes. But not if that means losing a bunch of the people who were using that service.

      A lot of apartment buildings and hotels tie security/lobby cameras to the analog cable (usually channel 78 or 125). What’s going to happen with that?

      So far, nothing. Those two channels are still kept free for those purposes. They might find some use for them at some point, but it’s just two channels, so I don’t think anyone’s going to tear their hair out over it.

      Reply
  10. Apple IIGS

    Yes. But not if that means losing a bunch of the people who were using that service.

    It’s going to be a headace for Videotron. That means convincing 17% of your customers to purchase a digital receiver and sending out field techs to do the hook up. And in the case of a large number of customers, purchasing a receiver for EACH individual set and paying extra for that (most analog cable subscribers split the signal to multiple TV’s in the house at no extra cost).

    Also convincing people to go digital who prefer the old simpler tech. Lots of fun when “grandma” accidentally hits the wrong button on the STB or TV remote and chaos follows (compared to just channel up/down and volume in the analog world). Or explaining to them their VCR can no longer tape one show while they watch another. Yep, there’s PVR’s for that, but try convincing them to spend on that too.

    So far, nothing. Those two channels are still kept free for those purposes. They might find some use for them at some point, but it’s just two channels, so I don’t think anyone’s going to tear their hair out over it.

    Leaving them is probably OK, but they won’t be mixed in with the digital channels. You’d have to keep the TV set to channel 3/4 for the Illico box, then toggle to 78 or 125 to get the analog security channel (I’m assuming most of these hold outs have ancient TV sets with only RF inputs). Or switching between Video-1 and the NTSC tuner. That’s too confusing for most people.

    It needs to be done, but…. it WILL be interesting to see when it happens, and how it’s handled.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      That means convincing 17% of your customers to purchase a digital receiver and sending out field techs to do the hook up.

      More likely it will mean subsidizing the cost of a digital receiver for 17% of your clients.

      You’d have to keep the TV set to channel 3/4 for the Illico box, then toggle to 78 or 125 to get the analog security channel

      Or just tune your Illico box to channel 950.

      Reply
  11. David Landry

    I was wondering with this deal will rds or TVA sports broadcast canadiens games nationally. I live in alberta and can watch all 82 games on rds. I am worried with this new deal these games will be broadcasted only regionally.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I was wondering with this deal will rds or TVA sports broadcast canadiens games nationally.

      Saturday night games will be on TVA Sports and will be broadcast nationally. (They’ll also likely be on either CBC or City.) For the rest, it’s still up in the air.

      Reply

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