Flames TV...I have some issues

The Flames and Roger’s Sportsnet just announced a deal on Tuesday that would see the cable outlet broadcast Flames games until the year 2020. They will broadcast at least 58 Flames games every year and be the clubs Official Television Broadcaster and digitial service provider. It was also announced that fans won’t have to “rely” on Flames Pay-per view for games not broadcast on Sportsnet West; hopefully meaning RSN took up the PPV games, so the team doesn’t have to rip fans off by making them pay $15.99 to watch ONE game on television.

The front page headline on the Flames website read: “NEW DEAL, MORE FLAMES ON TV.” Now doesn’t this sound odd, “MORE FLAMES ON TV.” The fact that every game isn’t broadcast on some local network is kind of a joke, isn’t it?

I am not saying every game on a single channel but every season, including the season that begins in October, there are one, two or three mid week, or god forbid Saturday night games, that are either blacked out in the city or unable to get it on local television.

I understand the CBC has some law in place forbidding any other Canadian team to have a broadcast on Saturday night, which is an ancient rule from a faltering Hockey provider in my mind, but I digress.

Doesn’t it seem like your back in the 80’s when you ask your buddy if he saw the game last night, and his response was, “No, it wasn’t on TV.”

Isn’t that insane??

We live in the most digital, information crazed, need it this second or I’m going to lose my freaking mind kind of world right now and local television can not fit it into their agenda to have all 82 regular season games broadcast in the city in which the team resides in.

I understand for teams south of the border where hockey isn’t the end all be all for most of its citizens and it wouldn’t make logical sense, but for the majority of CALGARIANS hockey is the tops, la crème de la crème, the bees knees, the cat’s meow of Sports popularity. Sure the CFL pulls some weight and the NFL, NBA and MLB have their days, heck even the NLL gets a bit of play, but Hockey is King in this city and it always will be.

I believe the only two cities in the NHL that broadcast every game are Toronto (LeafsTV) and Montreal (RDS), but I could be wrong. They are big markets with huge audiences and a lot of money, but how are Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton so different when it comes to loving hockey. Calgary is so hockey crazed its ridiculous. When a WHL team (Calgary Hitmen) can draw an average of almost 10,000 fans to a game in a city in which an NHL team plays, it says something about the cities thirst for hockey.

The desire to have every single game locally broadcasted is surely evident in this city and it’s about time that the NHL, the Flames and the television networks figure out a way to make sure that all games can be viewed from the comfort of one’s own home.

Make it so.

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