With rumours spreading that there would, in fact, be a broadcaster picking up the regional rights to Canadiens games in English, Rogers finally announced today that it has not only picked up the rights to all regional Canadiens games, but that it has increased the number of Habs games being carried nationally, from 32 to 40.
The agreement is a three-year deal. It does not appear to include any preseason games. A play-by-play team has not yet been announced.
39 of the 42 regional games will air on Sportsnet East, which no longer has to worry about regional Senators games because those have moved to TSN. The other three (a Monday game and two Thursday games) will air on City Montreal.
Newly national games are:
- Thursday, Oct. 9 (7pm @ Capitals) on Sportsnet 360
- Thursday, Oct. 16 (7:30pm vs. Bruins) on Sportsnet 360
- Monday, Oct. 27 (9:30pm @ Oilers) on Sportsnet One
- Thursday, Oct. 30 (10pm @ Canucks) on Sportsnet 360
- Saturday, Jan. 31 (1pm vs. Capitals) on Sportsnet
- Wednesday, March 4 (10pm @ Ducks) on Sportsnet
- Friday, April 3 (7pm @ Devils) on Sportsnet
- Sunday, April 5 (5pm @ Panthers) on Sportsnet
This means that the Canadiens’ 82-game season breaks down as follows:
- 39 regional games on Sportsnet East
- 3 regional games on City Montreal
- 10 national games (mainly Wednesdays) on Sportsnet East/Ontario/West/Pacific
- 8 national games (first four Saturdays, most Sundays) on City
- 4 national games on Sportsnet 360 (all Thursdays)
- 1 national game on Sportsnet One (Monday Oct. 27)
- 17 national games on Hockey Night in Canada, channels TBA
Because TSN has the Ottawa Senators regional games, and the two team’s regions are identical, two regional games between the two teams (Jan. 15 and March 12) will be on both TSN and Sportsnet, giving viewers a choice of which network to watch.
The deal does not affect radio rights, which are still held by TSN Radio 690.
I’ve updated my post on who’s carrying what games to include this deal as well as additional national games for the Flames and Oilers.