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July 22, 2014

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KWH84

To be honest, I'm surprised the NHL hadn't found a way to close the Canadiens loophole on national tv broadcasts sooner. The Canadiens have a large following across Canada and I'm certain the NHL was losing a lot of potential NHL Centre Ice subscribers who would obviously find it much cheaper to add RDS to their cable/satellite package for a handful of dollars a month to get all the games rather than paying the couple hundred that Centre Ice costs. I'm a Habs fan but no other team's fanbase had that nice option of having all 82 games available on national tv. Presumably TVA Sports will be showing a lot of other NHL games not featuring the Canadiens throughout the week so Francophones across Canada can still have access to hockey in French.

With regards to the English regional package, I couldn't imagine the ratings for TSN-Habs were that great. Let's remember that Bell played dirty with that feed only making it available to Bell satellite and fibe subscribers. That meant they were losing out on potential viewership from customers on Videotron, Rogers, Cogego, etc. And we must remember that the English market in Quebec is very small so most people are going to be watching in French anyway. Having said that, if the Ottawa Senators can get regional French coverage then surely hockey's most storied franchise is deserving of a regular English outlet for their games.

Chad

I do agree that the Canadiens had an advantage coast-to-coast to have their games in French. But I don't know how many subscribers NHL Center Ice was losing to Francophones, unless the Canadian version offers RDS. Here in the States, they won't show a French feed unless the other team isn't televising the game. Curious to see what games TVA Sports will carry during the week.

I did not realize the TSN-Habs feed was limited to Bell subscribers. That makes a difference. The English language market in Quebec was small, but the area covers Eastern Ontario and the Maritimes. Then again, the Ottawa Senators shared that market with the Habs.

The NHL needs to step in and get these games on an English language outlet.

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