Breaking down the Flames 2016-17 TV schedule

Your pals at Sportsnet announced their national National Hockey League broadcast schedule this week, as well as the regional schedule for the Calgary Flames broadcasts. Aside from a few personnel tweaks – the unfortunate departure of Leah Hextall from the network being the most prominent – this year’s television set-up appears to be business as usual, though the press releases were a bit light on details about the various broadcast crews for the national games. Ron MacLean hosts the early games and David Amber hosts the late games, so expect to see a ton of Amber this season given Calgary’s time-zone and Pacific-heavy schedule.

The regional broadcasts will continue to be handled by Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey. The games will be hosted by Roger Millions, and it appears that intermissions will largely be Millions (joined by Eric Francis for home broadcasts, as he was last season). All 82 games will be broadcast on the radio as they typically are by Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, predominantly with our pal Pat Steinberg as host.

The Flames will be featured on 37 national broadcasts (up one from last season), with the remaining 45 games being regional ones. Pre-season broadcasts appear to be eliminated this year, presumably for cost-cutting reasons – it’s hard to believe that they drew enough ratings to justify how much they cost to produce.

The season opens with a series of national games – the first three games
and five of the first seven – and ends with a series of national games –
the last four games and six of the last eight. A lot of that probably
has to do with the Flames’ opponents, as they have a California-heavy
schedule over the last few weeks of the season.

In terms of the types of broadcasts, here’s the breakdown:

  • Hockey Night in Canada – 13 (last year: 13)
  • Sportsnet West – 35, plus 2 shared feed (last year: 32)
  • Sportsnet Flames – 11 (last year: 14)
  • Sportsnet National – 7 (last year: 10)
  • Sportsnet ONE – 8 (last year: 7)
  • Sportsnet 360 – 8 (last year: 6)

I Only Get CBC, How Many Games Can I See? The Flames are the only late game 7 times this season, so at least 7. The rest of the time they’re one choice of many, and it’s unclear how many will end up on the CBC.

I Only Get Sportsnet West, How Many Games Can I See? Between regional games and national feeds, you’ll be able to see 44 games.

The presumption based on Sportsnet’s personnel cuts over the summer is that the broadcasts will be slimmed down, but since specific announcements on the minutiae of each broadcast haven’t been made yet – Will the regional broadcasts still have panels? – we’ll have to wait and see.

    • mattyc

      except for the regional blackouts.

      It’s unreal to me that the only way to watch the flames on TV if you live in Calgary is to pony up and buy a $100/mo cable package. But I’m a millennial, and there’s probably not much constructive that can come out of a rant on Big Cable.

  • jakethesnail

    [This first part is removed].Ah well, at least Strombo is gone!

    If you have a Sports package from your TV provider you will see all 82 Flames games and all 82 oiler games.

    How many times are the Flames and oilers broadcast the same time?

    Mod: Why do you feel the need to objectify women?

    • Hunterthecat

      this might be one the stupidest comments I have ever seen on this site.
      Where do we start, first Leah wasnt just there for you to oogle like a creep she was there(however poorly she did it) to host the intermission panels.

      Second Strombo was one the best things to happen to the hockey night cast and we are all worse off without him. Back to the same tired crew spooning feeding their old school narratives.

      bah whatever just my 2 cents

  • redhot1

    One thing I’d like to see on regional broadcasts is some decent cameras. Rogers has been forcing the “ultra” cameras down our throats for the last year, but it seems they don’t leave the Air Canada Centre. Every US regional broadcast has ultra slo mo.

    Clean it up Rogers

  • slapshot444

    It’s going to be a great season for both the Flames and the broadcasting.
    The TV coverage couldn’t have improved any more even if I had done it myself. (ha)
    Leah, as i’m sure a nice a person as she is, wasn’t a hockey person. Great deletion.
    Strombo was actually a good moderator and great personality but again not a hockey person, great deletion. ( I’m a big Strombo fan FYI, and if he learns to get beneath the “shallow” he will be a legendary interviewer. )
    Ron is back,, best host and hockey person in Canada hands down. AND he knows how to push Bettman around in an interview.
    There are a couple of the national play by play callers that aren’t for me but aside from that we are unbelievably lucky to have the crews we will have. Anyone heard a US broadcast recently. I’d rather watch field hockey.
    We have a team on the climb, HD cameras that are better than ever and one of the best ever in Kelly.
    Go Flames. (oh, and sign Johnny)

  • beloch

    I, for one, think Strombo did a fine job. He was just unlucky. It’s not every year that every Canadian team misses the playoffs. Ratings suffered because of that, and Strombo became the scapegoat.

    That being said, the only problem with Strombo was that he was given the job while Ron MacLean still wanted it. Strombo did a fine job, but MacLean is on another level. If you collected the man’s sweat and tears you could boil it down to make hockey pucks. This guy knows hockey like few do. Being the HNIC anchor is not just a job to him. It’s his life-long calling. My only beef with him is that he doesn’t stay up late enough and we get the Pacific Coast “C” team instead.

    When MacLean no longer wants the job and retires (may it be a long time from now!), I’d love to see Strombo return and give it another go. Heck, bring him on as co-host or have him replace Amber as the “C” team anchor. Strombo would be a welcome addition to HNIC if it didn’t mean exiling MacLean to the hometown road-show.

    As for Leah Hextall, I think she did a fine job and it’s a shame she’s not returning. She knew her stuff and she knew how to stir the pot to get good material out of her co-hosts.

  • FireScorpion

    No Leah?! Damn, I will miss her. She was fun, spunky and had lots of energy and I got the feeling she actually was behind the team which is more than I can say for some over the years!