For Canadiens fans who are still confused about how they can watch all 82 Habs games on TV this season, here’s an update:
Ever since Rogers outbid TSN for the NHL national TV rights in Canada, Canadiens fans outside Quebec have been wondering whether they will be able to see Les Habitants.
In recent years, they have had access to all 82 regular-season games by subscribing to RDS as part of their cable or satellite package. Under the new deal, Rogers sold the French-language rights to TVA Sports, which will televise 22 Canadiens games. RDS retained the rights to the other 60 games, but it appeared that fans in Ontario and points west would be out of luck because RDS had become a regional network limited to Quebec, Eastern Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces.
It appeared that the only recourse for Canadiens fans was to purchase the NHL Centre Ice package for $200.
But Rogers, which has received its share of complaints from irate Canadiens fans, has provided a solution with a French-language package that provides fans access to the RDS package, which has 60 Canadiens games and 54 Ottawa Senators games.
Judging from the reaction on HIO, there seems to be a lot of confusion over the package, but here are the important points:
- The package will be available on cable and satellite television as well as for online devices with Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE (the NHL streaming service).
- Fans will be able to buy the French-language package for $60 and aren’t obligated to buy the full Centre Ice TV package. If fans want the regional games in English on TV, they will have to spring for the full Centre Ice package.
The French package will give fans outside the Eastern region access to every Canadiens game this season. The 22 games not carried by RDS and any playoff games will be available across Canada on the various Rogers outlets.
In most cases, fans will be paying more than they did in the past to add RDS to their cable package, but if you do the math it comes out to $1 a game even if you pass on the Senators.
For more details you’re best to contact your cable or satellite provider.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)