Defending Norris winner Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators open the 2013 season in Winnipeg on CBC next Saturday
CBC is usually broadcasting hockey games on Saturday nights in January, not announcing which games they will broadcast. Everything will return to normal in one week. CBC will broadcast games on 15 Saturday nights this season with limited regional action (at most there are two-way splits at 7pm). CBC will also broadcast six Saturday afternoon games in five windows, including the season-opener between the Senators and Jets next weekend. Another matinee will air on Super Bowl Sunday. Three more games will air on Thursday and Friday nights. And lost in all of the lockout talk is the fact that this is the 60th season of Hockey Night in Canada.
CBC’s schedule is highlighted by 18 all-Canadian matchups and ten Original Six games. The Canadiens lead the way with 16 games on CBC; the Leafs follow with 14 (March 2 is the only Saturday they don’t play). Ottawa and Vancouver has eight appearances each, while Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary all have seven.
Hockey Day in Canada is February 9. Winnipeg-Ottawa, Edmonton-Detroit, Toronto-Montreal and Calgary-Vancouver highlight more than 12 hours of hockey programming on CBC. Peterborough, Ontario will host Hockey Day this year. Lloydminster was originally schedule to host; however, it cancelled activities due to the chance the lockout would cancel the season. Lloydminster will host Hockey Day in 2014.
CBC will announce more information on the 60th season of Hockey Night in Canada later this week. For now, here is the broadcast schedule in PDF format. And here is CBC’s full press release.
CBC has announced they will show this Saturday’s Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators game on most of its stations. Viewers in Ottawa, the Atlantic provinces, Alberta, British Columbia and the Territories will receive this game on their local CBC station, making it the primary 7pm ET game. Viewers in most of Ontario will receive the New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs game. Quebec will see the Canadiens play the Flyers, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan will see the Jets play the Predators.
Dean Brown and Greg Millen will call the game in Ottawa, marking the first time either has worked a primary 7pm ET Hockey Night game in several years. Brown and Millen, of course, were once the regional commentary pair for Senators games on Sportsnet East about ten years ago.
Recently Canadian NHL executives, including Senators General Manager Bryan Murray, have called for the CBC to give smaller markets like Ottawa and Winnipeg more national attention on Saturday nights. The Leafs have had their game shown to the widest possible audience on all but three Saturday nights prior to this week. Two of those were nights the Leafs didn’t play and the other featured a Jets @ Coyotes as the co-main game along with the Flames @ Maple Leafs game.
The Senators will have five games go to a wide audience in the final few weeks of the season. They have matinee Hockey Night games on March 31 and April 7. They were also featured this past Friday and Saturday night.
Ratings… An average of 851, 000 tuned into the Canadiens @ Senators game on CBC Friday night. That is up from the 664, 000 who watched the first half of the home-and-home Wednesday night on TSN. The Maple Leafs @ Senators game on Saturday had an average audience of 2.1 million, while the late game featuring the Blue Jackets and Canucks attracted an average audience of 1.1 million.