HNIC stays put
The CBC and National Hockey League will announce a new television agreement today that will keep Hockey Night In Canada on the air well past the 2007-08 season.Crisis averted.
The Globe and Mail has learned that the new rights is worth about $100-million a year, an increase from the $65-million that the CBC is now paying the NHL.
The rights deal is believed to be six years in length. It will begin when the current agreement expires after the 2007-08 season.
TSN's influence continues to grow, and the all-sports channel has really emerged as a player for rights packages in all sports here in Canada. The fact that TSN could plausibly bid for Hockey Night in Canada certainly didn't hurt the NHL's leverage in negotiating this new deal.
One other thing of note that Houston brings up in his piece is that it is expected that TSN's playoff coverage this season will include series with Canadian teams, which, depending on how many make it into the playoffs (at the moment it'll be anywhere from two to five), could leave HNIC with more than a few all-American match-ups.
Not that we haven't gotten used to that scenario in recent years.
In general, the competition between the two networks is a good thing for the league — and a good thing for viewers.
The playoffs begin in 16 days.