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.