Breaking down the Canadiens 2015-16 TV broadcast schedule

Last week, Sportsnet unveiled its schedule for Canadiens TV broadcasts for the 2015-16 season.

The good news is that there’s little change from last year. All 82 games will be broadcast in English, and 40 of those games are national.

The bad news is that there’s little change from last year. The other 42 games are still regional, inaccessible to those west of Belleville, Ont., unless they fork over big money for NHL Centre Ice.

Actually it’s somewhere between 40 and 42 games, because some of those regional games involve other Canadian teams (which means they’ll be available in those regions): Both games against the Vancouver Canucks are regional, one of two games against the Calgary Flames, and one of four games against the Ottawa Senators. Both games against Edmonton, both games against Winnipeg, and of course all four games against Toronto are national.

Regional games for the most part are on Sportsnet East, but like last year, they’re using City Montreal as a backup when Sportsnet carries baseball or NFL football in the fall. A total of 11 games are planned for City Montreal, the last one on Dec .17.

For national games, a similar situation to last year, with 10 Wednesday night games on Sportsnet and 20 Saturday night games to be decided on a week-to-week basis. (Expect Leafs games on CBC and Canadiens games on City again.) There are also two Thursday night games in October on Sportsnet 360. No games are scheduled for Sportsnet One.

Rogers Hometown Hockey continues this season, but moves to Sportsnet from City now that Rogers has decided to go back to imported dramas and comedies on Sunday nights. The six Sunday night games are all national.

Broken down by time, 39 games start at 7pm Eastern, 30 at 7:30pm, three at 8pm, three at 9pm, two at 10pm and two at 10:30pm. The only afternoon games are the Winter Classic at 1pm and the two Super Bowl matinees at 2 and 2:30.

TVA/RDS share unchanged

On the French side, it’s still 22 national games plus all playoff games for TVA Sports and 60 regional games plus all preseason games for RDS.

Like last year, the national games in French include all Saturday night games plus the season opener. But because the Canadiens are playing in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, that gets added to the national roster in both languages. This means TVA Sports will have 20 Saturday night games instead of 21. (There’s a Saturday afternoon game, which is national in English as part of Hockey Day in Canada, but remains regional in French.)

TVA Sports put out its NHL schedule in June. It’s posted here.

No announcements have been made for changes to NHL Centre Ice or NHL GameCentre Live.

 

17 thoughts on “Breaking down the Canadiens 2015-16 TV broadcast schedule

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Can you do the Sens sked. too?

      Sens are less complicated:
      19 Saturday games on Hockey Night in Canada, of which two are late games and one is an afternoon game
      6 Wednesday night games on Sportsnet nationally
      3 Sunday night games on Sportsnet nationally
      54 regional games on TSN5

      On the French side, there are 22 games nationally on TVA Sports or TVA Sports 2, and the rest are on RDS, RDS2 or RDS Info.

      There are two games that are regional in English but national in French, and one game (the season finale afternoon game) that’s regional in French but national in English.

      Reply
  1. ClearChannel

    Sportsnet, TSN5, TVA Sports, TVA Sports 2, RDS, RDS 2 and RDS Info are all Pay TV feeds, how many games will be broadcasted over-the-air ? You haven’t seen a hockey game until you’ve watched it by antenna. I’m assuming the free over-the-air (OTA) games are in English only because that’s the way it’s been for several years. I haven’t seen a French OTA hockey game in a long time. For those of us not on any form of Pay TV, it’s good to know the schedule so we can enjoy the games too.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      how many games will be broadcasted over-the-air ?

      Most Saturday night games will be on either CBC or City nationwide. The Winter Classic will likely be on CBC as well, along with playoff games. Plus the regional games on City Montreal.

      I’m assuming the free over-the-air (OTA) games are in English only because that’s the way it’s been for several years.

      That is correct. National French-language rights are held by TVA, which uses them to sell its TVA Sports channel, and regional rights are held by RDS.

      Reply
  2. A1

    Don’t forget, we should also expect to get games from NBC via their affiliate WPTZ. Over the air and on Cable. Though most if not all games will not involve the Canadiens.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      A grand total of one Canadiens regular-season game — the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 — will be on NBC. Another five will be on NBC Sports Network.

      Reply
  3. Steve

    The bad news is that there’s little change from last year. The other 42 games are still regional, inaccessible to those west of Belleville, Ont., unless they fork over big money for NHL Centre Ice.

