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Rogers/Sportsnet in talks to sell national broadcast rights

Published April 4, 2024 at 9:14

Rogers has reportedly engaged in discussions with Bell and Amazon to sell certain national broadcasts as their deal is set to expire in the coming years.

Rogers had originally inked a 12-year broadcast deal with the NHL ahead of the 2014-2015 season. At the time, they paid $5.2 billion, but according to Jonah Sigel, a writer for YYZ Sports Media, the lack of success by Canadian teams in the playoffs has caused a financial strain on Rogers and the Canadian telecommunications giant is now looking to sell off the rights to their Monday night broadcasts - including playoff games for the final two years of the deal.

Rogers has primarily engaged in talks with Amazon taking over its Monday night broadcasts, but The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta is also reporting that Bell Media, who owns TSN, has also engaged in some discussions about getting back into the national broadcast side.

Having TSN re-engage and deliver national broadcasts is something many Canadian hockey fans have been clamoring for since Rogers took over. TSN has largely been the preferred destination for fans in Canada to watch games, trade deadline and free agency shows. One of the biggest complaints since Rogers took over national rights is the lack of choice for viewers, even though Rogers has more than a handful of Sportsnet channels. Unless it is a Saturday night, often times during the week when there are 7-16 games on, multiple channels carry the same game, unless there is a regional broadcast, with the NHL's 'Frozen Frenzy' in October of this year being a prime example.

Canadian hockey fans were unable to tune into many of the games due to regional broadcasts, which is something TSN would have to deal with as well. However, ESPN, who was responsible for the 'Frozen Frenzy' broadcast, is a broadcasting partner of TSN, which likely would have led to many more options for Canadian viewers on that night specifically.

While Bell has had initial discussions, it appears that Amazon is the front-runner for the rights to Monday night games for the next couple of seasons. According to Sigel, there is framework already in place for Amazon to take over and while there is no agreement in place, that could come sooner than later.

Amazon has already entered the sports broadcasting sphere, featuring a number of live sporting events on its streaming platform, Prime Video, including PPA Pickleball Tour, ONE Fight promotions, NWSL soccer/football, and some NFL coverage.

April 4   |   566 answers
Rogers/Sportsnet in talks to sell national broadcast rights

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Sportsnet24944 %
TSN26446.6 %
Amazon142.5 %
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