Please Let This Be The End Of Tweets On Sports Broadcasts

The only exciting news to come out of another long NHL Trade Deadline Day on Monday was TSN airing a wildly inappropriate joke tweet that somehow got past whatever social media intern was supposed to be manning the system.

Screenshots of the broadcast quickly spread around the interweb and even earned a reply from one of the players in question. By 1pm, the TSN PR account tweeted out a general apology.

However, TSN didn’t issue a formal online or onscreen apology until last night during their Leafs broadcast, and that was only after the parties involved in the tweet, Maple Leafs players Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf, and Phaneuf’s wife Elisha Cuthbert issued a lawsuit threat to the network as well as the original author of the tweet in question. Below is the statement:

The following is a statement by Peter A. Gall, Q.C. of Gall Legge Grant & Munroe LLP on behalf of their clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul.

“On behalf of our clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul, we have sent a letter to TSN demanding that TSN issue a formal apology and pay a significant amount of damages to each of our clients for broadcasting a false and defamatory tweet during their trade deadline show yesterday. We are sending a similar letter to the author of the tweet, Mr. Anthony Adragna.

“It is bad enough that there are people who spend their time using social media to publish such false and malicious stories, but it is made much worse when a reputable media outlet like TSN gives broad circulation and credibility to these false stories by republishing them as TSN did.

“If TSN and Mr. Adragna do not immediately comply with the demands set out in our letters, we have instructions from our clients to immediately commence a lawsuit against them.

And TSN’s apology:

On Monday when TSN was reporting on the NHL trade deadline it displayed a scrolling ticker of tweets from the public.

In spite of TSN’s protocols to prevent unfounded and inappropriate tweets from making it to air, a false, and inappropriate tweet was allowed to run.

There was no basis for the false allegation made in this tweet.

TSN unreservedly apologizes to Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert and regrets any embarrassment this unfortunate incident has caused to them.

It seems unlikely that this will go to court and no doubt TSN will pay damages to the trio in an undisclosed settlement.

We can only hope that this leads to the end of sports broadcasts being filled with boring and uninteresting tweets and hashtags. Does anyone other than the author actually read the endless stream that adds nothing of value to the broadcast? In the end, the TSN’s of the world will most likely continue to show viewer tweets, albeit with much more moderation, as they want to social media for further #engagement and improving their #brand.

— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

Trade Deadline Day 2015 on Sportsnet and TSN

Trade Deadline Day 2015 will the the first since Sportsnet took over all national NHL rights. Whether this makes a difference for viewers or not remains to be seen later in the week when the ratings come out. Last year’s TSN broadcast on deadline day had four times as many viewers  as Sportsnet, TSN averaged 243,000 vs. 63,000 on Sportsnet — all poor souls who apparently haven’t harnessed the ability of getting push alerts on their phones instead of watching television for ten hours.

SPORTSNET HOCKEY CENTRAL

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on all four Sportsnet regional channels, Sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet Now.

  • Main Desk – Host Daren Millard is joined by Mike Johnson, Nick Kypreos and Kelly Hrudey to navigate a day’s worth of news
  • Breaking News Desk – Christine Simpson is joined by Elliotte Friedman, Chris Johnston and John Shannon to deliver the latest trades and rumours
  • Reaction Panel – Jeff Marek referees the expert panel of Glenn Healy, Doug MacLean, Darren Pang and Craig Simpson as they debate and discuss the big moves
  • Analytics – Damien Cox dissects the trades of the day, using analytics to explain why a player was traded and what the teams were looking for
  • In the Hot Seat – George Stroumboulopoulos provides insightful interviews and discussions throughout the day
  • Digital Zone – Sophia Jurksztowicz keeps a pulse on the fan reaction on social media
  • Around the League – Sportsnet’s comprehensive network of reporters check in from across the league to share reactions in real-time

TSN TRADECENTRE

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on the four regional TSN feeds TSN1/3/4/5, TSN.ca and TSN GO.

