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NHL, TSN announce six-year multi-platform extension @NHLdotcom
NEW YORK/TORONTO – TSN and the NHL have agreed to a new six-year broadcast and digital rights deal that provides the NHL on TSN with more coverage of Canadian teams than ever before, it was announced today by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Rick Brace, President, Revenue, Business Planning and Sports, CTV Inc.  The agreement commences with the 2008-09 season and runs through 2013-14.

“This landmark agreement provides TSN with its strongest NHL package ever.  Giving Canadian hockey fans more coverage of their teams has always been a top priority for TSN and this new deal delivers with greater access to Canadian teams and expanded hockey coverage on the digital platforms,” said Brace.  “The deal underscores TSN’s valued partnership with the NHL and we look forward to reaching new audiences and achieving new milestones with our all-encompassing NHL programming.”
"TSN does an outstanding job of capturing all aspects of NHL hockey, and we are extremely pleased that our fans in Canada can look forward to six more seasons of creative, innovative and passionate NHL coverage," said Daly.

Under terms of the deal, TSN secures exclusive Canadian specialty television rights for national English-language broadcast and digital coverage of NHL games.  Details of the agreement are as follows:   
  • TSN will televise 70 regular-season games annually; for the first time, all games will feature at least one Canadian team
  • TSN will televise the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, with the possibility of featuring a Canadian team in the Conference Quarter-Finals; marks the first time TSN would have coverage of a Canadian team in the post-season
  • Vast majority of games will be in High Definition on TSN HD
  • Suite of digital rights for TSN telecasts includes broadband, wireless and video-on-demand
  • Continued exclusivity of Wednesday Night Hockey, in which there are no other national or local telecasts 
  • Continued exclusive Canadian coverage of the NHL Entry Draft and NHL Draft Lottery Special
Headlining TSN’s increased Canadian team coverage is the Toronto Maple Leafs with 17 appearances annually, followed by Montreal with 15, and 10 appearances each for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. 

TSN’s relationship with the National Hockey League dates back to 1987.  Since then, TSN has aggressively worked to grow its NHL telecasts to marquee status.  In fact, audience levels have increased 32% in the last five seasons, going from 311,000 viewers in 2002-03 to a season-ending national average audience of 410,000 viewers in 2007-08 (2+)*.  Audience levels have also increased 30% over the past five seasons in the key A25-54 demo coveted by advertisers.  TSN has continually reached and surpassed audience levels previously attained only on conventional networks, with the crowning moment occurring on opening night of the 2005-06 season when a record 2.1 million viewers tuned in to TSN’s Senators-Maple Leafs telecast.  It was the largest audience ever for an NHL on TSN telecast.

The audience growth caps an ambitious, long-term broadcast, marketing and promotions strategy for the NHL on TSN, which garnered two Gemini Awards last year for excellence in sports broadcasting.  The NHL on TSN continues to receive critical acclaim for its innovative production elements (One-Up/One-Down and Front Row Centre, in which both the play-by-play announcer and analyst are at ice level), award-winning promotions (Million Dollar Shootout), unique marketing/PR campaigns (Hockey Lives Here, Six Cities in Six Days), and its esteemed broadcast team and high-profile guest analysts. 

Complementing TSN’s NHL game and event coverage is the network’s comprehensive NHL programming that includes Molson That’s Hockey, TradeCentre, Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration, Free Agent Frenzy, Fantasy Draft and Playoff Specials, McGuire’s Monsters, as well as SportsCentre and talk shows Off The Record and TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge.

TSN is committed to continue providing unparalleled exposure for its NHL programming through on-air cross-promotional support on the CTV family of networks and services, including CTV, NHL Network, ESPN Classic, MuchMusic, MTV, Discovery Channel and The Comedy Network.

TSN previously owned the NHL national package from 1987-88 to 1997-98 and from 2002-03 to 2007-08.  Under the current expiring agreement, TSN owned the broadcast rights to 70 regular-season games annually and the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup® Playoffs.
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