Many Canadians will walk into their offices Monday and begin crunching numbers as they prepare for the hockey pools that they’ve been waiting on since October.
The news that the NHL lockout is over will no doubt have execs at the Canadian TV and radio rightsholders breathing sighs of reliefs, knowing that their ratings king will be back for at least an abbreviated season.
But, a compressed NHL schedule, with a playoff that will likely go to the end of June, will likely mean some TV headaches for three Canadian MLS teams.
Last season, TSN, the Canadian national rights holder for MLS, did not broadcast a Toronto FC, Montreal Impact or Vancouver Whitecaps match between April 8 and May 11. Both of its channels were occupied with the early rounds of the NHL playoffs, which left few holes in the schedule for soccer. You can’t blame TSN; hockey is the ratings driver, and the sports channels need to take advantage of the revenue-generating king.
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