  • Host: James Duthie
  • Trade Breaker Desk: Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, and Gord Miller
  • Instant Analysis Panel: Aaron Ward, Ray Ferraro, Jeff O’Neill, Pierre McGuire
  • Deadline Panel: Darren Dutchyshen, Martin Biron, and Ron Wilson
  • Trade Bait: Craig Button
  • Post2Post: Jamie McLennan
  • TSN The Reporters Panel: Dave Hodge with Michael Farber, Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, and Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur
  • Satellite Contributors: Gary Lawless, Francois Gagnon, and Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch
  • Social Contributor: Cabral “Cabbie” Richards
  • SPORTSCENTRE Updates: Jennifer Hedger
  • SPORTSCENTRE Bureau Reporters: Cory Woron, Mark Masters, Jermain Franklin, Sara Orlesky, Farhan Lalji, Brent Wallace, John Lu, Ryan Rishaug, Sheri Forde, and Matthew Scianitti

Free agent Dustin Penner was scheduled to be apart of TSN’s coverage as a “social contributor” alongside Cabral Richards, however Penner has been cut after making a couple of rape “jokes” on Twitter last night (Saturday). Unfortunately, Cabbie will still be on screen.

15th Annual Hockey Day In Canada This Saturday On CBC, City, Sportsnet

With over 13 hours of coverage, the 15th annual Hockey Day In Canada takes place this Saturday from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It will feature an NHL triple-header included in the five national games taking place featuring all seven Canadian teams. Also included is a CHL double-header on Friday and Saturday night from Halifax.

George Stroumboulopoulos will be front-and-centre hosting from the Hockey Central studio in Toronto, while Ron MacLean will be on-location at the Outdoor Oval in Halifax. Kelly Hrudey, Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos join Stroumboulopoulos in Toronto, with Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Jennifer Botterill, and NHL alumni including Wendel Clark, Lanny McDonald and Guy Carbonneau joining MacLean in Halifax.

The broadcast will also visit the following communities throughout the day:

  • South Delta, BC (Ladner Leisure Centre) – Sportsnet’s James Cybulski will be joined by former Canucks goalie Kirk McLean
  • Downsview, ON (Scotiabank Pond) – Sportsnet’s Carly Agro will be joined by former Leafs forward Shayne Corson
  • Chambly, QC (Isatis Sport Chambly) – Sportsnet’s Chantal Desjardins will be joined by former Habs goalie Jose Theodore

Back-to-back Halifax Moosehead games from Scotiabank Centre will highlight the CHL part of the broadcast with games on Friday night (7pm ET on Sportsnet) and on Saturday night (7pm ET on Sportsnet). Host Rob Faulds will be joined by analysts John Shannon and Todd Warriner, while RJ Broadhead calls play-by-play alongside analyst Sam Cosentino. Saturday’s game features a special ceremonial puck drop with MacLean and Cherry.

The full schedule is below. All times are Eastern. Continue reading

NHL On Rogers: Ratings Are Down, Rating Are Flawed

David Shoalts over at The Globe & Mail has published two fantastic pieces in the past two months on the slow start and low ratings Rogers has been getting in the first six months of their $5.2-billion, 12-year television and online deal with the NHL. Rogers promised advertisers before the season began of a 20% increase in viewers in their first season of the new deal and jacked up advertising rates to match that. That number currently sits at only 11%. Either Rogers underestimated just how much NHL Canadians want to watch, or the more likely scenario (especially if you frequent hockey discussions online) is that Rogers has ruined what was a perfectly good product in Hockey Night In Canada with flashy sets and terrible personalities.

Shoalts’ first article from December focused on the ratings numbers. The Saturday night early game was up just 9% — this is a combined rating of all 7pm games across the Rogers’ networks. The late west coast Saturday game though is down 17%, despite two games generally being shown this season compared to mostly a single CBC game last year. The Wednesday night national slot is doing better than last year with a 26% increase. Sunday night’s Hometown Hockey though.. oh, boy! Rogers say the ratings on City are better than whatever trash City was showing on a Sunday night last season, but some games have been getting well under half a million viewers, something that has rarely happened in past years when a Canadian team plays on national television.

Shoalts’ second article on the subject published last week sent everybody into pained laughter with Sportsnet president Scott Moore blaming Numeris, the company in charge of collecting television and radio ratings in Canada, on Rogers’ low NHL ratings halfway into the season. The quote came on the heels of ratings for the All-Star game drawing one-million less viewers than the last All-Star game in 2012 (1.479 millions versus 2.454 million). The Skills competition (800k less) and Fantasy Draft (600k less) were also down on 2012 numbers. The Winter Classic number was also down (1 million versus 3.6 million last year) though that can somewhat be explained by last year’s game featuring Toronto and this year’s being an all-U.S. matchup. Continue reading

Denver Post Writer Adrian Dater’s Creepy/Sexist Twitter Direct Messages

Yesterday news broke that sports media blogger Steve Lepore had been accused (with proof) of asking random women on Twitter if he could take (potentially) nude photographs of them. It was creepy and weird, but let’s be honest, as much as Lepore is well-known in sports media circles and maybe amongst other hockey fans, he’s just one of many bloggers who write for sites such as Awful Announcing (where he was subsequently fired). As is usual when someone finally steps forward with an accusation, the floodgates open and many more victims come forward. In fact around twenty more women accused Lepore of similar conduct yesterday.

