May 26, 2014

TSN's Turning Point

Tonight marks the last nationally broadcast NHL game presented by TSN for at least the next 12 years.

Earlier this year Rogers shocked the hockey world when they outbid CBC and Bell, TSN's parent company, for the exclusive rights to nationally broadcast NHL games - including the Stanley Cup playoffs - in Canada for the next 12 years. Rogers Sportsnet takes over next season, in partnership with CBC until they, too, are phased out in four years.

TSN was left out in the cold. That has saddened many hockey fans as TSN was considered by many to the best presenters of NHL hockey games. Tonight marks the end of an era in hockey television broadcasting.

Not that TSN will be lacking for hockey in upcoming years. They have the regional rights for many Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa games. They also will continue with the very popular World Juniors tournament and have the rights for all Hockey Canada games - men and women.

And with the network recently announcing they are expanding from 2 channels to five, you can bet they will be looking to expand their hockey coverage where they can. Do they go after junior or NCAA hockey? Perhaps AHL or KHL games?

TSN will likely continue - and maybe expand? - their hockey shows like That's Hockey! Upon Rogers mega-move TSN quickly responded by retaining several big on-screen names including James Duthie, Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro and Chris Cuthbert.

Tonight's Chicago vs Los Angeles game might mark the last nationally televised hockey game on TSN for more than a decade. Hockey will continue to live at TSN.

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