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Discussion Starter #1
Like CBC, CITY, Sportsnet/360/SN?

Back in the day, could you use timeshfited channels to watch regional games? And if CBC showed the news over the late game, could you watch the late game on one of those timeshfted channels rom the west?
 

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There are 6 SN's plus City and CBC. Usually at least one will not have hockey with other programming depending on the season or they'll replicate games. The late game as there is usually only one is on all the regular Sportsnet's normally (ON, East, West, PAC) and CBC. Before Rogers you could use time shifted channels to watch games from other regions however since Rogers took over it's unnecessary cause as long as you have the SN package you can watch all the games between the free channels and SN. CBC nationally only carries two games (one early and one late) so time shifting now won't help you.
 

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I don't remember them doing four or five games in the CBC era too often. I remember one night in 96, they did four games. Since they usually had just 3 crews, i wonder who they could have used for a fourth telecast then.
 

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When it was CBC only, they would have 2 to 3 early games (schedule depending) and one or occasionally two late games. For some reason closer to the end of the season they would have triple headers and it would usually be the Habs playing at 4 with Leafs or Sens (or both) at 7 and the late game but those would usually only be in March or April closer to the end of the year.
 

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Something i noticed with HNIC, at least when i watched those games in the states, was that NHL Network carried a CBC feed that didn't allow for U.S. viewers to see updates from Andi Petrillo. Back when CBC feeds were not digital on one of those big dishes, I could see games without updates from Ron MacLean. This was during the playoffs in the 90s. You could the players change lines, etc during those updates.
 

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Looks like you were watching the raw network feed on the big dish the one they would send to the affiliates or NHL Network for example. My grand parents used to have one of those dishes and I would see those all the time. We'd watch TV and during a commercial you'd see the color bar and the network name like "Fox Network Los Angeles" or something like that and when the commercial is over you would see the show or game again. You still get that when you watch CNN Go via the app, you don't have commercials you just get a CNN logo with a small clock on the corner of the screen with a countdown of when the commercial will end.
 

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I remember a few times where the election caused issues, like CBC has pulled away from live action before and gone to election coverage which is usually over two hours. Of course now with Rogers running the show, one of their channels would be used, or CBC News Network would air the election. That happened in 2001 during a Colorado-St. Louis playoff overtime game when viewers in British Columbia were taken away abruptly from the game to election coverage. Nowadays Sportsnet would air the game in BC. That's why CBC and TSN have "traded" games sometimes.
 

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There are 6 SN's plus City and CBC. Usually at least one will not have hockey with other programming depending on the season or they'll replicate games. The late game as there is usually only one is on all the regular Sportsnet's normally (ON, East, West, PAC) and CBC. Before Rogers you could use time shifted channels to watch games from other regions however since Rogers took over it's unnecessary cause as long as you have the SN package you can watch all the games between the free channels and SN. CBC nationally only carries two games (one early and one late) so time shifting now won't help you.
Like for example, during the 2013-2014 season as one example.

Ottawa at San Jose is for the Ottawa area only.

Montreal at Vancouver is for everywhere else.

Nowadays, the Montreal game would be on CBC, while the Ottawa game would be on Sportsnet.

Another example.

Detroit at Edmonton is for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the territories, and the Windsor area

Montreal at Colorado is for everywhere else.

Now obviously, Montreal at Colorado would air on CBC, while Detroit at Edmonton would air on Sportsnet.
 

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Remember when Rogers used FX to air NHL games during the 2014-15 season?

Pretty much a ploy by Rogers in order to get Bell to carry their channels. By the next season, games were no longer on the service.

And now you've got scenarios where you could put a Leafs game on CBC and Citytv, and relegate a Habs-Jets game to cable.
 

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The Habs and Jets to cable is done on purpose as both of those teams have regional rights with TSN (Bell) and likely this is a ploy to boost Sportsnet to those viewers and maybe even force a few into subscriptions. You see this with Habs and Sens games also as Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg are the only three teams where all regional rights are with TSN (Leafs are split evenly by TSN and Sportsnet as Rogers and Bell are even shareholders in MLSE).
 

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There was a great article in the Globe a while back on all the various blackout rules, etc. I subscribe to the Globe so I hope this is not behind a paywall for you...


Here's some text:

Jay Rousseau had been looking forward to the new NHL season. He’s a lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan, but life had got busy over the past few years, he’d cut his cable and hadn’t caught many games. But now that he’s spending a lot more time at home (thanks, COVID!), he’d decided to splash out on the streaming package known as NHL Live, which for $180 plus tax, gives hockey fans across the country access to more than a thousand games in a typical season.

Then came the blackouts.

The Habs’ season opener, on Jan. 13 against the Leafs, came through just fine. So did the second game, on Jan. 16. But when Rousseau tried to watch the next three – the first, against the Oilers in Edmonton, followed by a pair against the Canucks in Vancouver – his iPhone displayed the following message: “Your selection is not currently available in NHL Live due to local or national blackout restrictions.”