Which then lead to the accusation (again, with proof) of similar misconduct by Denver Post writer Adrian Dater. Unlike Lepore, Dater is very well known. He is the Colorado Avalanche beat writer for a newspaper that is over 100 years old. He is credited with breaking the news that the NHL lockout had ended in the early morning hours of January 6, 2013. Yes, he broke the biggest NHL story of 2013 ahead of the likes of McKenzie, Lebrun and Kypreos. Oh, and he was also suspended by the Denver Post for two weeks in October for calling a hockey player a “pussy” on Twitter. A stance which he proceeded to defend.

Then today a woman, who is seemingly just a random Red Wings fan from Calgary named Maria Camacho, on Twitter accused him of similar misogyny he had been caught for in the past, as well as harassment. Ms. Camacho began with a Tweet stating, “I’m gonna to speak out about someone. I’m not gonna accuse them, I’m just going to post the screenshots and you can make your own judgement.” She followed up with screenshots of Dater complimenting her on a new profile pic, and then asking, “well, if you feel like showing more before that crop: daterster@gmail.com.” She also posted a screenshot of Dater telling her he is “not going to argue with a woman.

Interesting to see if the Denver Post reprimands him for this. Surely they have to. Thought I’d give this a little more attention since it may fly under the radar. He boasts in his Twitter bio that he is a husband and father, bet this will go down great at home.

More to come… assuming the Denver Post responds.

Bell files complaint with CRTC over Rogers GamePlus Feature

gamecentreBell Media, recent losers in the battle for the NHL national rights contract, has filed a complaint with the CRTC over their GamePlus feature that is available as a Rogers-exclusive on the NHL GameCentre Live app. Bell argues that the feature violates a CRTC rule that requires that content created for television must be offered to competitors. GamePlus allows viewers to choose alternate angles including RefCam and SkyCam.

The Globe and Mail elaborates on the CRTC rule:

The CRTC’s rules for vertically integrated players – companies that both create and distribute media content – bar media owners from withholding content from their rivals on the distribution front. The commission exempts online video services from its broadcast regulations, but specifies that television programming cannot be offered on mobile or Internet streaming platforms on an exclusive basis.

In an email to the Globe and Mail, a Rogers spokesperson stated, ““Clearly this programming is not designed for conventional TV. Conventional TV broadcasts the exact same program to a mass audience who all see the same content, presented the same way. With GamePlus, each fan has a unique experience. We wouldn’t have developed [the features] solely for broadcast use.”

The spokesperson then throws some massive shade, “It’s a shame that Bell is trying to stop innovation in hockey. This may be one of the reasons they failed to secure the rights in the first place. We’ve invested in significant new innovations to bring Canadians an enhanced experience.”

Bell is asking the CRTC to allow all subscribers to view GamePlus, regardless of their internet or wireless provider:

In an e-mail, BCE spokesman Mark Langton said: “We don’t see it as especially innovative that Rogers denies GameCentre consumers access to these stats and other features if they aren’t also Rogers internet or wireless customers. These consumers pay for GameCentre just like Rogers customers so why are they denied access to features available on regular broadcast TV anyway? It breaks the CRTC’s digital media rules, and it impacts all GameCentre consumers across Canada who love hockey but aren’t Rogers customers.”

Rogers has a month to respond to the complaint. The general public can also comment on the complaint via the CRTC site.


Dan — @SportsOnCdnTV

FX Canada Now Available On Bell Just In Time For Hockey

FX_CanadaBell Fibe and Bell Satellite TV customers finally had FX Canada and FXX Canada added to their programming lineup yesterday morning after hearing and seeing “NOT AVAILABLE ON BELL” since the channel launched in October 2011. The addition came on the eve of FX Canada’s first Saturday night showing NHL as part of the 12-year contract Rogers signed earlier this year. FX and FXX Canada are owned by Rogers.

FX Canada will show a US-vs-US matchup each Saturday night during the regular season. Tonight is Washington at Boston, followed by Boston at Buffalo, Chicago at St. Louis, and Washington at Tampa Bay over the coming weeks.

