A Rouge Point

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NFL on Canadian TV for 2014-15

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NFL LogoWith Rogers splashing out and buying hockey rights, they either didn’t have the money or the screen time (or maybe both) to continue showing the Sunday 4pm NFL games. Bell Media has gladly come in and swept up those games, and between CTV and TSN, they’ll have coverage of Sunday afternoon, Sunday night and Monday night NFL action, as well as all the playoff and Super Bowl games. Sportsnet continues to hold rights to Thursday Night Football and the Thanksgiving Day games, at least until 2016. With the new TSN deal this season, subscribers will be able to watch NFL action on their laptops, devices and such via TSN GO and CTV GO.

Thursday/Saturday night
With the exception of tonight’s game on NBC, this season marks the beginning of CBS screening and producing Thursday night football with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling the action. Pre-game, half-time, and post-game coverage will feature NFL Network talent. In Canada, Sportsnet will continue to show TNF on one of their channels every week, but for the first eight games of the season you can see the game on CBS also, as well as a Saturday night double-header in week 16. The remaining games will be on the NFL Network in the US, which is blacked out here. UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter below, it appears City will be showing the Thursday night game as well as Sportsnet. Gotta capitalize on that simsubbing, I guess, and maybe City doesn’t have the strongest Thursday night primetime lineup?

Sunday Afternoon
With the new Bell deal, viewers will see two games in their market in the 1pm and 4pm time slots on CTV and/or TSN most weeks. I emphasize most weeks as this weekend will be one of those exceptions, as there will only be one game available nationwide on CTV due to TSN, despite having five feeds now, having no space for a 4pm (US Open and CFL commitments). Not a good start if Bell are looking to convince viewers TSN is still “Canada’s sports leader”. TSN’s original press release mentioned using CTV2 for games, so I’m not sure why they aren’t utilizing that this weekend.

One downside it seems to this new deal is CTV will no longer show overflow coverage of late-finishing or overtime games as they will have to cut to the 4pm game. This also means that if the game CTV is showing goes to OT, viewers may miss the beginning of the 4pm game.

Of course, CBS and Fox will have their assortment of games each Sunday, but expect a majority of games to be simsubbed when possible. If you have the time shifting option, you will obviously see a lot more games each Sunday on CTV and the American networks. For fan’s of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countodown, it will return to TSN from 10am Sunday mornings.

Sunday Night
Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football will wrap up Sunday’s action with NBC’s fantastic pre-game show and game coverage with the familiar faces and voices of Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and Cris Collingsworth. For those loyal to Canadian TV commercials, you’ll find this also on TSN.

TSN’s Monday NFL coverage starts at 2pm with ESPN’s NFL Primetime, followed by the always-annoying Chris Berman on Monday Night Countdown at 6:30pm which leads into Monday Night Football at 8pm with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden. The exception is week 1 with Countdown starting at 5pm and leading into the double-header of Giants-Lions and Chargers-Cardinals.

NFL RedZone

According to various reports, NFL RedZone is no longer available to Canadian viewers as it is no longer being offered by the NFL outside of the US. That said, there is conflicting information as some providers still have it listed on their websites, while others have notified customers it definitely isn’t available anymore. NFL Sunday Ticket continues to be available and should be on free preview during week 1. UPDATE: As pointed out in the comment section, NFL RedZone is available for online viewing if you order NFL Game Pass. UPDATE 2: Bell has confirmed Red Zone will be available for their subscribers this season. Not sure why the change, especially considering they sent out letters informing people it wouldn’t be available. I suggest you contact your provider to make sure they definitely have it.

For French-language, TVA Sports will have the Thursday (except tonight) and Saturday night games with RDS covering games on Sunday and Monday (plus tonight’s season opener).

Written by Dan

3 September, 2014 at 9:18pm

Posted in NFL

Rogers GameCentre Live Announcement: No More National Blackouts

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gamecentreThe good news keeps on coming: Besides offering more games than ever on television, Rogers announced today their plans for GameCentre Live and the main talking point is that you will be able to watch more games than ever on your laptop/phone/tablet/etc with fewer blackouts.

