Controversial announcement from Gary Bettman and the NHL regarding Canadian teams like the Montreal Canadiens

Published September 5, 2023 at 10:01

Earlier this month, the NHL released its broadcast schedule for games on its American national networks TNT and ESPN. We all noticed that our southern neighbors will not see four NHL formations in action next season, all Canadian teams.

Indeed, the Calgary Flames, the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, and the Winnipeg Jets will have no visibility in the United States [on national television] in 2023-2024.

Although it's evident that the American networks broadcasting NHL games would prioritize American teams, it's always disappointing to see that most Canadian NHL clubs will not be broadcasted nationally in the United States this season, unless they literally have one of the league's biggest stars (Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews).

Strangely, American fans will not be able to see Cole Caufield for the Tricolore, nor Brady Tkachuk for the Sens, or Kyle Connor and Connor Hellebuyck (if he doesn't leave Winnipeg) for the Jets. As it stands, some American stars in this league will not be seen by the supporters in their own country.

Even if the Montreal-Toronto rivalry or the Battle of Alberta can generate larger audiences in Canada, they remain among the best types of games to watch throughout the NHL. It's hard not to feel that Gary Bettman's history of favoring American clubs over Canadian ones also plays a role here. Another reason for Canadian fans to continue booing him!

The league could certainly have demanded that a game between the CH and the Bruins or the Rangers, for example, be showcased. These high-rivalry games with original teams always offer a very interesting spectacle. From what we see, the CH will need to become a must-see team in order to have the opportunity to shine in the United States.

As the excellent Ray Lalonde reminded on BPM Sports airwaves, losing one market out of two when the fans of the Canadian team are physically not in the United States, also weighs heavily in the balance. These are ratings and especially dollars that the networks will lose. You can listen to the excerpt around 1h38 of this link.

Via Hockeypatrol
September 5   |   491 answers
Controversial announcement from Gary Bettman and the NHL regarding Canadian teams like the Montreal Canadiens

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