The Vancouver Canucks radio broadcast rights are staying put.
Set to expire at the end of this season, Daily Hive has learned that the radio rights will remain at Sportsnet 650 for the foreseeable future.
Expect the deal to be announced soon.
Sticking with 650 wasn’t a certainty after Canucks ownership began shopping the broadcast rights in December, after the exclusive negotiating period with Rogers ended.
Corus Entertainment, which owns CKNW 980, took a “serious look” at acquiring the rights. Another option for the Canucks included broadcasting the games in-house over a streaming service, as some other NHL teams have done.
A source at Sportsnet 650 has assured me that the station will continue to broadcast games next season, and beyond.
“The rights are staying here,” the source said.
The deal, which some are calling a bridge contract, will sync up with the 12-year television deal that the NHL has with Rogers Sports and Media, which was signed back in 2013 and expires at the end of the 2025-26 season.
When those contracts expire, it will give the NHL and the Canucks flexibility with their next rights deals. That could include a major streaming package, comprised of TV, radio, and specialty content.
The deal helps solidify Sportsnet 650’s place in the market, as the last sports radio station standing in Vancouver. A source has indicated that Sportsnet 650 program manager Cam Barra has been diligently working behind the scenes to bring bigger and better content in the near future.
“Cam, along with our program manager Art Factora in Calgary, has really taken this new opportunity for them to build our shows with more interesting, thought-provoking, and ratings driven content,” the source told Daily Hive. “I think people will be excited to see what’s coming.”
Michael Bublé joins the broadcast
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 25, 2022
Brendan Batchelor and Corey Hirsch had a special guest on Sportsnet 650’s radio broadcast on Thursday, after Michael Bublé popped by the Jim Robson Broadcast Gondola to visit John Shorthouse during the second intermission.
Hirsch offered up his colour commentary seat to Bublé, who was sporting the Canucks’ Black History Month jersey. Bublé accepted and kicked off the third period broadcast alongside play-by-play voice Brendan Batchelor.
Bublé is no stranger to joining the Canucks radio calls, as he’s appeared on previous broadcasts before, when TSN 1040 had the rights.