(Toronto) The CBC and NHL announced a new television deal today that will keep Hockey Night in Canada on the air until 2014. The six-year broadcast deal, which includes national English-language broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games in Canada, will begin when the current agreement between the CBC and the league expires after the 2007-08 season.
"Can you imagine seven more years of me? How can it get any better?" says Don Cherry.
The CBC and NHL made the official announcement during a news conference at the network’s Toronto broadcast centre with the Stanley Cup trophy present. As part of the new deal, the CBC will maintain exclusive Canadian coverage of NHL games on Saturday nights, including traditional doubleheaders and more regional telecasts.
The CBC also retains exclusive Canadian coverage of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL All-Star Game and the annual NHL Awards, and continued coverage of Canadian teams in the playoffs, ensuring national coverage of all Canadian clubs involved in the post-season.
Also, a multimedia package including live and on-demand video streaming of all CBC’s hockey broadcasts will be available online at CBC.ca in the near future. That means fans in Canada will be able to watch any Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC.ca, regardless of what game is being aired in their area of the country.
"This is the first day of a very exciting future for us and the NHL," said Richard Stursberg, the executive vice-president of CBC Television.
The announcement was a big win for the CBC because the public broadcaster suffered some setbacks in negotiations for key television properties the past few years.
In December 2006, the Canadian Football League announced a new five-year television contract with TSN a deal that leaves the CBC watching from the sidelines once its current agreement with the league expires after the 2008 season.
In 2005, a Bell Globemedia-Rogers Communications consortium won the rights to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. CBC had held Olympic broadcast rights since 1996.
CBC Sports responded to those losses by signing an eight-year agreement with FIFA that includes the rights to the next two World Cups, a four-year deal for alpine skiing and an eight-year contract for the World Curling Tour’s Grand Slam events.