True North Sports & Entertainment, in conjunction with Bell Media, are pleased to announce today they have entered into a 10-year agreement awarding the regional television broadcast rights for the Winnipeg Jets and the radio broadcast rights for the hockey club to Sports Radio 1290.
This deal ensures that ALL 82 Winnipeg Jets home and away games will be available for fans on both national and regional television and radio through to the 2011-12 season.
As part of the agreement, TSN will broadcast more than 60 regional regular season and pre-season games each season to fans in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and parts of Northwestern Ontario on the newly launched “TSN Jets” – a part-time television service dedicated to Jets games and launching September 20th.
In addition to the regional broadcasts, TSN will also broadcast five Jets games across Canada as part of the network’s national broadcast agreement with the NHL.
The agreement with Bell Media also includes exclusive radio broadcast rights for Sports Radio 1290 – Winnipeg’s only all-sports station. Sports Radio 1290 will be home to all 82 regular season Jets games along with Stanley Cup Playoffs and pre-season games.
“True North Sports & Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets are ecstatic to have entered into this agreement with Bell Media. It is a landmark agreement for broadcasting and professional hockey in Winnipeg,” said Jim Ludlow, President & CEO, True North Sports & Entertainment. “The 10-year term demonstrates TSN’s long-term commitment to Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Jets. We are also excited about the prospects for the future of Sports Radio 1290 and we are confident they will carry forward what has been a tradition of outstanding radio coverage of hockey here in Winnipeg. The two aspects of Winnipeg Jets broadcast coverage go hand-in-hand and will lay the foundation for a prosperous partnership for the next decade. We are looking forward to watching the community rally around TSN Jets the same way they supported the hockey club and its ticket drive. The next best thing to being at MTS Centre now is subscribing, watching, and cheering on the Jets from your living room.”
“The return of the Winnipeg Jets has been the biggest story in hockey in Canada this year. Like all Canadian hockey fans we are thrilled to welcome the Jets back to the league and we are even more delighted to partner with True North Sports & Entertainment to bring game action to Jets fans,” said Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports. “Bell Media’s television and radio platforms will work together to cover all aspects of Jets hockey over the next decade. We are looking forward to working closely with all television service providers in the region to ensure as many fans have access to the regional games as possible.”
In addition to producing live game coverage, both TSN and Sports Radio 1290 have confirmed they will complement their broadcasts by producing extensive pre- and post-game shows.
Play-by Play Team
TSN and Sports Radio 1290 are pleased to confirm that veteran hockey broadcaster Dennis Beyak will be the primary voice of the Winnipeg Jets calling all regular season games. The Manitoba native will call 56 games for TSN Jets along with 26 games for Sports Radio 1290. Beyak has spent the past 16 years as an NHL broadcaster, most recently working as a play-by-play commentator for the Toronto Maple Leafs on AM 640.
In addition to Beyak, popular former Manitoba Moose broadcaster Brian Munz will call 56 Jets games for Sports Radio 1290. Munz has become a fixture on the Manitoba sports scene for the past five years. Prior to being the voice of Moose, the Regina product worked extensively in sports broadcasting on the Edmonton Oilers radio broadcasts, was the play-by-play voice of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks and Humboldt Broncos.
Colour analyst roles for the TSN Jets broadcasts will be shared between former NHL players Brian Engblom and Mike Johnson. Winnipeg’s Engblom is a Stanley Cup winner and member of Manitoba’s Sports Hall of Fame. Engblom made the move to broadcasting in 1993 and has worked with top broadcasters including ESPN, Versus and Altitude Sports and Entertainment.
Johnson is considered one of Canada’s rising young NHL broadcasters. The veteran of more than 650 NHL games has been working at TSN in a variety of analyst roles for the past three years including the main analyst for TSN’s overage of the IIHF World Championship
Former NHL defenceman Shane Hnidy also joins Sports Radio 1290 as a colour analyst for all Jets games this season. An 11-year veteran who’s played 550 NHL games with seven teams, Hnidy was a member of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins last season.
Sports Radio 1290 will confirm its colour analysts and Jets Insiders in the coming weeks.
TSN Winnipeg Bureau
TSN also announced today the network has opened a permanent TSN bureau in Winnipeg to cover all major sporting news coming out of Manitoba. Winnipeg-native Sara Orlesky returns home to lead the bureau and be the main TSN reporter covering the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Orlesky’s reports will be featured prominently on TSN’s slate of news programs and platforms.
About TSN Jets
TSN is in discussions with television service providers in the broadcast region with the hope of ensuring the broadest possible distribution of Jets games. Carriage of TSN Jets has already been confirmed by Bell TV, launching September 20 on Bell TV on Channel 1423 in High Definition and on Channel 423 in SD.
The Jets broadcast region includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, plus parts of Northwestern Ontario including Kenora, Dryden and Thunder Bay.