Breaking Down The National TV Schedule

Last year, the Calgary Flames were thought to be one of the worst teams in the NHL before the season began. And if you take a look at the national television schedule, the team’s national games were really front-loaded.

But after 2014-15’s impressive performance, the surge in interest in the Calgary Flames has been reflected in the national television schedule for this coming season. Now that we’ve had time to sift through everything, here’s what you need to know about the national television schedule for the Flames in 2015-16.

MONTH BY MONTH

2015-16 2014-15
October 8 7
November 4 4
December 5 5
January 5 7
February 6 4
March 6 3
April 2 1
Total 36 31

That’s more national games overall, and more national games later in the season. The 2014-15 Flames were expected to be in the McDavid sweepstakes, and more national games later on could’ve been depressing to watch. There were 9 nationally televised games scheduled after last year’s All-Star Break. This season? That number is 14. There’s a lot more interest in the Flames, at least based upon how the schedule looks for national games.

CHANNEL BREAKDOWN

2015-16 2014-15
Hockey Night in Canada 13 15
Sportsnet 10 6
Sportsnet 360 6 0
Sportsnet One 7 6
City TV 0 4
Total 36 31

The vast majority of last year’s Flames games on Hockey Night in Canada telecasts ended up being on the main CBC feed. In October and November they were a mix of Sportsnet 360 and the main Sportsnet feed, but the remainder of the season was aired on CBC.

“Hey, I don’t get Sportsnet 360, who am I going to miss?”

If you don’t get Sportsnet 360, you will miss a pair of games against Buffalo (and Jack Eichel), and a game each against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Jose and Washington.

“Hey, I don’t get Sportsnet One, who am I going to miss?”

If you don’t get Sportsnet One, you will miss a pair of games against Nashville, and a game each against Carolina, Chicago, Detroit, Florida and Minnesota.

If you have to choose which channel to get, I’d say 360 is the better option: you get Buffalo twice along with two key divisional games.

For the curious, there are 32 regional games on Sportsnet West and 14 on Sportsnet Flames; that amounts to slightly more games on SN Flames than last year, but there are fewer regional games overall.

BY OPPONENT

2015-16 2014-15
Anaheim 2 0
Arizona 0 1
Buffalo 2 0
Carolina 2 0
Chicago 2 2
Colorado 1 2
Dallas 0 1
Detroit 2 1
Edmonton 5 5
Florida 1 1
Los Angeles 1 1
Minnesota 2 1
Montreal 1 1
Nashville 2 1
New Jersey 0 2
NY Islanders 0 1
NY Rangers 2 0
Ottawa 2 2
Philadelphia 1 0
Pittsburgh 2 0
San Jose 2 2
St. Louis 0 1
Vancouver 3 4
Washington 1 1
Winnipeg 0 1

Anaheim on national TV? Logical. Carolina? Shrug. But lots of Washington and Pittsburgh make sense, as does the expected emphasis on Edmonton (McDavid!) and Buffalo (Eichel!) on the national docket. I’m a bit shocked that there’s so few Los Angeles games on national feeds given how impressive last season’s games were, but I suppose you need to leave something for the regional channels.