UPDATE: For complete details by team, including regional games, click here.
The National Hockey League has released its full schedule for 2014-15, and a the same time Rogers Media has announced its national broadcast schedule for the same year.
For Canadiens fans, the schedule for that team is posted here, and as we expected, generally the games will be carried nationally if they play on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday nights, and regionally otherwise. Rogers will carry a total of 32 Canadiens games nationally — 21 on Saturdays, five on Sundays, five on Wednesdays and one on Thursday.
The exceptions to the general Wed-Sat-Sun rule are the following:
- A Wednesday night game against the Ducks in Anaheim at 10pm on March 4 is not on Rogers’s schedule.
- The Saturday matinee game on Super Bowl weekend (Jan. 31, against the Capitals) will be regional, however the Sunday afternoon game the next day (Feb. 1, vs. the Coyotes) is national, and will air on City.
- A game on Sunday, April 5 at the Panthers at 5pm isn’t on Rogers’s schedule
- Rogers will broadcast the Thursday, Nov. 13 game between the Canadiens and Bruins at the Bell Centre (it’s listed as being on Sportsnet, but Rogers hasn’t definitively decided which channel it will go on yet).
Also as a general rule:
- Wednesday night games will be on Sportsnet, except where there are conflicts (none of them affect the Canadiens)
- Sunday night games will be on City (the exception is Feb. 8, when City is carrying the Grammys), and
- Saturday night games will be on as many as nine different channels — CBC, City, Sportsnet East/Ontario/West/Pacific, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada. Generally, Rogers has booked five early games on Saturday nights and two late games.
The Canadiens will also be playing seven preseason games (eight if you include a red-vs-white intrasquad game at the Bell Centre). Those games are regional, so will air on RDS but not on Rogers channels unless Rogers picks up those rights in the coming months.
Rogers also has the rights to all playoff games regardless of team, plus special programs like the Winter Classic, NHL draft (starting next year) and NHL All-Star Game.
For other teams in the regular season, Rogers will broadcast:
- All 82 Vancouver Canucks games (at least 25 nationally)
- All 82 Edmonton Oilers games (at least 22 nationally)
- All 82 Calgary Flames games (at least 22 nationally)
- 22 Winnipeg Jets games (all nationally)
- 56 Toronto Maple Leafs games (at least 40 nationally)
- 29 Ottawa Senators games (all nationally)*
*Sportsnet said it would be 28 games in its NHL schedule preview on Sunday night, but a 29th was added at the last minute, Rogers tells me. All 29 games are now listed on the Senators’ schedule online.
Despite Rogers’s “no blackouts” promise, there will be blackouts for many regional games. Sportsnet president Scott Moore says “We have the ability to take a limited number of our regional games national.” But the other regional games, whether they air on Rogers or non-Rogers channels, will be blacked out in the rest of the country.
For most of the schedule, Saturday night games are listed as being on “Hockey Night in Canada”, because Rogers hasn’t decided which channel each game will be on. But looking at what has already been decided for October, it’s clear that Rogers gives the Toronto Maple Leafs the priority. CBC will be carrying the Leafs whenever they’re playing on Saturday night, leaving City for the Canadiens, Senators or Jets. The October schedule shows the Canadiens on City on Oct. 11 and Oct. 25, with the Senators on Sportsnet channels, but on Oct. 18, Ottawa gets to be shown on City and the Canadiens drop to Sportsnet.
Unlike CBC, which split the main network regionally on Saturday nights so everyone could see their home team, under Rogers that won’t be happening anymore. If splits are necessary, such as on the first Saturday, it will be the Sportsnet channels that break up geographically.
So on one hand, there will be twice as many games available on free over-the-air television for Canada’s major cities, but on the other hand some regions won’t have their home team on free TV, such as the Senators on Oct. 11 or the Canadiens on Oct. 18.
What about the other 50 games?
Having 32 games airing nationally in English means there are 50 games that will not be. It’s not clear at this point what happens to those games in English. TSN had a deal to air some Canadiens regional games last season, but no announcement has been made about regional rights for the coming season. If Rogers picks up those rights, it could mean more games being broadcast nationally. If TSN does, it’ll be more complicated. We’ll see.
TSN also has regional rights to 60 Winnipeg Jets games, 10 Toronto Maple Leafs games, going up to 26 in 2015-16, and 52 Ottawa Senators games. RDS also has regional rights to 40 Senators games.
What about out-of-region fans?
One question I’ve been trying to get Rogers to answer and it hasn’t yet is how fans outside a team’s home region will be able to catch that team’s regional games.