He didn’t understand. The fine print on NHL Live said it offered “national and out-of-market” games,” as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Habs were playing in Edmonton and Vancouver, and he was at home, in the east end of Ottawa: Surely, he figured, that meant those games were out-of-market?

He figured wrong. In fact, Rousseau had stumbled upon a perennial source of frustration for Canadians: In a country in which watching hockey on TV is considered something close to a birthright, why do some fans have such difficulty figuring out how to catch their favourite teams?

“It’s just too confusing,” Rousseau said to me last week. He had sent a note to my editor complaining about being blocked from games without an explanation, so I called him up to get some details about his particular situation.

Then I jumped down a rabbit hole filled with hockey blackout trivia and patchwork maps of this country that would confound my Grade 9 Geography teacher.

When hockey first arrived on Canadian televisions in the 1950s, team owners were so concerned about the effect on ticket sales, games weren’t permitted to begin airing until the second period.

That’s why the English Premier League usually blacks out live coverage of its Saturday 3 p.m. soccer matches in Britain, in hopes that fans of lesser-ranked teams will go to games rather than staying home and watching better teams on TV. But the EPL has lifted the blackout during COVID-19, because fans can’t attend in person.

Many fans still believe that’s the rationale for hockey blackouts. Last week, Adam Reid, a Senators fan who lives in Newfoundland, tweeted: “How does the @NHL justify blacking out games IF WE LITERALLY CANNOT GO TO GAMES [followed by five ‘disapproval’ emojis]”. The tweet registered more than 2,000 likes.

But those fans are working from an outdated playbook. Decades ago, NHL owners realized the potential for higher TV revenue outweighed the risk of cannibalizing their ticket sales, so they began selling what are known as regional broadcasting rights to local channels, such as CHCH in Hamilton, which aired Maple Leafs games in the late 1970s and ’80s, and BCTV, which aired Canucks games.

Then the deeper-pocketed cable sports channels came along and scooped up those regional rights. (CBC retained its Hockey Night in Canada franchise, airing games across the country on Saturday nights, until Rogers Communications bought those, too, with its famous $5.2-billion deal for 12 years’ worth of national games.)

Here’s how the regional markets break down: TSN has the rights to Montreal’s, Ottawa’s and Winnipeg’s games; Sportsnet has Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver; and the two broadcasters divide the regional rights to Toronto’s games. If you live in a team’s home market, you need to subscribe to their regional broadcaster in order to watch games that aren’t aired nationally – regardless of where those games are played.

That’s why Rousseau couldn’t watch the Canadiens play the Oilers or the Canucks, even when the games were in Edmonton or Vancouver: The term ‘in-market’ refers to where the viewer lives, not where the games are played. Unluckily for him, the Canadiens “home market” comprises the five easternmost provinces plus a small triangle of Ontario east of Belleville that includes Ottawa.

He’d thought a subscription to NHL Live was his ticket around those restrictions. Sure, he knew blackouts were a possibility, but he’d consulted a tool on the NHL Live website, “What Can I Watch?”, which allows users to enter their postal code to find out which games they won’t be able to see. But when he bought the service, before the season began, none of the Canadiens games were marked as being blacked out.

He’d also poked around the TSN Direct site, that cable channel’s streaming service, but hadn’t turned up much information about Canadiens games there.

“I’ve been doing streaming forever, so I’m used to looking up to see what I get, and for what value,” Rousseau said. “And you cannot determine the value of streaming for NHL games, no matter which provider it is. It’s not possible to figure out what you’re going to get and what you’re not going to get.”

He told me he was considering using a VPN, which would change his computer’s IP address and make it look to NHL Live as though he were outside the Canadiens’ home market.

He’d also thought about turning to pirate sites. “You can stream anything free, and the quality is getting better and better. If [NHL Live] isn’t user-friendly, what’s the point?” Still, he said, he doesn’t want to cheat. “I’d rather pay for the service.”

I contacted Rogers Sports & Media, which sells NHL Live in Canada; a spokesperson informed me the “What Can I Watch?” tool had not yet been updated with information for the current season. Then, last Monday, it finally went live with valid info, six games into the season. I also contacted a spokesperson for Bell Media, who sent me a media release outlining which Habs games will air on TSN this season.

Then, recalling my long-ago days as a customer service rep, I called up Rousseau and gently broke the news to him that, if he wanted to see the bulk of the Montreal games, he’d need to subscribe to TSN Direct. Even so, I explained, that would get him only 34 of the Habs’ 56 regular season games this season: The other 22 will air nationally, on Sportsnet or CBC.

“I’m willing to pay a little more,” for one service or the other, he said, “but give me all the games!”

That would seem to make sense. But that’s not the way we do things here.
 
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