With just three days to go until the first preseason game, TSN has finally announced broadcasting details for the Canadiens this season, the first after re-acquiring regional rights from Sportsnet.
TSN will air five of the eight preseason games, and all 50 regular-season games it has rights to, on TSN2*, which solves the issue of possible scheduling conflicts on TSN5, which is the main channel in the shared region of the Senators and Canadiens.
The remaining 32 regular-season games, including all Saturday night games, are national games that will air on Sportsnet-controlled channels.
TSN2 is a good solution to scheduling, offering a consistent channel without having to expand to a sixth feed. It does mean that anyone in eastern Canada who only has one TSN channel won’t see the games, though the number of people in that situation is pretty small these days. And it means TSN2 will be blacked out in the rest of Canada for 56 three-hour periods of the season, mainly in primetime on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but that’s not the end of the world. TSN has four other channels and the Jets, Leafs and Senators won’t all be playing at the same time very often.
*Two of those preseason games are against the Senators, and will air on TSN5 instead for both markets.
Bartlett is back
After spending weeks, even months, choosing not to comment about his future, even after stripping Sportsnet from his Twitter profile, John Bartlett can finally announce he will continue to be the voice of the Canadiens on television. Bartlett, who used to be the voice of the Habs on TSN 690 until he was hired by Sportsnet, goes back to TSN to call its regional games this season.
Assisting Bartlett are three analysts:
- Dave Poulin, former NHL player for the Flyers, Bruins and Capitals, and former VP of Hockey Operations for the Maple Leafs
- Mike Johnson, a one-season Canadiens player and analyst who was one of the cuts at Sportsnet last year
- Craig Button, a Montrealer and veteran TSN and NHL Network hockey analyst
The broadcasts will be hosted by Tessa Bonhomme, star women’s hockey player and TSN broadcaster, and Glenn Schiiler, host of TSN’s That’s Hockey 2night.
Also announced today are the regional schedules for TSN’s other teams. TSN will broadcast:
- Six preseason and 60 regular-season Jets games on TSN3
- Five preseason and 26 regular-season Leafs games on TSN4 (Leafs regional rights are split with Sportsnet, and Sportsnet gets to upgrade 10 of them to national, giving it 40 national games and 16 regional ones on Sportsnet Ontario.)
- Four preseason and 55 regular-season Senators games on TSN5