Rogers promised no blackouts when it announced the 12-year, $5.2-billion NHL deal, but it seems that isn’t actually true. While some more games will air nationally, anything that’s still regional must be blacked out elsewhere.
The Canadiens’ region includes all of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and Ontario east of Belleville and Pembroke (it’s the same region as that is covered by Sportsnet East). So how do all the Canadiens fans in Toronto watch Thursday night games? It’s still unclear. They might be forced to buy NHL Centre Ice, or maybe Rogers has some other solution for them. We’ll probably get more details when the regional schedule comes out in the coming weeks.
“We are still discussing how we deal with Centre Ice and Game Centre Live,” Rogers tells me. “Both products will continue to be available. We expect to have some answers on that well before the start of the season.”
On the French side, where TVA Sports has the national rights and RDS has all Canadiens regional games, the breakdown is different. We know that TVA will get 22 games, mainly Saturday nights, and RDS will get 60 games. We do know that RDS will be blacked out in southern Ontario and western Canada during those Canadiens games.
UPDATE (June 30): TVA Sports has announced its plans: It will carry the season opener on Wednesday, July 8, as well as all 21 Saturday night games (but not the Saturday afternoon matinee game on Super Bowl weekend), for a total of 22, plus all playoff games.
Don’t blame Rogers
Since news of the schedule came out, I’ve seen a lot of anger directed at Rogers, particularly from Canadiens fans outside of the home region, who will no longer be able to see every game on RDS.
The anger at Rogers is misplaced, though. The real group that should be blamed is the NHL. Rogers would love nothing better than to take all 82 games of each Canadian team national, but the NHL breaks up its TV rights into national and regional games, and imposes blackouts outside of a team’s broadcast region. What’s more, it’s the teams, not the league, that sign the regional rights deals. This is why the NHL dealt with Rogers and TVA, while the Canadiens dealt with RDS, and the Senators and Jets with TSN.
In English, things haven’t changed much in regard to blackouts. TSN Habs was not available in Toronto or western Canada (or, for that matter, to Videotron subscribers), and western teams’ regional games were blacked out on Sportsnet West and Pacific to subscribers here.
What’s different in French is that we now have competition, and the national and regional rights to Canadiens games are held by two different companies. (The decision to split the rights was the Canadiens, who decided to sell them separately to RDS after TVA Sports picked up the national rights.) RDS no longer has the ability to nationalize all its regional games, so we have blackouts.
If you want the system to change, tell the NHL to overhaul its TV rights system in Canada. But don’t expect that to happen before 2026.
UPDATE: A petition has started imploring Rogers to not black out RDS in western Canada during Canadiens games, but as I discuss above, it’s not Rogers that’s forcing this blackout (though they might be able to help stop it if they really want).
So the wide CBC reach, most of the CBC games will broadcast Leafs’ games, a team that has no chance in hell of winning a cup in my or your lifetime. Typical Toronto-centric attitudes of these major networks all based in Toronto.. as for OTA, I have problems getting City, so CBMT was real convenient…
Due to financial constraints, I don’t have my Expressvu service at this time…so it’s local for now and people like myself get shafted up the know-you-know what. Like the Bell-Astral merger, this is another bad broadcast deal..but like the one and only Ted Tevan used to say, ” oh almighty dolla, how you make me holla”.
But has more fans — and will get higher ratings — than any other team.
Because you only have two over-the-air TV channels showing NHL games on Saturday nights?
Yes absolutely true! Rogers says it will broadcast 7 games Saturday night but 4 of them will be regional coverage and be blacked out nationally so its no difference to when cbc broadcast games in previous years.
Not better at all!
Then they control NHL Center Ice and not available to Bell? They are saying to switch to rogers to get NHL Center ice? When hell freezes over!!!
Come on crtc do something about these clowns!
This is not true. All Saturday night games will be carried nationally.
Leafs have more fans and would get higher ratings? Just like they make the playoffs more often and win more Stanley cups. Have you seen how empty the seats are in TO? Big companies buy the seats but no one attends. Why would they?
The Leafs do not make the playoffs more often and do not win more Stanley Cups. But they do get higher ratings. You can deny that if you want, it remains true.
That has nothing to do with TV ratings.
This is exactly what I feared since the agreement was announced. I have happily subscribed to RDS for about 15 years so I can watch the Habs play from my couch here in Southern Ont. This deal was always going to mean fewer games for me and your analysis confirm it. I hate this deal.
