NHL unveils 2012 national television schedule
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today the television schedules for national partners NBC, NBC Sports Network, CBC, TSN, TSN2, RDS and NHL Network-U.S. for the 2012-13 regular season.
In the U.S., NBC and NBC Sports Network enter the second season of the 10-year agreement with the NHL, the largest media rights deal in League history. It also is the eighth consecutive season both networks have served as a national television partner of the NHL in the U.S. In Canada, CBC's Hockey Night in Canada begins its 60th regular season of NHL® broadcasts. TSN, whose relationship with the NHL dates back to 1987, continues as the League's national English-language cable partner. French-language telecast partner RDS has been televising NHL games since its inception in 1989 and enters its 10th consecutive season presenting every Montreal Canadiens game.
NBC Sports Group
Throughout the season, NBC Sports Group once again will offer hockey fans in the U.S. more than 100 games across NBC and NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports Network will air NHL games three consecutive nights each week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday nights will be exclusive, and in January, NBC Sports Network will add a second exclusive night on Sundays, giving NHL fans four straight nights of hockey action. The network will include a live pre-game (NHL Live™) and post-game (NHL Overtime™) show before and after every telecast. NBC Sports Network also will televise NHL All-Star Weekend live from Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 25-27, 2013. Coverage includes the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™, NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL® All-Star Game.
For the second consecutive season, NHL on NBC broadcast coverage launches on Thanksgiving Friday, with the 2012 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™ featuring the Boston Bruins playing host to the New York Rangers at 1:00 p.m. ET. NBC will follow up that broadcast with the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Michigan Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan, before airing the weekly "Game of the Week" beginning Jan. 20. On Feb. 17, Hockey Day in America will be expanded to a triple-header, with two afternoon games on NBC followed by evening game on NBC Sports Network.
CBC's Hockey Night in Canada returns for is 60th season, marking a new milestone for one of the longest running and most iconic programs in Canadian television history. The 60th anniversary season is highlighted by 101 regular-season games, including a special Thursday, Nov. 1, match-up between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, just as it did in 1952 when Hockey Night in Canada first took to the TV airwaves. The 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and the 60th NHL All-Star Game also return exclusively to CBC this season. Hockey Night in Canada on CBC will continue to honor Canada's pastime as Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada celebrates its 13th annual broadcast from Lloydminster AB/SK, Canada's only border town, on Feb. 9, 2013. All Canadian teams will be featured on the day-long broadcast, which commemorates and highlights local hockey heroes.
With CBC's Hockey Night in Canada continued commitment to connect Canadians to the NHL and the sport of hockey no matter where they are on game night, all 101 regular-season games will be streamed online as well as available for iPad and iPhone users.
TSN platforms will broadcast 237 NHL regular-season games during the 2012-13 season, its most extensive broadcast package ever. TSN will broadcast 88 regular-season games nationally, including 74 games featuring Canadian teams. TSN2 will air 63 games. Highlighting TSN's 2012-13 NHL regular-season broadcast schedule is the Hockey Hall of Fame Game, airing for the first time on TSN. Featuring New Jersey at Toronto on Friday, Nov. 9, the Hockey Hall of Fame Game honors 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin. In addition, TSN has exclusive Canadian coverage of the NHL Draft, NHL Draft™ Lottery and the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration while retaining the English-language exclusivity of "Wednesday Night Hockey" during which there is no other national or local NHL telecasts.
RDS will once again have French-language coverage of all 82 regular-season Montreal Canadiens games. RDS and RDS INFO also will broadcast a package of games featuring other NHL teams, including the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and full coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend.
NHL Network-U.S. will televise 78 live games for its American audience this season, focusing on Thursday nights and Saturdays, including 14 doubleheaders and three tripleheaders. Regular-season coverage on NHL Network-U.S. gets underway on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET and features Nashville at Detroit. The Red Wings will begin their quest for a 22nd consecutive postseason berth against captain Shea Weber and the Predators, the very team that eliminated them from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On Saturday evenings, NHL Network-U.S. will continue to incorporate the highly acclaimed CBC programming "Coaches Corner" and "Hotstove" into intermission content for American fans. Other highlights include eight appearances by the current Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and Zach Parise's return to New Jersey when the Minnesota Wild take on the Devils on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
NHL Network's signature show, NHL Tonight™ hosted by Kathryn Tappen and featuring a rotating cast of analysts, returns across North America, providing highlights and analysis of every NHL game on a nightly basis. In addition to NHL Tonight, the network also will feature live original programming each evening with Cisco NHL Live™ and NHL On the Fly™. As always, NHL Network™ will continue to bring fans exclusive coverage from all of the NHL's signature events throughout the season. Information on the dates and times of the NHL Network live-game schedule for Canadian viewers will be released in the near future.
2012-13 Regular Season
The NHL's 2012-13 regular season is scheduled to commence on Thursday, Oct. 11, with a quartet of games. The following night -- Friday, Oct. 12 -- the Los Angeles Kings will raise the first Stanley Cup® Championship banner in franchise history in front of a national audience on NBC Sports Network.
Opening night will feature nationally televised double-headers in both the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., NBC Sports Network will air the 2011 Stanley Cup® champion Boston Bruins visiting the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center as well as the St. Louis Blues taking on the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the Montreal Canadiens playing host to the Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre and the Calgary Flames battling the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Under the NHL scheduling matrix, each team plays six games against each team in its division (24 games), four games against the non-division teams within its conference (40 games) plus 18 non-conference games -- including at least one game against each club in the other conference (15 games) and three other games against select teams.
The 2012-13 NHL regular season will conclude on Saturday, April 13, with 28 teams competing in what promises to be a thrilling 14-game fight to the finish.