NEW YORK, – Start programming your PVR now. The NHL has released its 2010-11 television schedule on multiple channels on both sides of the border.
TSN and its sister networks are carrying the lion’s share of games with a total of 124 regular-season games on TSN and TSN2.
French-language partners RDS will show all 82 regular-season games of the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth straight season, while its all-news, all-sports specialty channel RIS will broadcast an additional 42 games during the regular season.
CBC, entering its 58th season of Hockey Night in Canada, has 87 regular and pre-season games, including 29 all-Canadian matchups.
Of the marquee events, CBC gets the outdoor games Jan. 1 in Pittsburgh and Feb. 20 in Calgary, the Hall of Fame game Nov. 6 in Toronto, as well as the NHL all-star game and festivities Jan. 29-30 in Raleigh, N.C. CBC also retains exclusive rights in Canada to the Stanley Cup final.
CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada is in Whitehorse, Yukon, on Feb. 12, when three all-Canadian matchups will be shown on HNIC.
TSN has the 2011 NHL draft in St. Paul, Minn., and the draft lottery, plus exclusivity on Wednesday nights when there are no other NHL telecasts. TSN will carry four of the five games in Europe to start the regular season and will broadcast playoff games in the first three rounds of the post-season.
South of the border, Versus is showing 13 more games this season for a total of 78, plus the all-star game and outdoor game in Calgary. The Comcast-owned cable channel, formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network, will air the first three rounds of the playoffs in the U.S. and Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.
NBC’s coverage kicks in Jan. 1 with the outdoor game at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, followed by a game of the week on Sundays starting Jan. 23. NBC gets Games 1, 2 and 5 though 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
The NHL Network will show up to 75 games in the U.S. and 31 games live in Canada.
The regular season starts Oct. 7 with TSN showing the Carolina Hurricanes against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland, and a CBC doubleheader of Montreal at Toronto and Calgary at Edmonton. The latter will feature Oilers forward Taylor Hall, who was the first overall pick in this year’s NHL draft.
Versus starts its NHL programming that day with a tripleheader including the game in Helsinki, Philadelphia at Pittsburgh for the first game at the CONSOL Energy Center, and the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in Colorado.
Other games of note include Dany Heatley’s return to Ottawa on Dec. 2 when the Sharks face the Senators on TSN.