Is there a possibility there won’t be any Habs regional games available in English this coming season? Seems TSN, which carried Habs regional feed these past few seasons is focusing their regional games to Leafs, Jets and Sens.
Sure. Nothing has been announced yet. So those games might end up not being broadcast in English at all.
CJNT-DT (62.1) is running it’s over the air transmitter rather low. Something like 4 kw.
If you’re having problems receiving the station over the air, just e-mail CITY and tell them you’re having problems receiving the signal. Suggest that they increase their power output.
For Habs fans outside the designated regional area, will games on RDS be available in French on Centre Ice?
I don’t know. I’m not sure if that has been decided yet.
As a lifelong Habs fan who lives in S. Ont., I am totally disgusted with what the NHL has become. It is now a total money grab league not unlike any other U.S. based and run sport. Thank you ever so much, Bettman and Rogers. Hope you rot in hell.
I would suggest you e-mail Rogers Media, or one of their networks such as CITY, and indicate your concerns. They will never change unless you indicate what your concerns are.
For myself, this Rogers situation is an improvement as I will have access to 4 games over the air a week. Two games on the CBC, and two games on CITY. But, with all the Rogers outlets that will be presenting games, I find that a lack of Montreal Canadiens games is a slight problem.
Rogers Media seems to be programming games over several outlets. CBC, CITY, SNe, SNo, SNw, SNp, and FX-Canada.
We have 7 Canadian teams in Canada, I think they can arrange to carry all the games of each team over their outlets networks.
It’s not a question of lack of channels to show the games on. All the national games from all the teams will air on TV. The problem is that Rogers does not have the rights to show most of the regional games nationally.
the big shots running the media are leafies, so they think every1 wants the god dam leafs 5000 times a season
Can you point me to where Rogers originally stated there would be no more blackouts? A lot of people think that but I can find anything from them.
The original release said “The agreement also guarantees there will be no further regionalization of games or local blackouts.” The word “further” is somewhat ambiguous here: Does it mean that regionalization no longer exists, or that it just won’t be worse than it already is? The sentence made many people believe that Rogers was promising an end to blackouts entirely. But apparently it just means that it won’t get any worse.
HI EVERYONE . I AM A BIG DETROIT RED WINGS FAN . IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ALL THE RED WINGS GAMES I SUB- TO BELL’S ” NHL CENTER ICE” FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS . I AM HOPING THIS SERVICE WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE UP COMING 2014-2015 SEASON . THANK YOU . JIM HIGGINS LINDSAY ONTARIO .
NHL Centre Ice will continue.
I wonder if the Senators national TV total will make it to 30 since the TSN regional contract is for a minimum of 52 regular season games. The Jets TSN regional contract is for 58 regional games which meams that SN could have 2 more national games.
Having Saturday games on Sportsnet instead of City is okay. Sportsnet is part of basic cable in many areas and is probably more recognizeable with having NHL games than City. The Oct. 11 games split games (SNP, SNW Flames-Blues and SNE, SNO Senators-Lightning) will also be on SN360 and SN1 respectively. I have been told that the games will start on the regional channels because of the baseball playoffs being on the other channels.
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I live in Ottawa, and watch all the Habs games.
Last year I had to subscribe to a french package just to get RDS (15$ extra per month) even though I told Bell I really only need RDS. In that package I also have TVA sports.
Will I still be able to see all the Habs games that RDS and TVA show? Is Ottawa considered part of that region now?
Ottawa is in the Canadiens’ region. So if you have RDS and TVA Sports, you’ll get all 82 regular-season games and all Habs playoff games.
You are my hero. No one has been able to give me a clear answer before today. My blood pressure will finally start to go back down, thanks so much!
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What about canadiens fans living in Manitoba who are subscribed to bell and all that stuff?
You’ll get 32 games in English on CBC, City or Sportsnet channels. Among them, 22 games (the season opener and all Saturday night games) will also be available in French on TVA Sports. You’ll also get all playoff games.
For the other 50 games, or preseason games, you’ll need a subscription to NHL Centre Ice.
Will NHL Centre Ice be available to Bell Satellite users…or will Rogers restrict it to Rogers cable subscribers?
The CRTC wouldn’t allow such a restriction, and none has been announced or even hinted at.
Rogers does not offer Centre Ice as a stand alone package. Customers are forced to pick up all the sports packages e.g. MLB, NFL, NBA and NASCAR for access to hockey. It’s the main reason I subscribe to Game Centre.