Here are the highlights:

  • All national games will be available to streamers, no matter the team and no matter where you live in the country. This is definitely the biggest change and the biggest difference between the Canadian and US versions now.
  • For regional games that Rogers owns rights to (Canucks, Habs, Oilers, Flames, and some Leafs), these games will also no longer be blacked out to you. The difference here though is to view these games you will need a cable TV subscription to Sportsnet and unlock the games via BDU authentication.
  • The only games that will remain blacked out to in-region viewers will be TSN’s properties: Sens, Jets, and half of the Leafs regional games.
  • For French-language viewers, beginning in January (delayed due to technical issues according to Keith Pelley, Rogers Media President) you will get to see all TVA Sports broadcasts of the Senators and Canadiens.
  • All Stanley Cup playoff games will be available for streaming.
  • GCL will be available on your computer, phone, and tablet with more devices and screens (e.g., Xbox) to be announced.
  • UPDATE: Like the previous version, full length on-demand games, condensed games and highlights will be available as well as over 800 archived games dating back to 1960.

If you’re a Rogers wireless or internet customer, you can enjoy free access to GCL from the beginning of the season until the end of the year. For the rest of us, a full season will cost you $200 with a discounted rate of $180 available until October 3 (GCL was $150 for early bird last year). From January 1 onwards, for Rogers and non-Rogers subscribers, a half-yearly subscription will be available for $130. For those in the country who prefer their games in French, a French-only package including 60 Canadiens and 54 Senators games will be available for $60.

So, if you’re a fan of a team that Rogers owns the regional rights to, you’ll see all (or next to all if you’re a Leafs fan) games online this season. For the remaining teams, you’ll need to watch via TSN, TSN.ca or TSN GO. Here are the total games available with no local blackouts: Montreal, 82 English & 72 French; Ottawa, 29 English & 68 French; Edmonton, 82; Vancouver, 82; Calgary, 82; Winnipeg, 22.

Rogers promises more information will be released in the coming weeks in regards to GameCentre Live (and presumably Centre Ice). Personally, I would love the option for a team-specific season pass or even a USA pass (for those of us who support an American team). Registration will open early next week at rogers.com/nhl.

Written by Dan

3 September, 2014 at 3:52pm

Sportsnet Grabs Canadiens Regional English-Language Broadcasts

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montreal-canadiensFans in Eastern Canada have been waiting patiently for TSN or Sportsnet to secure the English-language rights for the Montreal Canadiens and today their wishes were granted as Sportsnet announced they will broadcast 42 regional games this season in the first year of a three-year deal. As part of the deal, eight additional Montreal games will now be carried nationally for a total of 40 with all Habs games available in English for the first time.

The majority of games will air on the regionalized Sportsnet East. Surprisingly, three games (Oct 13, Nov 20, Dec 18) will be shown on City Montreal, which is not available for fans in Atlantic Canada, which is part of Montreal’s home viewing area. These three games conflict with NFL Thursday Night Football and MLB playoffs.

Rogers haven’t given any information as to who will be calling the action inside the booth, and whether they bring in two more people or they utilize their existing and long list of announcers already released.

PS: Habs fans outside of Quebec/Atlantic Canada, please don’t fill the comment section whining about how you no longer get all 82 games. You had a good ride while everyone else got shafted, now you get to join the slums of actually being blacked out.

Full schedule is below. All times are Eastern and schedule is subject to change.

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Written by Dan

2 September, 2014 at 10:16pm

Rogers Announces Huge Hockey Broadcast Team

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nhl-rogersWith over 40 members for their debut into national hockey broadcasting, Rogers has kept the old faces from Sportsnet, the familiar faces from CBC and TSN, and brought in some new faces as announcers, analysts, and insiders for 2014–15.

News slowly trickled out over the past few months of personnel Rogers had signed up, including former TSN personalities Dave Randorf and Paul Romanuk. Now with the full release, we can see Rogers have nabbed some TSN folk, US folk and a whole load of CBC broadcasters.

Hosting all the programming across the suite of Rogers channels will be the familiar names of Ron MacLean, George Stroumboulopoulos, Jeff Marek and Darren Millard. The new name is former Canadian broadcaster Leah Hextall, who returns north of the border from Boston’s NESN.

National play-by-play commentators will be longtime CBC commentator Jim Hughson, former TSN’er Paul Romanuk, former CFL on TSN host Dave Randorf, and old-timer Bob Cole. Joining them as analysts from CBC will be Glenn Healy, Gary Galley, and Craig Simpson, and from TSN the young up-and-comer Mike Johnson. Regional commentators and reporters include a mix of former CBC and current Sportsnet staff. The (seemingly unnecessarily-long) list of studio people is below. 

Sadly, Rogers has hired the three worst parts of the former CBC Hockey Night In Canada staff: longtime d-bag Don Cherry, the well-past-his-prime Bob Cole and the always-terrible Glenn Healy. You could probably add PJ Stock to the list also, but no one really cares about him enough to expend the energy. All hate mail in regards to this topic can be directed to the comments section below.

The full broadcast team is after the jump.

