Today is a historic day north of the border and as a result, here in the States at the NHL headquarters in New York. The reason you’re hearing all the champagne bottles popping is because the NHL struck a landmark $4.9 billion television rights deal in Canada with Rogers Sportsnet which shifts the home of hockey from TSN to Rogers Sportsnet.
To compare this to something most Americans care about like Canadians do hockey, this would be like TNT acquiring the NFL television rights to air NFC games. If that happened, the new home of NFC games would be TNT while FOX would have to air Walker Texas Ranger reruns on Sundays at noon.
So to say this is a big deal is to not emphasize the change enough.
But one question hockey fans in Canada are wondering about is how the change from TSN to Rogers Sportsnet will effect the NHL’s equivalent of Sunday Night Football — CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rogers Sportsnet will offset the huge bill from the NHL by sub-licensing games to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada which will air games of the week on Saturday night as well as spilt playoff games with Rogers Sportsnet. The television company also has a separate deal in Quebec with TVA but it’s not related to the Hockey Night in Canada deal.
So while the home of the NHL has shifted hands for the first time in the history of the NHL in Canada, Hockey Night In Canada is going to roll with the punches and isn’t at all effected by the new deal and will be joining the NHL in leaving TSN in the dust.