Can someone please explain to me why the “loophole” that existed prior to Rogers’ deal where RDS could air all 82 Habs games nationally is no longer possible and what it was all about? I can’t find any definitive information on the topic.
Essentially it was because RDS was the only French-language sports TV channel in Canada, and had both the national NHL rights in French and the regional rights to Canadiens games. Under a special arrangement with the NHL it was exempted from blackouts.
That’s no longer the case mainly because TVA Sports now exists and has won the national NHL rights in French.
Thank you! That clarifies it.
I have Bell Centre Ice Will I get all 82 Canadiens games in english Thank you
NHL Centre Ice will give you access to games that are not already available in your region. If you live west of Belleville/Pembroke, Ont., then you’ll get 32 regular-season Canadiens games (mainly Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights) and all playoff games on CBC, City or one of the Sportsnet channels. Those games won’t be on Centre Ice.
For the other 50 games, you will get them if they’re not otherwise available to you. We’re still not 100% sure of the details, but should get them next week.
I live in Sudbury, northern Ontario, will I be able to get RDS 60 games the Canadiens play and the 22 remainder games on TVA SPORTS.
Thanks for letting me know.
No. RDS will be blacked out in Sudbury during Canadiens games.
If I have a Shaw Direct dish and watch the Habs on Rds, will those games be blacked out also. Was wondering if it was the same for those that have a dish with shaw direct
If you live in the Canadiens broadcast region, no. If you don’t, yes.
What is this “Canadiens brodcast region”. I would like to get a real geographical map for this special broadcast region. Where can I find it or who has it?
There isn’t really an official map, but it’s pretty simply defined as Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and the part of Ontario that is east of a line connecting Pembroke and Belleville. There’s an unofficial map here. The part in red is the Canadiens/Senators region.
I live in Toronto, will the sportsnet feed of the Habs games be blacked out? (Sportsnet east, 360, etc.) Will nhl centre ice air those games?
Yes and yes. But that’s just for the 42 games that are designated as regional. And all the games that air on Sportsnet 360 are national.
will I still be able to see the habs on the new three yr deal with sportsnet on bell satilite
If you live east of Belleville, Ontario, then yes. Otherwise, no.
Thanks, u Just made my day
I’ve got a strange one but I wonder if anyone has anything to say about this:
I’ve been a Sens fan for 15 years and have always been livid when I can’t watch their games unless it’s on CBC. And because I live in Sudbury, Ont., the Leafs would always get priority on Saturday nights, making it nearly impossible to see Sens games.
My girlfriend’s parents have Bell TV and last season, where Rogers held these same “regions”, I was able to watch Sens games on Sportsnet East. They were not blocked out on the Bell feed, but from my service provider (Eastlink) they were unavailable.
Are these “regions” changed from the last NHL TV deal or is it the same? Because if it is, I’m hopeful I may still get to watch my Sens. Especially considering it only takes me 5 hours to get to their arena.
The regions are the same. Sudbury is part of the Leafs’ region, so regional games from the other teams are blacked out.
Hi, I live in Barrie and have Shaw Satellite, what networks will I be able to watch Habs games on (in English or French) and how many games. Thank you.
You’ll be able to watch most Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Canadiens games in Barrie.
Oh man! Help! I’m in Alberta with Shaw Direct. Just noticed today that RDS that I’ve watched Habs on for a lotta years was blacked out. Can you just tell me how I can watch the Habs all winter? Please! This sucks!
Buy NHL Centre Ice, along with Sportsnet and Sportsnet 360.
I live in Sudbury ON and currently with Bell Expressvu until December. I’ll be switching to Eastlink (our only other provider besides Shaw). Any advice on how to get all 82 games this year? French/English/Punjab… doesn’t matter.
Buy Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet One and NHL Centre Ice.
will we have access to all montral canadian games in pembroke ontario….I do have center ice but i noticed the pre season games against boston and colorado are blacked out here
You should, but since you’re on the border it’s not certain. If your main Sportsnet channel is Sportsnet East, you should be in the east region which means you can watch Canadiens and Senators games. You can try just tuning to RDS to see if the channel is blacked out during the next game. But if Centre Ice blacks out the game, that probably means you’re in the Canadiens region and can watch the games on RDS or Sportsnet.
