UPDATE: According to NHL.com, the National Hockey League has agreed to a groundbreaking 12-year television deal with Canadian media giant Rogers Sportsnet. The contract is worth $5.232 billion dollars and is the largest TV rights partnership agreement in hockey history.
Read more courtesy of NHL.com.
ORIGINAL STORY: When the story first broke, it was one of those moments where you kind of hoped this was a fake Bob McKenzie Twitter account, spewing some ridiculous lie. That is not the case.
While no announcements are expected until some point much later in the day, TSN’s Bob McKenzie did not hesitate to blow the roof open on this story, like he has so many others in the past. According to hockey media icon and TSN backbone, Bob McKenzie, moving forward the NHL will share the bulk of its Canadian television rights with CBC (the hosts of the second-to-none broadcast Hockey Night In Canada) and Rogers Sportsnet:
Official announcement expected Tuesday by NHL: CBC and Rogers have exclusive English-language NHL rights deal. Believed to be 12 year deal.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 26, 2013
What does this mean for hockey fans in Canada? Well, for starters, it means the way you watch hockey is going to change. First, breathe a sigh of relief for CBC’s retention of TV rights. No broadcast in North America puts on a show like Hockey Night In Canada. As for TSN, the clear number two in quality and obvious number one in quantity, as well as, commitment to progression, the viewer experience will suffer. Sportsnet doesn’t quite entertain hockey viewers like TSN. However, Rogers’ sports channel has never had to put on a TSN-like hockey show before, so I guess we don’t know what they’re capable of.
Many are shocked and saddened to hear about TSN’s loss of NHL television rights:
Condolences to TSN hockey people. I know how you feel. It's gut wrenching and deflating. I'm sure many will move over. Good luck.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) November 26, 2013
With CBC & Rogers (Sportsnet) set to announced huge exclusive deal with NHL, this means TSN is on the outs… I'm beyond shocked. Whoa.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) November 26, 2013
Congrats to CBC and Rogers. Hard to imagine anybody covering #NHL with the class and passion TSN has shown all these many years.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 26, 2013
feel for the folks at TSN in canada…i clearly remember how we felt at ESPN when we lost hockey pbp rights… #stillhurts
— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) November 26, 2013
But TSN has some of the finest hockey personalities in the business. Thus, it is safe to assume some of those great hockey analysts and insiders may be in line for a change of scenery. I mean, if Sportsnet is going to compare to TSN’s excellence, they may need the help of TSN’s best showmen, that is, if NBC doesn’t get to them first. Ditto for CBC:
TSN loses live NHL coverage. beyond shocked but NBC needs to start picking at their top guys (Cuthbert, Duthie, Dreger) immediately.
— KEDGE (@KedgeWinchester) November 26, 2013
CBC should use this as an opportunity to re-vamp their lineup — studio and on site.
— Adam Wazny (@wazoowazny) November 26, 2013
Many details will be made more clear about the NHL’s new Canadian television rights as the day goes on. Stay tuned.
Oddly enough, follow TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Twitter for more details.