It could be coincidence or maybe Bell finally caved and realized they could potentially be fielding hundreds if not thousands of complaints every weekend for the next six months from upset hockey fans. There is no confirmed information on why Bell had held out for the past two years, but the speculation is that Rogers wanted the channels in a package and Bell wanted to offer it a la carte. I guess hockey trumps all.

FX Canada can be found on channel 1331 on Bell Fibe and 1290 on Bell Satellite. It is on free preview until November 13 with no details on pricing after that date available yet.

Sportsnet Boasts Huge Numbers For NHL Opener, Though Down From CBC Last Year

nhlsportsnetDespite setting a new Sportsnet viewing record, Sportsnet’s coverage of the opening game of the 2014–15 NHL season between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens was actually down 14% from last year’s CBC broadcast of the same game.

Last year, CBC recorded 2.33 million viewers for the mid-week Leafs-Habs opener, while this year’s broadcast this past Wednesday managed an average of 2.01 million viewers with 8 million English-speaking Canadian tuning in to at least part of Wednesday Night Hockey. This is a record for a hockey broadcast on Sportsnet and it was also the number one program viewed across Canada on Wednesday night according to Numeris. The previous record for Sportsnet viewership was the 2013 Blue Jays home opener which got an audience of 1.44 million.

On the French-language side, TVA Sports got 952,000 viewers for the Habs-Leafs which makes a total of 2.7 million Canadians that watched the game, down from CBC’s and RDS’s combined total of 3.31 million last season.

The Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks game that followed the early game received an average audience of 1 million – also down from CBC’s home opener late game broadcast of 1.05 million which was Oilers-Jets. The pre-game show earlier in the night averaged 377,000 viewers.

One entirely possible explanation is that 32,000-viewer difference can be attributed to over-the-air CBC being available in more homes than the cable-based Sportsnet (CBC is available in about 4 million more homes than Sportsnet). Another could be that Canadians were watching digitally. Sportsnet also recorded huge numbers for their brand new NHL GameCentre Live. 55,000 people watched the Leafs-Habs game online, with 75% watching on their desktop computer and 25% on a tablet or smartphone, and over 80,000 minutes of on-demand replays from the game was streamed by fans.

Look for a review on Sportsnet’s television coverage and GameCentre Live over the weekend.

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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GameCentre Live Includes New GamePlus Feature Only For Rogers Customers

gameplus

The new angles on offer with GamePlus.

If you’re a Rogers subscriber and plan on using GameCentre Live this season, you will have access to an exclusive experience dubbed GamePlus. It will offer new and innovative (to hockey broadcasts, that is) cameras to choose from as well as multiple replay angles, advanced stats, exclusive interviews and expert analysis not available elsewhere.

Here are the new cameras available for viewing:

  • Sky Cam sits at the 200 level in the Air Canada Centre and follows the puck red line to red line at six metres per second;
  • Ref Cam is on the referee’s helmet and puts fans on the ice to get in on face offs, breakaways and goals (the referee’s will not be mic’d up though, so don’t expect to hear player conversations);
  • POV Cam spotlights the hustle from inside the blue lines and for the first time inside the players’ benches;
  • Star Cam tracks a single player throughout the game no matter where the puck goes;
  • Goal Line Cam provides a top-down view of the ice, directly above the offensive action;
  • MyReplay lets fans select multiple replay angles to analyze key plays during the game, including goals, power plays, penalty kills, and the ref’s tough calls.

The above features are only available for select games each week plus the Winter Classic, All-Star game and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rogers says they have invested $10 million to create this Rogers-only feature (no doubt hoping people will switch to Rogers and help pay off that investment). No word yet whether it will be offered in the future as a paid option to non-Rogers customers.

Seems as though a majority of the eight new angles will only be available for Toronto Maple Leafs games at the Air Canada Centre, though Rogers would like additional cameras such as the SkyCam to other Canadian arenas in the future. It will be interesting to see whether the new angles, especially SkyCam and RefCam will be used during live play on television or restricted solely to replays.

If you’re a Rogers customer with any internet or wireless data plan, you are eligible to access GamePlus with your free subscription until December 31, 2014. If you’re a Rogers customer who does not have any Rogers internet or wireless data plan, but have Rogers Home Phone or Rogers Digital TV (any package), and have subscribed to Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE, you are eligible to access GamePlus.