I live in S. Ontario and noticed that the pre season game on Tuesday was blacked out . Like many other Hab fans that have RDS , I called my service provider , Shaw, they told me they received a notice 2 hrs. before the game that all the Hab games will be broadcasted regionally based on the agreement witht the NHL . I asked the agent for Shaw the number for the CRTC , I called them , they said there is nothing in their power to stop this but told me there is a Fair Business Bureau which I called , they told me that if you can find something in print that contradicts the agreement that Rogers and the NHL have and show a copy of your cable or satellite bill to prove that you purchased a package specifically for the Habs games, then they can legally file a complaint . The agent from Shaw says ” why don’t you just buy the Centrer Ice Package ” ? I got pissed off with him , told him I only wanted RDS to watch the Canadiens , not the other 29 teams, and said ” so what will the Leafs fans in Quebec do when their stuck watching Habs games ” ? His answer ” Oh , I didn’t think about that ” …………..
They’ve had to deal with regional blackouts for years now. The only difference is that Habs fans no longer get special treatment.
I live in Burlington On. What do I have to buy to see all the Habs games french or english no matter
Rogers Sportsnet Ontario
Rogers Sportsnet 360
Rogers Sportsnet One
NHL Centre Ice
Those, plus CBC and City, and you have all 82 regular-season Habs games and the playoffs. Get TVA Sports, and you can watch the Saturday night games and playoff games in French.
OK, my question is simple enough…I think.
I live in Ottawa. I have no cable TV subscription, only OTA and internet. If I subscribe to Rogers Gamecentre Live for the season ($179.99) will I be able to watch ALL 82 Habs games online?
If not, then how many would I be able to watch live? Would any of the others be available on HNIC on CBC OTA?
Thank you to whoever can answer my question!
No. You will be able to watch the national games (40/82) only if you don’t have a Sportsnet subscription.
Since you’re in Ottawa, you’ll get those that are broadcast nationally on CBC and City. We don’t know exactly how many that will be, because Saturday night schedules will be decided each week, but it’s a minimum of seven and a maximum of 25. The first three Saturday nights will be on City, and four of the five Sunday night games. Most Saturday night games will probably be on CBC or City, so the actual number will be closer to the maximum.
There’s still something I am not understanding.
You say 40 national games, but the beginning of your article states 32 national games only (31 if I count up how many times the Habs are listed on the Rogers 2014/15 national broadcast page you link to).
Digging a bit deeper, I found the following seemingly contradictory info from this site:
It seems to imply I can get 82-29 = 53 games on Gamecentre Live.
Here’s the text from the link:
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador
(East of Kingston/Gananoque — see below)**
Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens are the local teams in this territory (shared region).
All 82 games (29 of these will require a SN TV subscription with a participating TV provider* from January 1, 2015)
This article was written before Rogers upgraded eight Canadiens games to national. Full details on what’s what are listed here.
You can get all 82 games on GameCentre Live (but only in English), but 29 of those games will require a Sportsnet cable subscription. It looks like they’re not imposing that requirement for regional games that air in 2014.
i was looking at the Habs’ schedule on their site along with whose the broadcaster for those games..and considering that CBC’s HNIC has the big national reach and CITY-TV has only a half dozen stations why are there very little Habs’ games.?
CBC’s reach isn’t that much larger than City’s. City has seven stations, but 11 of the 12 largest metropolitan markets in Canada are within 75 kilometres of a City TV transmitter. The exception is Quebec City, which is a francophone market.
Rogers has decided that CBC gets the Leafs when they’re playing Saturday nights, which makes sense when you consider that the Leafs get higher ratings in English than the Canadiens. Montreal is next on the pecking order, which puts it on City.
So Rogers is saying that Canada’s anglo viewers would rather watch a crappy team…Wonderful !
So let’s assume CBC’s reach is 100% of Canadian households, what is City-TV’s reach, and while we’re at it, what is Sportsnet’s reach?
CBC’s reach is not 100% of Canadian households, though it is almost all households that subscribe to pay television.
City’s reach is hard to establish since there are no subscription fees. But most major providers have it as part of the basic package, and its stations cover about 90% of the English-speaking population.
Sportsnet has 8.8 million subscribers, out of about 11 million total pay TV subscriptions.
Fagstein, I am more and more positive that you are part of the collusion that exist between Rogers and NHL TV rights agreement for the next 22 years, I beleive.
Do you want every citizens outside of Quebec to cheer for the leafs?
Have heard about the new Toronto Maple Leaf bra?
Lots of support but no cups!
Which would be impressive since the agreement is for 12 years.
No. I think this business of regional blackouts is past its time, and we should let people be fans of whatever hockey team they want.
Shaw satellite in St.John’s. Will I be able to see all Habs games?
You should, yes, if you have City Montreal, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet 360 and CBC. Or RDS and TVA Sports, if you’re okay watching in French.