Canada's TSN, RDS to Air World Junior Hockey Championship for 10 More Years
The cable sport channels pull in Oscar and Super Bowl-size audiences for an annual Christmas ritual that sees young players take on the world.
TORONTO – It’s become a Christmas ritual for hockey-mad Canadians to tune in while young players, barely out of childhood, with the Maple Leaf flag on their jersey take on the world in the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Canadian cable sports channels TSN and RDS have renewed their TV contract with Hockey Canada for the World Juniors for another ten years.
“It’s appointment TV viewing at its very best. After the Christmas feast, on Boxing Day, you sit back and cheer on Canada,” said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN.
In 2011, TSN and RDS attracted 6.7 million viewers for the World Juniors gold medal game between Team Canada and Team Russia.
That's an audience equal to what the Academy Awards and Super Bowl draw on Canadian TV.
The 2011 World Juniors gold medal game was also the most–watched event ever on cable TV in Canada.
The Hockey Canada contract renewal also comes after Team Canada ended a five year run winning the gold medal at the World Juniors in 2010, when they lost to Team USA.
TSN’s Stewart insists teams from the U.S., Russia and Sweden in recent years have raised their game to challenge the Canadians.
“Yes, the competition is fierce, The Americans have an incredible team and the Swedes always come prepared,” he insisted.
TSN and RDS have aired the World Juniors since 1991.
The new TV contract comes as Hockey Canada confirmed that the 2015 and 2017 tournaments will be held in Toronto and Montreal.