Bell Media and the Montreal Canadiens announced that they had reached a broadcast rights agreement that ensures RDS will be broadcasting Canadiens’ regional games for the next twelve years.
So why is this important for Senators fans?
Well, for starters, it’s the first Canadian broadcast agreement to be announced in the wake of the NHL and Rogers’ 12-year, $5.2 billion national broadcast rights agreement. This Habs announcement could simply be a precursor for an announcement between the Senators and whichever broadcaster (read: highest bidder) secures Ottawa’s regional rights.
Similarly, it’s no secret that the Senators are allowing Sportsnet and TSN to engage in a bidding war to air Ottawa’s regional games. The presumed assumption is that Bell will be uber-aggressive in trying to procure as many regional broadcast rights as possible, since they were frozen out of the national picture.
Financial terms of the deal were not released (the bastards), but Sens fans can expect a similar term in their next agreement and assuredly less dollars; in part, because this new RDS deal includes naming rights to the Bell Centre.
It’s worth mentioning that RDS is the long-standing regional broadcaster for Montreal games. Per TSN, RDS has been broadcasting Montreal Canadiens games since 1992, and became the official broadcaster in 2002.
But while Sportsnet has a similar relationship with the Senators, I think loyalty goes by the wayside here. After plans for bidding on a prospective casino went sideways, the organization has made no bones about searching for or having to maximize revenue streams to improve the team’s bottom-line.
I mentioned this on Twitter last night, but thanks to Eric and the guys at BonksMullet.com for organizing the first installment of the Sens Blogger Classic.
Despite the weather, the turnout was great and hopefully this becomes some