Posts Tagged ‘Rogers Communications’

Rogers Communications’ smart play: More Don Cherry, not less

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The future of Don Cherry and Ron MacLean is uncertain after NHL lands huge Canadian broadcasting deal with Rogers Communications.

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean still make Hockey Night in Canada must-see viewing. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Are we witnessing the end of Don Cherry’s stranglehold on Saturday night?

That was one of the key questions raised after it was announced that Rogers Communications had paid $5.2 billion to take over all English-language NHL broadcasting in Canada, including the venerable Hockey Night In Canada, after this season.

And with new owners calling the shots, many assumed or hoped that the new 12-year media rights deal, the biggest such agreement in NHL history, meant Cherry’s days were numbered.

Grapes, of course, isn’t buying it.

“They’ve been saying that for 30 years” he told CBC’s Andi Petrillo on Thursday. “I know I’m No. 1 and Coach’s Corner is No. 1 and what are you going to do?”

You can’t blame the man for his defiant attitude. He’s always kept the wolves at bay before. But the fact of the matter is that Hockey Night In Canada and, by extension, Cherry’s job, belong to Rogers now. The show may be an icon, but it’s their icon. And it’s almost inconceivable after making that kind of investment that they would not take the opportunity to put their stamp on the brand.

So the question is, what do they want Hockey Night In Canada to look like?

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  • Published On Nov 29, 2013
  • NHL strikes new 12-year, $5.2 billion Canadian TV deal; HNIC safe; TSN out

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    TSN is out under the terms of the NHL's new Canadian TV deal

    James Duthie, Bob McKenzie and the TSN crew are odd men out under the NHL’s new deal. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Canadians are about to lose their second national anthem. But in return, they’ll gain access to more NHL games than ever before.

    The league announced this morning a lucrative new 12-year, multi-platform deal with Rogers Communications for the rights to broadcast games in Canada.

    The package is worth a reported $5.2 billion. The Globe and Mail reports that Rogers will make annual payments to the NHL of $300 million, with the amount increasing incrementally until it reaches $500 million in the final year of the deal. Rogers will also pay $150-million up-front to the league.

    While this deal only covers Canadian TV rights, the windfall is split equally among all 30 teams. Each share is worth approximately $173 million per club over the life of the agreement.

    Rogers Sportsnet will have exclusive English-language NHL TV rights, but will sub-license to CBC, ensuring that Hockey Night In Canada, the gold standard in Canadian sports broadcasting since 1952, will continue to be a staple of free Saturday night viewing.

    However, the CBC’s broadcasting role will be diminished. In its own press release, the network stated that it is committed to “320 hours of prime-time hockey [per season], including games in the choice Saturday night-time slot and the Stanley Cup Final,” but only for the next four years.

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  • Published On Nov 26, 2013