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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the Flames 2018-19 broadcast schedule

The folks at Sportsnet announced the broadcast plans for the Calgary Flames for the 2018-19 season on Monday morning. The radio and television plans are remarkable in how little has actually changed from last season.

Here’s a breakdown of Sportsnet’s plans for the Flames for the upcoming season.

Radio

Every single Flames game will be broadcast over the airwaves by Sportsnet 960 The Fan, with the requisite amount of pomp and circumstance – including pre-game, post-game and intermission shows. All 82 regular season games are scheduled to be broadcast, plus all 10 preseason games – the two China games will be simulcasts of the TV broadcasts.

We’re getting the same broadcast crew as last season: Derek Wills on play-by-play, Peter Loubardias on colour commentary, plus our pal Pat Steinberg hosting the proceedings and doing Overtime following the games. (While not specified in the press release, I’d be shocked if Ryan Pinder didn’t get his usual 10 or so fill-in days during the season in Pat’s chair as he has over the past few seasons.)

Long story short: nothing has changed on the radio side.

Television

All 82 games will be broadcast on one of the many Sportsnet channels, plus four of the 10 Flames preseason games.

  • Sept. 15: Flames vs. Boston in Shenzen (Sportsnet) at 12:30 a.m. MT
  • Sept. 19: Flames vs. Boston in Beijing (Sportsnet ONE) at 5:00 a.m. MT
  • Sept. 19: Flames at Vancouver (Sportsnet ONE)
  • Sept. 22: Flames vs. Vancouver (Sportsnet/Sportnet ONE)

(The Winnipeg Jets broadcast schedule isn’t out yet, but for the past few years both Flames preseason games against them were televised by TSN3.)

The Flames are featured on 39 national broadcasts (up from 36 last season): 13 on Hockey Night in Canada, three on Sportsnet 360, one on Sportsnet ONE and 360, 14 on Sportsnet ONE, and eight on the Sportsnet national feed. (For the curious: the Vancouver Canucks get 34 national games this year while the Edmonton Oilers get 39.) The remaining 43 games are on the regional broadcasts, with 38 on Sportsnet West and five on Sportsnet Flames. If you have a fairly basic cable package, you’ll get most of the games without much fuss.

While national broadcast teams will rotate (as usual), Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey are the primary regional broadcast team once again. Canadian hockey legend Cassie Campbell-Pascall will also do colour commentary for some games, presumably ones on or around the weekend when Hrudey has to attend to his Hockey Night in Canada panel responsibilities in Toronto. Ryan Leslie takes over full-time hosting duties after covering road games for Sportsnet last season, and he’ll be joined by Eric Francis on a more permanent basis as Francis moves to Sportsnet full-time from the Calgary Sun.

Aside from the retirement of Roger Millions, very little has changed on the television side.