Canadiens English-language broadcasts

There is still no rights holder for Anglophone Habs fans in Eastern Canada. It was reported a couple weeks ago both outlets (Bell and Rogers) were balking at the high price Montreal were asking for the regional rights. Bell had the previous rights and screened games on the now-defunct TSN-Habs specialty channel. TSN has since picked up Senators rights, which could possibly cause scheduling conflicts on TSN5. 

According to a vague tweet from Sportsnet President Scott Moore and a tweet from CTV Montreal reporter Brian Wilde, Rogers could be announcing rights to Habs games this week. Of course, Moore’s tweet could also be referring to an announcement about the future of NHL Centre Ice and Gamecentre. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

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Written by Dan

1 September, 2014 at 10:19pm

Calgary Flames 2014-15 NHL Schedule on Sportsnet

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sportsnet_flamesRogers will have full Flames coverage across their cluster of channels for the upcoming NHL season with Alberta & Saskatchewan viewers able to catch 50 regional games on Sportsnet West and alternate channel Sportsnet Flames. Sportsnet 960 The Fan will have all 82 games on your radio device.

There will be two newcomers to the television broadcast booth with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey joining the Sportsnet team. Host Roger Millions will be rinkside with updates. Both Ball and Hrudey come from CBC with Ball leaving Vancouver (and calling CFL games mid-season for TEAM radio) to move to Calgary.

On the radio side, The Fan 960 welcomes Derek Wills for play-by-play joining veteran analyst Peter Loubardias.

Full regional schedule below. All times are Mountain. Schedule subject to change.

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Written by Dan

29 August, 2014 at 9:00pm

Edmonton Oilers 2014-15 NHL Regional Schedule on Sportsnet

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sportsnet_oilersFans of the Edmonton Oilers will be able catch all 82 regular season games across the Rogers/Sportsnet channels. 32 games will be shown nationally (schedule here) and the remaining 50 regional games will be available on Sportsnet West and alternate channel Sportsnet Oilers.

Kevin Quinn will be return to the broadcast booth calling play-by-play and analyst Drew Remenda will be joining him after spending the past 14 years on the San Jose Sharks telecast. Gene Principe will be rinkside for the 40 games on SN West and 10 games on SN Oilers.

CHED AM 630 will have the radio coverage with Jack Michaels and Bob Stauffer returning for another season.

Below is the full schedule. All times are Mountain. Schedule subject to change.

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Written by Dan

29 August, 2014 at 6:19pm

Rogers 2014-15 NHL National Broadcast Schedule

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The future of Saturday night games on Canadian TV.

The future of Saturday nights on Canadian TV.

In a new era for hockey broadcasting in Canada, fans will see more games than ever, especially on free-to-air networks, as Rogers will show over 350 games nationally across the country, utilizing up to six networks, with games every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada will feature anywhere from four to eight games each week in a huge expansion of games for Canadian hockey fans. The allocation of what game screens on what network will be decided on a week-to-week basis, utilizing CBC, City, Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada. FX Canada is currently available on all major providers except Bell, which may piss off a bunch of people, but I suspect no Canadian teams will feature on that channel.

Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey will feature at least one Canadian team each of the 35 weeks during the season and includes nine doubleheaders, with all games being shown on Sportsnet or Sportsnet One. Sunday night hockey will be new for this season, and Rogers will show 25 matchups will all but one featuring a Canadian team and all but one will be found on City. Sunday Night Hockey will be broadcast from a different community rink across Canada each week and will feature players, stories and entertainment.

The 2015 Winter Classic, All-Star Skills competition and All-Star game will be on CBC as usual and the annual Hockey Day in Canada will feature a Canadian triple-header on February 14. All playoff games will be on the Rogers array of stations.

In addition to all of the above, Sportsnet 360 will feature 25 US match-ups throughout the season on Thursday nights (and one Friday night), Sportsnet One currently has 40 American match-ups scheduled on a variety of nights throughout the season, and except even more to be added at a later date.

Hopefully I have managed to include everything in the schedule below without any doubling-up, but no promises as it is a shit-ton of games.

EDIT: Forgot to include a little passage on NHL Centre Ice and Gamecentre. So far, for those north of the border, there is ZERO information currently available in regards to either of these services. Gamecentre is currently available to US-based viewers as it always has been. Included in the Rogers purchase are rights to both Centre Ice and Gamecentre in Canada only, so both could be drastically different. Given how many games are already showing on TV, it will be interesting to see what they offer, especially for those (including yours truly) who support a US team and would live to see every game.

All times are Eastern. Schedule subject to change.

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Written by Dan

28 August, 2014 at 10:00am