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 (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. 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 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.
On June 1, 2015, David Shoalts, a columnist with the Globe and Mail, tweeted that sources had confirmed that the network would cease operations on September 1, 2015, citing the loss of NHL broadcast rights to Rogers Media.
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 Live - The network's premiere "pre-game" show. It airs Monday through Friday from 5:00pm–7:00pm Eastern Time. The show is broadcast from atop of the NHL Store in New York, NY, and is hosted by E.J. Hradek, Steve Mears, and Bill Pidto. The show provides viewers with a recap of the previous night's action and a preview of what's to come later on. During the show, the hosts will interview players, broadcasters, general managers, and coaches. They also read tweets on the air from Twitter followers. Before the show wraps up, the hosts will provide predictions on who they think will win games on each night with a segment called "The Shootout".
- NHL on the Fly - This is the network's signature primetime show providing viewers with live look-ins on the early-evening games, highlights, analysis, and news. The show begins nightly at 7:00pm Eastern Time and is predominately hosted by Mark Roe and Andi Petrillo. It's occasionally hosted by E.J. Hradek as well. Analysis is provided by former NHL players and coaches including Kevin Weekes, Bob Errey, Dave Reid, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button, Jamal Mayers, Barry Melrose, and Kelly Chase. Inside information from around the league, such as rumours involving trades, hiring and firing of coaches is provided by Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger from TSN.
- NHL Tonight - The network's late-night show provides viewers with live look-ins on the late-evening games, highlights, analysis, and news. The program was formerly known as 'NHL On The Fly: Final' until 2011. The show airs nightly beginning at 10:00pm Eastern Time. It's also predominately hosted by Mark Roe and Andi Petrillo. It's occasionally hosted by E.J. Hradek as well. Analysis is provided by former NHL players and coaches including Kevin Weekes, Bob Errey, Dave Reid, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button, Jamal III Mayers, Barry Melrose, and Kelly Chase. Inside information from around the league, such as rumours involving trades, hiring and firing of coaches is provided by Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger from TSN.
- Pioneers - A documentary series that gives viewers a closer, more in-depth look at hockey's biggest legends. The show includes interviews with the subject of their documentary and archival footage from their playing days.
- Frozen In Time - A series dedicated to showing the most memorable moments from players, coaches, teams, and special events in hockey history.
- Top 10 - A show that counts down the most memorable goals, saves, performances, and players.
- Classic Series - A 60-minute series showing the best playoff series in NHL history.
- Vintage Games - A whole NHL game from the past shown 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.
- Encore Game - An encore presentation of a game from the night before. Airs daily beginning at 12:00pm Eastern Time.
The following programs air when the network is broadcasting a live game in the United States, but are unable to do so in Canada.
- 24CH - A behind-the-scenes look at the Montreal Canadiens franchise.
- Caps Red Line - A behind-the-scenes look at the Washington Capitals franchise.
- Becoming Wild - A behind-the-scenes look at the Minnesota Wild franchise.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: In The Room - A behind-the-scenes look at the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise.
- Behind The B - A behind-the-scenes look at the Boston Bruins franchise.
- Oil Change - A behind-the-scenes look at the Edmonton Oilers franchise.
Special event coverage
- NHL Winter Classic - Complimentary coverage of the outdoor games that have been held on New Year's Day since 2008. The games have been held at the following locations since its inception:
- 2008 - Ralph Wilson Stadium - Orchard Park, New York
- 2009 - Wrigley Field - Chicago
- 2010 - Fenway Park - Boston
- 2011 - Heinz Field - Pittsburgh
- 2012 - Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia
- 2013 - Cancelled due to lockout.
- 2014 - Michigan Stadium - Ann Arbor, Michigan
- 2015 - Nationals Park - Washington, D.C.
- NHL Heritage Classic - Complimentary coverage of the outdoor games that take place in Canada during selected seasons. The games have been held at the following locations since its inception:
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.
- NHL All-Star Game - Complimentary coverage of the showcase featuring the league's best players taking part in an exhibition game that is held at the halfway point of the regular season, except when it's an Olympic year. The 60th National Hockey League All-Star Game took place on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with Team Toews defeating Team Foligno, 17-12.
- NHL Entry Draft - Complimentary coverage of the annual draft that takes place on the last weekend of June. The first round of the draft begins shortly after 7:00pm Eastern Time on Friday nights. Rounds 2 through 7 of the draft takes place on the Saturday beginning at 10:00am.
- NHL Free Agent Frenzy - Complimentary coverage of free agency that usually begins on July 1.
- CRTC ownership chart for NHL Network
- Decision CRTC 2000-601 CRTC 2000-12-14
- ESPN MediaZone Canada website
- "The NHL Shift: News and notes, 6/20/2014". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Twitter post
- Lawless, Gary (January 20, 2015). "Heritage Classic put on hold until 2016-17". Winnipeg Free Press.