In case you were trying to figure out how much you will have to spend to watch hockey next year, the Habs announced today that RDS will retain the regional rights to 60 Habs games per year, through 2026.
This means that 22 games will be aired on TVA and 60 games will be on RDS, with TVA getting the pick of the litter of prime-time games.
RDS will maintain their pre-season coverage, and TVA will provide the playoff coverage.
The team's designated broadcast region is defined as Quebec, the Maritimes, and parts of Ontario, which may lead to plethora of games being blacked out in the rest of the country. However there's also a chance TSN may decide to outsource some of the games. We'll have a better idea as the schedule comes out.
We've been lucky enough in the last several years to only have to tune into one channel to watch hockey games, however like almost every other team in the league Montreal's coverage will be spread among a few networks. It's a great opportunity for both RDS and TVA to up their production value, something both networks clearly lack.
It was also announced that Bell will retain the naming rights on the Bell Centre through 2028.
- PRESS RELEASE-
MONTRÉAL – RDS and the Montreal Canadiens announced today they have reached a new 12-year regional broadcast rights agreement that will make RDS the official broadcaster of the Montreal Canadiens through the 2025-2026 season. As part of the agreement, RDS’ parent company Bell also retains naming rights to the Bell Centre through 2028. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The new agreement includes broadcast rights for 60 regular-season games as well as additional pre-season games each season in the team’s designated broadcast region.
"Montreal Canadiens games have been a cornerstone of RDS programming for the past two decades and our commitment to covering the team and the league has never been stronger," said Gerry Frappier, President of RDS. "This agreement with the Canadiens is a testament to the great spirit of partnership we have built with the team over the years, and to the industry-leading coverage our world-class broadcast team delivers on a daily basis."
"We are very proud to extend our long time partnership with RDS and Bell Media for the forthcoming future. For many years the Canadiens, Bell, and RDS have enjoyed a successful working relationship and we definitely feel that it will continue to be beneficial to all parties involved and to all Montreal Canadiens fans. Le Réseau des Sports (RDS) is a broadcasting leader in sports television in the province of Québec and we are convinced that this agreement will further strengthen its position. We are also pleased to announce that the building’s naming rights has also been re-conducted and the home of the Montreal Canadiens will continue to be known as the Bell Centre for years to come," said Kevin Gilmore, COO of the Montreal Canadiens.
"As a proud partner of the Bell Centre since 2002, Bell is delighted to move forward today as sponsor of Montréal’s hockey shrine for at least the next 15 years," said Martine Turcotte, Bell’s Vice Chair, Québec. "The Bell Centre is a highly visible symbol of our commitment both to the city that has been Bell’s home since our founding 133 years ago and to the legendary Montreal Canadiens hockey club."
RDS has been broadcasting Montreal Canadiens games since 1992, and became the official broadcaster in 2002.