Posted in Canadiens, Media, TV

Rogers offers special deal for rest of Canada to watch RDS Canadiens regional games online

As anger continues to build among Toronto and other western Canadian Habs fans that they will no longer be able to watch all 82 regular-season games on RDS, Rogers announced today a special deal that might alleviate that somewhat.

NHL GameCentre Live, the NHL streaming service that allows viewers to watch out-of-region games, will cost $200 for the season this year ($180 if you subscribe by Oct. 13). That’s a pretty steep price for people who were used to either having RDS as part of their basic package or paying a buck or two a month at most.

But Rogers is offering a separate deal that contains just the RDS regional games — 60 Canadiens games and 54 Ottawa Senators games — for $60 for the season. That might be enough for the hard-core fans to accept. (Note that this is for fans outside the Canadiens and Senators market, which is all of Quebec, all of Atlantic Canada and the part of Ontario that’s east of Belleville and Pembroke.)

No more blackouts*

On top of that, national games and in-region games, which were formally blacked out on GameCentre to protect the rights of national and regional broadcasters, will no longer be blacked out. So people who buy a subscription won’t have to switch between various media and websites.

The trade-off to that is that these will be available on an authenticated basis, meaning you need a TV subscription to Sportsnet (English) or TVA Sports (French) to access these national or in-region games on GameCentre, and you need your TV provider to participate in the Rogers program. The TVA access for national games in French probably won’t be ready until January because of technical issues.

Rogers confirms that the games that are not available in a certain region on TV will not require authentication to watch on GameCentre.

Rogers says there will still be some blackouts for in-region games whose rights are owned by “another company” (i.e. TSN). So Ottawa Senators regional games in eastern Canada and Winnipeg Jets games in Manitoba and Saskatchewan won’t be available on this service, nor will those Toronto Maple Leafs regional games that air on TSN4 be available in most of Ontario. You have to watch those on TSN.

Similarly, regional Habs and Senators games in French won’t be available in eastern Canada because RDS holds the rights to them.

And more

Other deals for NHL GameCentre Live include:

  • Free subscriptions for Rogers Internet and Rogers Wireless (data) subscribers until Dec. 31. Half-season passes will be $130 for those who want to subscribe after that.
  • More than 800 archived games going back to 1960.
  • A new NHL mobile app coming in October to watch the games on smartphones and tablets.
  • Where multiple feeds are available, such as English/French or Canada/U.S., GameCentre Live provides both as options.

Rogers has promised more GameCentre announcements in the coming weeks. There may also be announcements relating to NHL Centre Ice, the TV-based service for watching out-of-market games.

37 thoughts on “Rogers offers special deal for rest of Canada to watch RDS Canadiens regional games online

  1. Buzz Bishop

    I really dont understand the authentication angle. They’re getting $200 from me, AND they get to play me the ads from their clients. More eyeballs, more dollars. Glad the local blackout is being lifted, but the strings don’t need to be there. Old media trying to force an old model on a new frame is just clunky.

    Reply
  2. Chuck Cohen

    Will videotron be involved in the above deal ?
    I have Bell at once house and Videotron at another and want to know if Viseotron is palnning on adding the new TSN Feeds ( all 5 channels ) like Bell has ?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Will videotron be involved in the above deal ?

      Good question. Videotron has been slow to adopt the authenticated subscription systems of Bell and Rogers.

      I have Bell at once house and Videotron at another and want to know if Viseotron is palnning on adding the new TSN Feeds ( all 5 channels ) like Bell has ?

      There’s a lot of pressure on Videotron to add the channels. It says it’s still in discussions with Bell Media.

      Reply
  3. Wexford Habs fan

    What would really be terrific is if there was a $60 deal to watch just the RDS games on Centre Ice. I would buy that in a minute.

    Reply
    1. Christopher van Dyke

      So would I buy a $ 60 French Game Centre for RDS broadcasts.

      They, the NHL, Rogers, RDS, and Bell have heard the displeasure of Habs fans. So very satisfying to me.

      In effect, though, it still is a convoluted dog’s breakfast. These new tweaks will ameliorate things significantly, yet I hope the NHL will ultimately decide their corporate national black-out rule serves no purpose in Canada.

      The NHL’s black-out rule is being challenged in New York State courts. In Canada it definitely prevents Rogers Sportsnet and TVA from being more creative developing value-added team dedicated cable products that fans want and are demanding.

      Hopefully next season or the near future, a Habs’ fan, a Canucks’ fan, a Maple Leafs’ fan, etc., will be able to straight-forward subscribe to a Canucks’ Channel, a Leafs’ Channel or a Habs Channel to follow the team they are addicted, er I mean are a follower of, without having to persevere any other of this cable malarkey.

      Reply
  4. AL

    Now the gouging begins by Rogers.
    When CBC HNIC is done in 4 years, don’t be surprised if it will only be pay-per-view to watch a game, no matter when, where or who.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      When CBC HNIC is done in 4 years, don’t be surprised if it will only be pay-per-view to watch a game, no matter when, where or who.

