The Current

Is the Good Old Hockey Game only for the rich?

Some critics believe Canada's favourite sport is becoming a game for the elites with tickets, icetime and equipment growing prohibitively expensive.
Hundreds and thousands of dollars pour out of parents' pockets toward hockey that has become more expensive for kids to play, more expensive for families to attend and some worry even more expensive to watch on TV. Today, our Project Money asks if Canada's greatest sport is becoming too rich and inaccessible.

Is Canada's favourite sport out of reach?

"The Hockey Night in Canada telecast was born in Montreal back when the Canadians were managed by Frank Selke and coached by Dick Irvin. Seven months later with Danny Gallivan in the English play-by-play we watched Elmer Lach score the 1953 Stanley Cup winning overtime goal". April 16th, 1953. One of the earliest hockey broadcasts in Canadian history

Not everyone who wanted to hear the game could tune in back in 1953 -- the first national broadcast wasn't until January 23rd, 1958.

With Rogers Communications signing an agreement worth $ 5.2 billion dollars with the NHL last week, it likely means a change in the way fans will enjoy the game. No one knows exactly how it will affect viewers, but Cathal Kelly, a sports writer with the Toronto Star, is pretty sure fans will pay more. She believes watching a game on TV is going to cost more than a six-pack and a bag of Nachos in the near future.


Some people argue that Canada's favourite sport is becoming a game for the rich only because costs are
rising so much -- from watching on TV, to attending a game, to playing in local arenas. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

Today, as part of our ongoing Project Money, we look at hockey finances. It costs more to buy game tickets, it costs more to rent ice time and many parents gulp hard every year at the price of equipping their future professional heroes.

In fact, some believe the Good Old Hockey Game is becoming the Grand Old Hockey game; an entertainment for the elite.

We convened a panel of fans ...

  • Sami Jo Small is a three-time Olympian and the co-founder of the Canadian Women's Hockey League. She joined us on the line from Toronto.

We did reach out to Rogers Communications and they sent us a statement, that in part reads:

"We think this deal is good news to Canadian hockey fans. Canadians will have access to more games than ever before ... Cable prices are unrelated to this agreement. The initial upfront payment will be paid using existing cash, beyond that the agreement is self-funding through sub-licensing agreements and advertising."

Share your thoughts on the cost of hockey.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson, Debbie Pacheco, Pacinthe Mattar and Natalie Chu.


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