Your Complete Guide to the 2014-15 NHL Season on Canadian TV

nhl-logoI’m not sure how much more can be said ahead of opening night tomorrow when Rogers will officially begin their 12-year broadcast of the NHL. Below is a list of links to the various aspects of the schedule and broadcast that has been covered over the past months. I will most likely do a weekly schedule (similar to the weekly NFL posts) due to the week-to-week announcements of channel placings of Saturday night games. If there seems to be something I’ve missed or you have a question about something not covered, just hit up the comments.

Below is a breakdown of each Canadian team and their television schedule. Definition of regional blackout area is in brackets. To find which out which team is in your regional, go here. Regional schedule is linked to a separate post per team which should also include radio broadcast information. National schedules for English and French are in the list above.

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Buffalo Sabres 2014-15 NHL Schedule on Bell TV

Buffalo_Sabres_Logo.svgGood news for Buffalo Sabres fans in the Niargara Falls / Fort Erie / very Southern Ontario region. The Sabres have announced that Bell TV will be showing select Sabres games again this season to those in the Buffalo viewing area. Provided at no additional charge, Bell Fibe and Bell Satellite customers can catch 53 games throughout the season on channel 1442. Games will not be available in the region on Game Centre Live or Centre Ice.

With this deal, along with 19 games available on Sportsnet / HNIC / FX Canada, Sabres fans will see all but nine regular season games for the upcoming season.

To see if you’re in the 50 km viewing area, the Sabres have a map here or you can search for your postal code on this PDF.

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OMNI Television To Offer NHL In 22 Languages This Season Including Punjabi Hockey Night In Canada

Omni-Television.svgPicking up where the CBC left off, OMNI Television will produce Hockey Night In Canada in Punjabi every Saturday night this season beginning October 11 with a doubleheader each week. Presumably, the early game will feature the Leafs and the late game featuring the Canucks and other Canadian NHL teams being broadcast if either of those teams aren’t in action.

In addition to the weekly games, OMNI will produce multilingual NHL content in 22 languages with a weekly Your Hockey segment and Hockey 101. Your Hockey will be a weekly segment in Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Italian that will screen during their respective national news broadcast beginning the week of September 29 and will include topics such as grassroots hockey, the ins-and-outs of minor hockey and profiles of hockey-related personalities in their community.

Hockey 101 will help new Canadians understand the basics of hockey including the rules of the game. It will premier in eight languages: English, French, Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi, Portuguese and Tagalog. Episodes will premier the week of September 29 on OMNI Television and online at OMNI.tv. An additional 14 languages — Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Tamil, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese — will be added to on-air and online broadcasts in the coming weeks.

OMNI Television has stations in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

2014 NHL Pre-Season Begins Tonight

nhl-logoAnother pre-season begins tonight and a slab of meaningless games are scheduled regionally and nationally. Sportsnet will have ten national games over the next two weeks, RDS will cover every Habs game, and the Edmonton Oilers will broadcast all their non-national games on their website, something no other Canadian team seems to be doing. Of course, the networks have a reason for not broadcasting Oilers games based on their previous season.

This will give us a slight glimpse into what Sportsnet has in mind for their coverage for the season and whether TSN will continue to offer their usual excellent standard of game broadcasts, but expect both networks to wait until the season proper to roll out any fancy new features and/or graphics packages.

EDIT: In my rush to post, I forgot to mention that all RDS games are regional this season, so only those in the Canadiens viewing area will see the action. Interestingly, no national French-language games scheduled for TVA Sports. Looks like CBC will be showing some Sportsnet pre-season games beginning this Wednesday, but CBC isn’t included on the NHL website schedule so I’m not sure if all national games will be on CBC or only select ones. A little weird.

Full schedule is below. All times are Eastern and regionally blacked-out games denoted by an asterisk.

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Chicago Blackhawks 2014-15 NHL Schedule on WGN

wgnIf you’re a Blackhawks fan in Canada, prepare to enjoy 20 regular season games this season on WGN, which is included in most cable/satellite television packages. The Blackhawks are one of the very few teams who still have a contract that isn’t cable-exclusive. Play-by-play man Pat Foley will return to the booth alongside Blackhawks legend Eddie Olczyk on colour analysis. The schedule is below and all times are Central.

Sat Oct 18, Blackhawks vs Nashville 7:30pm
Sat Oct 25, Blackhawks at St. Louis 7pm
Sun Oct 26, Blackhawks vs Ottawa 6pm

Sun Nov 2, Blackhawks vs Winnipeg 8pm
Sun Nov 9, Blackhawks vs San Jose 6pm
Sun Nov 16, Blackhawks vs Dallas 6pm
Sat Nov 22, Blackhawks at Edmonton 9pm
Fri Nov 28, Blackhawks at Anaheim 3pm
Sat Nov 29, Blackhawks at Los Angeles 9pm

Sat Dec 13, Blackhawks at NY Islanders 6pm
Sat Dec 20, Blackhawks at Columbus 6pm
Sun Dec 21, Blackhawks vs Toronto 6pm

Sun Jan 4, Blackhawks vs Dallas 7pm
Sun Jan 11, Blackhawks vs Minnesota 7pm
Sun Jan 18, Blackhawks vs Dallas 5pm
Fri Jan 30, Blackhawks at Anaheim 9pm

Thu Mar 12, Blackhawks at Arizona 9pm
Sat Mar 14, Blackhawks at San Jose 3pm
Sun Mar 29, Blackhawks at Winnipeg 6:30pm
Sat Apr 11, Blackhawks at Colorado 8pm

Vancouver Canucks 2014-15 NHL Schedule on Sportsnet

vancouver canucksRogers has finally released the last Canadian regional television schedule for the upcoming season. The Vancouver Canucks will have 48 regional games covered by Sportsnet with all but four on SN Pacific. The remaining will be on Sportsnet One companion channel, Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey (not sure why they didn’t just go with SN-Canucks). I thought maybe with SN putting a few Habs games on City Montreal, they would do the same in Vancouver, but I guess it didn’t work out for whatever reason.

Dan Murphy will host rinkside while returning to the play-by-play and analyst positions are John Shorthouse and John Garrett. Sportsnet will also have six Canucks pre-season games broadcast nationally.

Canucks on TSN Radio

The newly rebranded (lanches Mon. Sept. 8) TSN Radio 1040 in Vancouver will have all 82 regular season games as well as seven pre-season matchups. John Shorthouse and Dave Tomlinson will be returning to call all the action during the season, with no replacement named yet for Rick Ball, who has moved to Calgary to work on Sportsnet.

Schedule is below. All times are Pacific. Subject to change.

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Rogers GameCentre Live Announcement: No More National Blackouts

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.