35 responses

  1. Josh
    November 26, 2013

    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.

  2. Dilbert
    November 26, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      November 26, 2013

      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.

  3. Bill
    November 26, 2013

    They paid through the nose……..every Rogers service price just went up, up, and away.

  4. Mario
    November 26, 2013

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

    • Fagstein
      November 26, 2013

      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.

  5. Johnny
    November 26, 2013

    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?

    • Fagstein
      November 27, 2013

      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.

  6. Chris
    November 27, 2013

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

    • Fagstein
      November 27, 2013

      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.

  7. Media Man
    November 27, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      November 27, 2013

      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.

    • Dilbert
      November 27, 2013

      “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?

  8. nickp91
    November 27, 2013

    How does City TV go from shows like the bachelor and bachelor pad to the NHL?

    • Fagstein
      November 27, 2013

      How does City TV go from shows like the bachelor and bachelor pad to the NHL?

      It can’t do both?

  9. George B
    November 27, 2013

    If this means the return of Mini-Putt to RDS then I’d say it’s a win-win.

    BIRRRDDDAAAAAYYYYYYYEEE!!!!!

  10. Apple IIGS
    November 29, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      November 29, 2013

      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.

  11. Apple IIGS
    November 29, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      November 29, 2013

      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.

      • Apple IIGS
        November 29, 2013

        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.

  12. Martin
    November 30, 2013

    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…

    • Fagstein
      November 30, 2013

      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.

  13. Apple IIGS
    December 1, 2013

    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?

    • Fagstein
      December 2, 2013

      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.

  14. Apple IIGS
    December 2, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      December 2, 2013

      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.

  15. David Landry
    December 3, 2013

    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.

    • Fagstein
      December 4, 2013

      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.

  16. Mathieu
    May 6, 2014

    Regarding games being shown on the TVA network, what exactly is meant by “the games will be on free TV in English”?

    The company plans to use Canadiens games to push subscriptions to TVA Sports, trying to put it above 2 million (even though the games will be on free TV in English).

    Besides CityTV showing games on Saturday nights, will a Rodgers owned channel show the games during the week?

    • Fagstein
      May 6, 2014

      Regarding games being shown on the TVA network, what exactly is meant by “the games will be on free TV in English”?

      Saturday night Habs games will air on either CBC television or City TV, which can be received over the air in Montreal or anywhere with a cable or satellite subscription.

      Besides CityTV showing games on Saturday nights, will a Rodgers owned channel show the games during the week?

      Canadiens regional games, which are most of the games that air on weeknights, will air on RDS in French. In English, their status is still unclear.

  17. Mario
    May 6, 2014

    The NHL Network, currently co-owned and operated by Bell Media. What will happen to that channel?

    • Fagstein
      May 7, 2014

      The NHL Network, currently co-owned and operated by Bell Media. What will happen to that channel?

      There’s no reason to believe there will be any change at NHL Network.

  18. Christopher van Dyke
    July 24, 2014

    Steve, I am a Habs fan living in British Columbia. Like many west of Belleville Ontario who are fans of the Montreal Canadiens, I am steaming about the reduction of access to a complete game schedule and the increased costs. Personally I can afford, if necessary, to pay for Centre Ice, but many across Canada are not. And those in time will be fans lost to the Montreal Canadiens I believe. I don’t see how Mr. Molson can see this as a good thing either.

    If you are yet aware, I started a petition ( http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-habs-blackout-rds ) protesting the black-out of RDS west of Quebec, and have been advocating Rogers to negotiate with Bell and TVA to realize a cable Habs Channel product option coast to coast. We have received almost 2000 signatures half way through summer, and expect it to explode once more affected Habs fans realize what will be in store come October.

    A couple questions Steve. I hear Rogers have heard the disquiet and are discussing options. Are you hearing the same ?

    Second, I have received negativism, not surprisingly from ‘the realists’, that Rogers paid their dime and Rogers will do what they will do. My philosophy is when a business is offering what you do not want, you let the business know in no uncertain terms what the customer demands. Is there more the print media can do to create buzz on the controversy ?

    Third and finally, am I wrong to propose that this can be a linguistic, cultural, political issue of interest to the CRTC and Heritage Canada ?

    • Fagstein
      July 24, 2014

      I hear Rogers have heard the disquiet and are discussing options. Are you hearing the same ?

      I’ve heard nothing concrete, but a company like Rogers that just spend $5 billion on TV rights is going to be in constant discussion on how to use them.

      I have received negativism, not surprisingly from ‘the realists’, that Rogers paid their dime and Rogers will do what they will do.

      It’s not Rogers that decided that regional NHL games would be blacked out outside of their regions. Rogers would love nothing more than to air Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers games all nationally, but the NHL’s rules require blackouts outside their home regions for regional games.

      Is there more the print media can do to create buzz on the controversy ?

      I don’t think it’s the print media’s job to “create buzz” to push a particular goal, merely to report what’s going on.

      am I wrong to propose that this can be a linguistic, cultural, political issue of interest to the CRTC and Heritage Canada ?

      I assume you mean the department of Canadian Heritage (Heritage Canada is a charity). But there’s nothing new here. NHL games have been regional forever. The only difference involves French-language rights for Canadiens games. And it’s not the government’s business to meddle in TV broadcast rights deals for professional sports leagues.

      Canadians love NHL hockey, but there is no constitutional right to free access to NHL games.

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