Rogers reveals NHL broadcast plans
500 regular-season games to be broadcast on 13 Canadian TV outlets
Clear your schedule sports fans, there's about to be a lot more hockey on television.
A whopping 500 regular season games will air in Canada starting next season as part of the blockbuster 12-year agreement between Rogers Communications and the NHL.
While the deal was announced last November, Rogers and the NHL will keep the publicity momentum going with a trickle of events leading to next season.
Late Tuesday, the telecommunications giant invited advertisers to Maple Leaf Gardens, once home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, to drum up excitement for its plans, which involve broadcasting games across 13 different Canadian TV channels, including CBC, City, Sportsnet and cable channel FX Canada.
"We've had some conversations [with them], but not full conversations," Scott Moore, president of Rogers Sportsnet, said during a media conference outlining the company's plans.
"We will be in a position to announce all our hockey commentators by early May."
Executives kept the focus on plans for Rogers to expand beyond Hockey Night in Canada with shows like Hometown Hockey on City that's hosted from different community rinks across the country on Sunday nights. The series will include NHL player profiles, as well as content about the local community.
In total, more than 1,250 hours of nationally-televised hockey will be broadcast.
"This is about giving our fans ways to take advantage of every opportunity to connect with our game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
"We know that we're with the right people, the right partner to evolve and even lead in terms of what the developments will be in sports and entertainment into the future."
Some games will also be shown through a sublicensing agreement with the CBC and on TVA, a private-sector francophone network in Quebec. Further hockey content will be available on radio and digital platforms owned by Rogers.
Last November, Rogers reached a $5.2-billion agreement with the NHL that gives it exclusive multimedia rights to league games starting with the 2014-15 season.