NHL Network (Canada)
NHL Network logo
|Launched||October 4, 2001|
|Owned by||National Hockey League consortium (58%)
Edmonton Oilers – 23.2%
Calgary Flames – 23.2%
National Hockey League – 11.6%
CTV Specialty Television Inc. (21.42%) (Bell
Insight Sports (20.58%)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Where the NHL Gets Hockey|
|Sister channel(s)||NHL Network USA|
|Bell TV||Channel 421|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 465|
|Available on many Canadian cable systems||Check local listings|
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 421|
|Optik TV||Channel 118|
NHL Network is a Canadian English language Category B specialty television channel broadcasting ice hockey programming. The channel's primary focus is on the National Hockey League (NHL), although it occasionally airs games from other leagues, such as minor league and international circuits, to fill its schedule.
The channel is 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., and Insight Sports Ltd. The network's ownership structure, which gives the league only an 11.6% interest, is due in part to foreign ownership restrictions for Canadian broadcasters, which prevents the NHL (owned by 30 member franchises of which 23 are based in the United States) from exercising majority ownership directly.
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". The channel was launched on October 4, 2001 as NHL Network.
Even as Rogers Media takes over as national television rightsholder of the NHL in Canada beginning in the 2014-15 season, NHL Network will remain operated from the facilities of TSN and feature TSN 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. The company will reconsider its role in NHL Network next year, but TSN may alternatively remain the operating partner of NHL Network beyond the 2014-15 season.
NHL Network features 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.
- NHL Tonight – The network's signature show, airing nightly during the regular season. Features news and reports, interviews, and constant updates and live segments from games in progress with hosts Dan Pollard and Brian Duff. Also features analysis from ex-coach Gary Green and former players Dave Reid, Larry Murphy, Kevin Weekes, Bob Errey, Bill Berg, Mike Johnson, and former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button.
- NHL Live! – A television simulcast of the XM Satellite Radio show NHL Live!. Airs Monday to Friday from noon to 2 p.m. and is rebroadcast from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Top 10 – A nightly countdown show of anything hockey, from great performances to memorable moments.
- Frozen in Time – A look back at the NHL's greatest moments from players, teams, and special events.
- Classic Series – A collection of highlights from a past Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Airs daily.
- Vintage Games – A whole NHL game from the past aired in its entirety.
- NHL All Access – A behind-the-scenes look at the NHL, featuring exclusive game coverage, interviews with players, and much more.
- NHL Cool Shots – A behind-the-scenes look at NHL players and their lives away from the rink.
- NHL on the Fly: Final – A wrap-up of the all the day's games. Airs nightly following NHL on the Fly.
- NHL games – Live coverage of 40-plus games throughout the season, including four "Fan Favourite" games.
Special event coverage
- NHL Winter Classic – Complimentary coverage of the outdoor games held on New Year's Day in 2008 (at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York), 2009 (at Wrigley Field in Chicago), and 2010 (at Fenway Park in Boston).
- National Hockey League All-Star Game – Complimentary coverage including Coach’s Round Table, Meet the Young Stars, East and West practices, All-Star media availability, Red Carpet Saturday, and All-Star pre-game live from the dressing rooms.
- NHL Entry Draft – Complimentary coverage of Round 1 on Friday and live exclusive coverage of Rounds 2-7 on Saturday.