Winnipeg worth it? Absolutely: TSN Announced 10-Year Deal


Winnipeg is back on the map. The flags are being flown from cars, the digital bulletin boards across the city flash "Welcome Back Jets!", and the Jets t-shirt-sightings are increasing more and more each day.
Can you talk too much about the Winnipeg Jets and the pride the citizens there are feeling? You might think so, but think again. There are steps being taken to ensure every Jets fan is 100% satisfied...even the 8,500 fans on a season-ticket waiting list that is full for the next five years.
On August 31, True North Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, announced at 10 year deal with Bell Media, and The Sports Network (TSN).
The deal will provide fans the opportunity to see every game of the season. And if that isn't enough, all games will be broadcast on a new channel called TSN Jets - fueling the passion of Jets fans from their home.
According to the release:
"TSN is in discussions with television service providers in the broadcast region with the hope of ensuring the broadest possible distribution of Jets games. Carriage of TSN Jets has already been confirmed by Bell TV, launching September 20 on Bell TV on Channel 1423 in High Definition and on Channel 423 in Standard Definition."
At the press announcement today, Chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment Jim Ludlow said :
“True North Sports & Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets are ecstatic to have entered into this agreement with Bell Media. It is a landmark agreement for broadcasting and professional hockey in Winnipeg. The 10-year term demonstrates TSN’s long-term commitment to Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Jets. We are also excited about the prospects for the future of Sports Radio 1290 and we are confident they will carry forward what has been a tradition of outstanding radio coverage of hockey here in Winnipeg. The two aspects of Winnipeg Jets broadcast coverage go hand-in-hand and will lay the foundation for a prosperous partnership for the next decade. We are looking forward to watching the community rally around TSN Jets the same way they supported the hockey club and its ticket drive. The next best thing to being at MTS Centre now is subscribing, watching, and cheering on the Jets from your living room.”
Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports echoed Ludlow's comments at the presser:
“The return of the Winnipeg Jets has been the biggest story in hockey in Canada this year. Like all Canadian hockey fans we are thrilled to see the NHL return to Winnipeg and we are even more delighted to partner with True North Sports & Entertainment to bring game action to Jets fans,” said King. “Bell Media’s television and radio platforms will work together to cover all aspects of Jets over the next decade. We are looking forward to working closely with all television service providers in the region to ensure as many fans have access to the regional games as possible.”
In addition to producing live game coverage, TSN has confirmed they will complement their broadcasts by producing extensive pre- and post-game shows.
So there you have it. Their own channel, a brand-new sports desk in Winnipeg, and thousands upon thousands of hockey fans drooling at the thought of an NHL puck-drop.
Now who says Winnipeg isn't a long-term, viable hockey market?


George Prax's picture

TSN did this with the Habs last year. the broadcasts are great, but keep in mind that they're not exactly objective in the matter. Bell owns TSN AND provides cable across the country, so unless you're a Bell subscriber, you're unlikely to see the regional coverage the last year. Bell has a nasty tendency to not try so hard when it benefits their own business.

That said, long term, this is a good deal for Jets fans, as TSN will provide AAA coverage.

Chris Reid's picture

Part of the conference yesterday suggested Bell is working with other local providers (ie. Shaw, MTS) to get TSN Jets. Not sure if it will happen or not. We'll have to wait and see if they follow through.