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Old 11-26-2013, 01:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default TSN loses NHL hockey rights

Wow! Could this mean more Raps games at some point on TSN instead of TSN2?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines here. Bob McKenzie is not someone who minces words like this, and I can't imagine he is simply overly nostalgic about the potential loss of the 60-plus-year tenure of Hockey Night in Canada. There is every reason to believe that the NHL has gone with Rogers Sportsnet as its sole cable outlet, while keeping CBC as the public broadcaster with HNIC.

If that's true -- and there's still been no confirmation beyond the McKenzie tweet, but he's almost always rock solid -- then the National Hockey League has left its best partner, in my opinion. TSN's coverage of the league outshines every other network, in Canada or America. They have the best host (James Duthie), the best play-by-play man (Chris Cuthbert), the best analyst (Ray Ferraro) and the best studio team (Duthie, McKenzie, Aaron Ward and Darren Dreger, among others). Sportsnet and CBC already have a ton of hockey people, but they (and America's NBC) ought to pick off talent if they can.

This would also be a massive win for Sportsnet, TSN's main competitor. TSN owns the rights to the CFL, and a ton of ESPN-based programming (ESPN is a part-owner of the network), and they still have the World Junior Hockey Championship, which is a massive program for them. But Sportsnet would now have both the best package of NHL hockey on cable, and the best package of Canadian junior league hockey on cable.

We'll keep you posted on this one, as this could be an earthshaking move in the world of Canadian sports television.

UPDATE: And it appears that it's all over but the shouting. CBC and Sportsnet have won NHL TV rights in Canada for what looks to be 12 years. The last word, again, to Mr. McKenzie:

Bob McKenzie ✔ @TSNBobMcKenzie
Official announcement expected Tuesday by NHL: CBC and Rogers have exclusive English-language NHL rights deal. Believed to be 12 year deal.

CBC and Sportsnet may have combined to oust TSN from NHL rights (UPDATED) | November | 2013

Last edited by jeffb; 11-26-2013 at 01:25 AM.
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