NHL Network
NHL Network logo
CountryCanada
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Programming
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Ownership
OwnerNational Hockey League consortium (58%)
Edmonton Oilers – 23.2%
Calgary Flames – 23.2%
National Hockey League – 11.6%

CTV Specialty Television (21.42%) (Bell
ESPN Inc.)

Insight Sports (20.58%)[1]
Sister channelsNHL Network (United States)
History
LaunchedOctober 4, 2001
ClosedSeptember 1, 2015

NHL Network was a Canadian English language Category B specialty television channel broadcasting ice hockey programming. The channel's primary focus was on the National Hockey League (NHL), although it occasionally aired games from other leagues, such as minor league and international circuits, to fill its schedule.

The channel was owned by the NHL Network Inc., a venture consisting of the National Hockey League and two of its Canadian member franchises, CTV Specialty Television Inc. (a division of Bell Media and ESPN Inc.), and Insight Sports Ltd.[1] The network's ownership structure, which gave the league only an 11.6% interest, was due in part to foreign ownership restrictions for Canadian broadcasters, which prevented the NHL (which, during the channel's existence, was owned by 30 member franchises, of which at least 23 were based in the United States) from exercising majority ownership directly.

The network's Canadian operations were managed by Bell-owned TSN, the now-former cable rightsholder of the NHL in Canada. Following Rogers Communications' acquisition of sole national media rights to the NHL in Canada, the Bell Media staff members who operated the network were laid off in July 2015, and NHL Network was shut down entirely on September 1, 2015.

The network's U.S. version was not affected by the shutdown; its operations were migrated to the Secaucus, New Jersey facilities of MLB Network as part of a wider partnership between the league and MLB Advanced Media.

History

In November 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted approval to former NHL executive Jim Gregory on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated (formed later as The NHL Network Inc.) to launch The Hockey Channel, described as "a national English-language Category 2 specialty television dedicated exclusively to all aspects of the game of hockey".[2] The channel was launched on October 4, 2001 as NHL Network.[3] Its success led the league to create a sister network in the United States in 2007 with many of the same programs.

Even as Rogers Media took over as national television rightsholder of the NHL in Canada beginning in the 2014–15 season, NHL Network remained operated from the facilities of TSN and featured some of its talent. League sources reported that due to the preparations needed for its first season as rightsholder, Rogers was unable to immediately take over the channel, but that Rogers would reconsider its role in NHL Network the following season. TSN could have, alternatively, remained the operating partner of NHL Network beyond the 2014–15 season.[4]

On June 1, 2015, The Globe and Mail columnist David Shoalts reported that NHL Network in Canada would cease operations on September 1, 2015. Bell Media staff members who operated NHL Network on behalf of the partnership were laid off on July 1, 2015. In August 2015, the NHL announced that MLB Advanced Media would take over the U.S. NHL Network and operate it from the broadcast facilities of MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey, as well as the league's websites, and digital properties such as GameCenter Live (due to Rogers' rights deal, it will not handle distribution of the service in Canada).[5][6][7][8] The CRTC formally revoked the NHL Network's license at its request on September 17, 2015.[9]

Logos

Programming

NHL Network featured a variety of programming related to ice hockey, primarily from the NHL, including live and tape-delayed games from present and past seasons, documentaries, news and analysis series.

Programs

Live games

Unlike its sister network in the United States, there are currently no live games on the NHL Network in Canada per the conditions of the NHL/Sportsnet deal.

Alternate programming

The following programs aired when the network was broadcasting a live game in the United States, but unable to do so in Canada.

Special event coverage

The next edition of the Heritage Classic was to take place in 2016 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, however, the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers couldn't reach an agreement on which date the game should be held, so it has been put on hold until the 2016-17 season.[10]

The 2015 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 26 and 27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b CRTC ownership chart for NHL Network Archived October 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-601 CRTC 2000-12-14
  3. ^ "ESPN MediaZone Canada website". Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "The NHL Shift: News and notes, 6/20/2014". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  5. ^ Shoalts, David [@dshoalts] (June 1, 2015). "Bad news last week for about 20 staffers at NHL Network Canada. They were told league is closing Canadian operation Sept. 1" (Tweet). Retrieved July 17, 2015 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Pro Baseball's Streaming Video Unit Gets Ready for a $3 Billion Spinoff by Adding Pro Hockey". Re/code. Vox Media. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "MLB's Tech Unit Wins NHL Streaming Business". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2015.(subscription required)
  8. ^ "A closer look at NHL's partnership with MLBAM". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-430". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  10. ^ Lawless, Gary (January 20, 2015). "Heritage Classic put on hold until 2016-17". Winnipeg Free Press.