Citizen exclusive: TSN expected to land local television, radio rights for Senators games

TSN is poised to lock up local television and radio broadcast rights for Ottawa Senators games, the Citizen has learned.

Citizen exclusive: TSN expected to land local television, radio rights for Senators games
Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators is congratulated by teammates Erik Karlsson #65 and Zack Smith #15 after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on January 23, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

TSN is poised to lock up local television and radio broadcast rights for Ottawa Senators games, the Citizen has learned.

An announcement should come sometime in the next couple of weeks and, barring any last minute hiccups, it’s expected to reveal TSN has won the bidding war to show Senators games here.

Sportsnet currently holds the television rights, but with that contract set to expire at the end of the season, both broadcasters set about trying to land a new deal. Senators games are already broadcast on TSN 1200 AM in the capital, and that is expected to continue.

TSN already holds local television broadcast rights for Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets games, and the broadcaster may have felt more urgency to make a move here after Rogers Sportsnet swooped in and nabbed the national NHL television rights in November for a staggering $5.2 billion.

That 12-year deal came as a surprise blow to TSN, which has built a strong brand around hockey coverage and has generally done an excellent job with the product.

It’s believed the new regional rights contract will run in the 12-year range as well.

The Senators already have a strong relationship with Bell, which owns TSN. The telecommunications company came through with the sponsorship that allowed the Senators to move forward with a new scoreboard at Canadian Tire Centre a couple of years ago, and its name is also on the Sensplex ice pad facilities around the city.

More to come…

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