      Everything it has done so far suggests the opposite. For one thing, it’s devoting City TV on both Saturday and Sunday nights to airing hockey games free over the air. If its ultimate goal was to gouge people, it wouldn’t be doing that. And for that matter, no one forced it to create this deal with CBC.

      It’s in Rogers’s interests to make at least some games as accessible as possible. The more restrictive and expensive it is, the fewer fans it has, and the less interest it generates. And when it comes to NHL hockey, the advertising revenue is far more important than the subscription revenue.

      Now, of course, for those fans who are so rabid that they can’t possibly live on only one or two games a week of their favourite team, it makes sense to get more money out of them. But that’s going to be done by increasing the subscription fees for Sportsnet, which like TSN are going up anyway because of the increased cost of licensing live sports.

      Reply
  5. John Haley

    Finally someone came to their senses. It may cost a bit more but at least we can see them. Looking forward to trying out Game Centre Live. I spoke with a rep from rogers tonight and he told me that all you need is an internet connection and something to watch the game on. He said you do not require the permission from your provider to participate in the Rogers program. Rogers will charge another 59.99 for those habs regional games through GameCentre Live.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Don’t put too much stock into what customer service representatives of cable companies tell you. This was just announced today, and many of them may be relying on last year’s rules.

      I’m still waiting for details from Rogers, but you will at least need a Sportsnet subscription to stream games that are available to you on TV.

      Also, Rogers might make similar announcements about NHL Centre Ice, which might be more appealing to some fans than GameCentre Live.

      Reply
  6. mario

    So for my friends out west, if they want to catch a habs game, for $60 they can subscribe to NHL GameCentre Live.
    But do they have to be Sportsnet or TVA Sports subscriber too?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      So for my friends out west, if they want to catch a habs game, for $60 they can subscribe to NHL GameCentre Live. But do they have to be Sportsnet or TVA Sports subscriber too?

      The only way they will be able to watch all the nationally televised Habs games is if they’re subscribed to Sportsnet.

      Reply
  7. mario

    But I was referring to the Habs regional games. $60 gives them Habs regional feed on GameCentre with no obligation for an authenticated subscription with Sportsnet?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      $60 gives them Habs regional feed on GameCentre with no obligation for an authenticated subscription with Sportsnet?

      Yes. It gets the 60 regional games in French for those who will have RDS blacked out where they live.

      Reply
  8. Tony

    I have been tracking this situation all summer long I think this is relief.
    I’m a Bell Fibe customer in Toronto.
    Does this mean as a Bell customer I can also buy the Game Centre french package for $60 ??
    $1 a game well worth it.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Does this mean as a Bell customer I can also buy the Game Centre french package for $60 ?

      If all you’re interested in is the 60 Habs games you can’t otherwise get on TV, it doesn’t matter who your TV provider is.

      Reply
      1. Tony

        I don’t understand ??
        The article seem to indicate that you can buy a french centre ice package for $60. getting 60 hab games and 54 ottawa games. I only watch games on TV(Bell Fibe)

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          The article seem to indicate that you can buy a french centre ice package for $60. getting 60 hab games and 54 ottawa games.

          This is correct. But this is for online and mobile streaming only. Getting these games on TV is a separate matter, and we’ll see how that works in the coming weeks.

          Reply
  9. Stjrandy

    Is Lorne correct in saying that NHL Centre Ice offers RDS for $60 a season?? My issue is I really am not interested in not using my TV’s to watch games. I prefer a big screen to a tablet.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Is Lorne correct in saying that NHL Centre Ice offers RDS for $60 a season?

      Not unless he has insider information. Rogers hasn’t made announcements about Centre Ice yet.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      This announcement is about NHL GameCentre Live, not NHL Centre Ice. These are two different, though similar, systems. The former is an online streaming service, while the latter is a pay TV service.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Is GameCentre Live available through NHL.COM and on my TV for $60?

      It is available online. But it won’t be on your TV unless your TV connects to the Internet and runs the appropriate app. If you want to watch these games on TV, you’re more likely to be interested in NHL Centre Ice. Details about that haven’t been announced yet.

      Reply
      1. UziMTL

        Ohh man. Soo…with Bell Fibe, they have an app section where you can download and access apps through them. Do you think GCL will be one of those apps? If not, do I need a smart TV? These guys are complicating things a bit too much lol

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Soo…with Bell Fibe, they have an app section where you can download and access apps through them. Do you think GCL will be one of those apps?

          Maybe. If you can use your TV as a web browser, you could probably do it that way. But NHL Centre Ice might be an easier option. More details will come in the coming weeks.

          Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Will the French 60$ center ice package be avail on bell fibe?

      There is no “French $60 Centre Ice package”. It looks like some version of French-only Centre Ice will be made available. But no details have been announced yet. It’ll be up to the providers to set prices.

      Reply
  10. Rick

    Just today i noticed on bell fibe, the channels are now up for Center Ice…6 payments of 36$..
    I’m anxiously waiting to see if they add that “french only” center ice..
    I hope it’s not a Rogers exclusive offer only as most of Canada doesn’t even have Rogers TV or are able to get Rogers tv as Rogers cable isn’t available to anyone west of ON.

    Reply

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