    Typical Habs elite wanting every game shown across the country, while every other team sticks to their regional blackout areas.

    Reply
  4. Mario

    Last year for the English regional games on Sportsnet, Habs fans were fortunate to have John Bartlett doing play by play, but Habs fans were stuck with the woeful Jason York doing colour commentary. Have the Habs regional broadcast team for 2015-16 been confirmed?

    Reply
  5. Peter Burtnick

    I’m curious if there will be any option for Habs fans to watch all 82 games in French if they live west of Quebec (in my example it’d need to be for BC/Alta fans)?

    Perhaps a Center Ice French companion pack or something? You’d think they could get those RDS feeds on Center Ice, it seems bizarre that they can only get 22 games in french (the nationally televised ones on TVA) and be stuck in English for the remaining 60 with no recourse except crappy streams online.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m curious if there will be any option for Habs fans to watch all 82 games in French if they live west of Quebec (in my example it’d need to be for BC/Alta fans)?

      NHL GameCentre Live offers a French-only pack that gets the 60 RDS regional games online. You’d need to combine that with a TV subscription to TVA Sports to get all 82 Canadiens games in French (and most Senators games as well).

      I’m waiting to hear back from Rogers if a similar offer is available for NHL Centre Ice on TV, but even if it is, it would require participation from your TV provider. Otherwise you can pay the $200 to get NHL Centre Ice for the season, and combined with Sportsnet West/360/One, FX Canada and TVA Sports subscriptions you’d have all NHL games broadcast in Canada in either language.

      Reply
      1. Adrian

        I did live chat with Rogers today for clarification. Their site has no reference on the CI (French) option – only the GCL french option.

        Apparently one can order either the GCL (French) or CI (French) for $60. My understanding is that it will be similar to last year (see VP Rogers Response from Oct. 2014):

        “The NHL French Package
        It’s available approx. West of Belleville, ON – and is meant to give people in that area access to the games that RDS used to broadcast nationally, but now only broadcast within the Habs & Sens broadcast territory (this represents 111 games – 60 Habs, 54 Sens – they play each other in 3 of these, hence 111)
        It’s $59.99 for the full regular season (doesn’t include Playoffs)
        It’s available as a TV product (like NHL Centre Ice) – you can call anytime to have it added to your TV subscription as it’s available now…it’s also been made available to other TV providers across the country…I’m not 100% sure if all have decided to carry it yet or not, best to call and ask
        It’s ALSO available as an Internet product (like Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE) – however at the start of the season, it won’t yet be available for purchase, so we’re allowing people to access the games for FREE until it is. You’ll access the games the same way you would any other game in Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE – by downloading the NHL app or going to NHL.com, clicking on the game you want to watch and choosing the French feed. During the FREE period, these particular games will not require you to login to watch
        A couple other notes –
        The above mentioned games are ALSO included in the FULL Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE and NHL Centre Ice products, so no need to buy both if you’re already getting the full product…also RGCL does include Playoffs, NHL All-Star Game, all out-of-market games, all Nationally televised games, and most in-market games (depending on where you live, all 1230 regular season games may be available within RGCL)
        You don’t need to be a Rogers customer to buy any of these (notwithstanding that other TV providers can choose not to carry the Centre Ice products) – you don’t buy RGCL or the Internet version of the NHL French Package through your TV provider – rather visit http://www.rogers.com/NHL to get RGCL now (you’ll notice that if you’re a Rogers Internet or Rogers Wireless Data customer, you’ll get RGCL for FREE until Dec 31, but anyone else can still buy it)
        It’s alot to digest, but hopefully that helps.

        ——————————————————
        Scott MacMillan
        VP, NHL Integration, Rogers”

        Reply
  6. Tonie pouchet

    Based on what I read on this website I ordered Sportsnet to be added to our VIDEOTRON cable channels so my husband could watch all Canadiens games but October 11 I was at a relative s house where there was a Montreal game on RDS that was not on Sportsnet that evening. I believe they were airing baseball. Does this mean that we will miss some games with Sportsnet?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Based on what I read on this website I ordered Sportsnet to be added to our VIDEOTRON cable channels so my husband could watch all Canadiens games

      Last night’s Canadiens game was moved to Sportsnet One because of the baseball game. To get all Canadiens games in English, you need CBC, City, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360.

      Reply

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