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Habs fans not happy with new TV schedule

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By Pat Hickey

There aren’t too many Canadiens fans who are happy with the television schedule for the 2014-15 season.

Fans in Quebec and points east will be well-served with all 82 regular-season games available, but the days of one-stop viewing are over. There will be 22 national games, mostly on Saturday nights, on TVA Sports, while the remaining 60 games will be offered in a regional package on RDS.

But anglophones and francophones living west of Ottawa are not happy with the new order because they will not have access to the RDS package.

“We have a large number of subscribers in southern Ontario and in Western Canada and they won’t have access to our signal because we’re designated as a regional package,” said Domenic Vanelli, the vice-president of production for RDS. “For many French-Canadians, this will be the first time they won’t have access to Canadiens games in their own language because we offered the games, and before that they were available on Radio-Canada.”

Vanelli said disgruntled fans might create enough pressure on politicians and the rightsholders to effect a change in RDS’s availability, but he didn’t hold out much hope.

“There’s nothing we can do, it’s business and it will be like that for another 12 years,” he said.

Some francophone fans outside Quebec will have access to TVA Sports as an add-on to their cable or satellite packages. Rogers, which controls the national NHL rights, offers TVA Sports on its cable service, but it’s not currently available on Canada’s other major cable provider, Shaw.

RDS also played a role in promoting bilingualism in the country because many anglophones outside Quebec subscribed to the channel to fill in the gaps between the team’s appearances on Hockey Night in Canada and on the TSN main network.

There will also be fewer English-language telecasts available for anglophones in Quebec and Eastern Canada. There will be 18 Saturday night games available nationally under the Hockey Night in Canada banner and another 13 games on City TV or Sportsnet. That’s about the same number of national games as in the past and there will be greater access to those games in Ontario and in the West.

But there will be no English regional package as there has been in recent years. TSN and Rogers both passed on the regional package because it didn’t make sense from a financial point of view.


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I'm breathing a big sigh of relief knowing that I will still getto see all 82 games plus playoffs....on the other side I realy feel bad for my fellow Hab fans living out west.

But there will be no English regional package as there has been in recent years. TSN and Rogers both passed on the regional package because it didn’t make sense from a financial point of view.
So TSN passed up on bringing back TSN Habs but I know for a fact that they kept TSN Jets.....what a bunch of ******* idiots!!! Edited by Spider-Man NL
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Interesting how the need to cover games in both languages seems to be a major factor in this.  Chances are those fans will have to stream games online.  

Is purchasing a center ice package an option?  I know that is what I get in order to watch the Wild games.

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Is purchasing a center ice package an option?


That's a good question. In past years, it would have been blacked out on Center Ice / Gamecenter because the game is available on a local / regional package (whether you subscribe to it or not).


But I remember Rogers saying something like blackouts will be a thing of the past. Maybe not quite that strong, but they aren't so concerned with blackouts under this new 12-year deal. 


Found it:



The agreement gives Rogers national rights to all NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, on all of its platforms in all languages.
In addition to its exclusive rights for all playoff and Cup Final games, Rogers has exclusive rights to special events such as future NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts.
The agreement also guarantees there will be no further regionalization of games or local blackouts. Rogers has three exclusive windows to broadcast any game involving a Canadian team -- Wednesday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday nights. Fans will have the ability to watch any of those games regardless of geographical location within Canada.



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I live in the states, and when I'm at school I watch the games on NHL gamecenter through my xbox. In short, this doesn't really affect me. It's kinda sad to see the way things have gone though. It's always been more about stockholders and markets than about getting the games to the fans. The league and the networks just keep letting us down.

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