Ron MacLean, CBC reach long-term deal
Host Ron MacLean will be welcoming viewers to Hockey Night in Canada for at least the next seven seasons after agreeing to a new contract Monday.
The new deal will run through the 2013-14 campaign, which coincides with the television deal struck by the CBC and National Hockey League in March.
"For millions of Canadians, Ron is the face of CBC Sports, and we are absolutely thrilled to continue our partnership with him for the long term," Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, said in a statement.
"He has become a great ambassador for our network. He is the best in the business and has played an integral role in building CBC's Hockey Night in Canada into the most influential and popular sports brand in Canada."
MacLean joined the network in 1986 and hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs' telecasts on HNIC before becoming the full-time national host the following year.
His role expanded over the years to include hosting CBC's coverage of the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, world track and field championships and Calgary Stampede.
MacLean, an eight-time Gemini Award winner, has been nominated 16 times for the Canadian TV prize, including this year in the category of Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast for his work on HNIC.
"The term of the [new] deal is not all about security — that would be settling in, playing it safe," he said in a statement. "It was each of us showing our eagerness to take the opportunity of the new NHL deal, to try to do telecasts that go beyond just informing and entertaining."
In 2002, negotiations between MacLean and the CBC broke down and it appeared HNIC would have a new face when it debutedon Oct. 12, 2002.
But in the wake of an outpouring of support for MacLean and a backlash against CBC, the two sides re-opened talks and hammered out a new deal.
MacLeanwill host an HNIC doubleheader onOct. 4 when Toronto visits the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Calgary Flames hosting Philadelphia (10 p.m. ET).