Dan — @SportsOnCdnTV

More CGI Advertising Possibly Coming to an NHL Broadcast Near You

During this weeks Islanders at Devils NHL pre-season game at the Prudential Center, the boarding all around the ice was tinted yellow and was apparently for testing CGI advertising. There was no television broadcast of the game, but superimposed advertising was visible on the inhouse video feed at times.

From Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice blog:

There was no telecast of tonight’s game, but a couple of times the ads showed up on the replays shown on the scoreboard’s video screen. (I saw one with a red McDonald’s ad that wrapped completely around the end boards). Otherwise, the CGI ads are not visible to those in the arena. (There are the regular ads on the board that you normally see, though.)

Select regional broadcasts in Canada and the US already used CGI advertising on the glass behind each goal, and I guess this is the next step for money-hungry cable sports networks. The difference and weirdness here is that they are covering up existing advertising with additional advertising. If I was a company with advertising signage, I’m not sure I’d be thrilled with my logo being covered up with a McDonald’s logo that wraps completely around the ice. No doubt those companies are paying for their #brand to be seen to fans in attendance as well as viewers at home.

Seems some of the players noticed the yellow tinting and weren’t too thrilled with it (from Fire & Ice again):

 “I don’t like that,” Devils’ Travis Zajac said. “Is it going to stay like that? I didn’t like it, hated it actually. I thought it was stupid. It doesn’t look right. You get used to it, but I still don’t like looking at it. That’s my opinion.”

There is no word on whether this was just a one-time test or whether it will be implemented during the regular season. Also unknown is whether this was a test run by local broadcaster MSG or something NBC was using for national broadcasts (this seems more likely). Lets be thankful though — if this green screen advertising does come to Canadian broadcasts — that it isn’t Rogers developing the technology as they continue to be the only MLB broadcast to use that horrifically bad CGI advertising during Jays home games in the batters eye and on the baselines.

roger-centre-advertising

 


Posted by Dan — @SportsOnCdnTV

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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Hockey Fans Can’t Comprehend NHL Blackout Rules

If you’ve been on Twitter this week as the NHL pre-season begins, you may have seen the hilarity that ensued after TSN’s and RDS’s regional broadcast of Habs, Leafs, Sens and Jets games. For various reasons, people were pissed that they couldn’t see the hockey game they wanted to and instead were greeted by the dreaded ‘program is not available’ message.

A search of Twitter will bring up a lot of angry tweeters who vented their frustration (incorrectly) at TSN or RDS. Here are some of the highlights:

No more blackouts?

More channels equals more games?

Sportsnet never had blackouts apparently!

Misunderstanding of how the new TSN channels work.

Zero knowledge of how blackouts actually work.

Let’s just get this out of the way first: At times, people can be just plain stupid. That said, there are some valid reasons here as to why people are upset and confused by this whole, completely brand new “blackout” thing.

First off, Rogers can somewhat mostly be blamed for this. In their big announcement of their new national rights deal, Rogers incorrect stated there would no longer be blackouts for NHL viewers in Canada. In fact, the article on NHL.com still states “The agreement also guarantees there will be no further regionalization of games or local blackouts.” This was later clarified by Rogers and Sportsnet but it was too late for most as ‘no blackouts’ featured in numerous headlines and articles about the deal. Now viewers are pissed they can’t see a hockey game they were told they could see.

Others seem to think that by TSN adding three new channels and promising more sports, that somehow meant they would be able to watch any hockey they wanted that screened on the network. No doubt viewers were also used to seeing most games that aired on TSN in the previous seasons when they had national rights. Speaking of previous seasons, some may also be confused because they never saw regional games on their guides before. For example, if you’re in Toronto, you never saw Jets or Habs regional games as they aired on a separate network available only to those in the respective teams viewing area. For Habs French-language games, RDS previously had the national rights so viewers across Canada with RDS were able to watch. This season, RDS only has regional rights so those outside Eastern Canada are out of luck.

To their credit, both TSN and RDS have tried to help explain the situation to viewers. RDS has published a page in both English and French explaining why the blackouts aren’t their fault and the TSN Twitter account has been replying to those upset.

Screenshot 2014-09-26 06.58.30

For now though, I’m sure people will remain angry no matter whether they are told the very reasonable explanation as to why they can’t see a game featuring a Canadian team on the other side of the country or not. Of course, in the end, you can blame the NHL for all of this for having regional television areas, but it’s not like they are the only league with a blackout policy.

— Dan (@SportsOnCdnTV)

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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