No NHL Hockey a Bonus For 'The Big Bang Theory' in Canada


The pro league's players lockout has CTV planning to air a two-hour block of the popular U.S. sitcom on Saturday nights to distract despondent fans.

TORONTO – No televised hockey is giving Canadian network programmers room to double-down on popular American shows.

The National Hockey League locking out its players and no new bargaining sessions between the team owners and the NHL Players Association have broadcasters casting around for re-runs to fill the vacuum.

CTV on Tuesday said it plans Big Bang Night in Canada on Saturday nights, as despondent hockey fans go without the long-running Hockey Night in Canada telecast on the rival CBC network, at least for now.

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From Oct. 13, CTV will air a two-hour block of The Big Bang Theory, already among the most-watched TV shows in Canadian primetime.

The top-rated Canadian TV network also strips The Big Bang Theory Monday to Fridays at 7:30 p.m., underlining its popularity among a local demo CTV is betting will be drawn to the CBC’s NHL games on Saturday night.

“Aimed squarely at the millions of hockey fans coast-to-coast-to-coast, the Saturday-night initiative has been created to provide a weekly distraction from despair, while offering a few laughs along the way,” the Canadian network explained in a statement.

Canadian cable sport channels are also racing to fill their schedules with minor hockey league games in the wake of the NHL work stoppage.

That includes likely games from the American Hockey League and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

CTV will also air the sixth season premiere of The Big Bang Theory on Thursday, September 27, at 8 p.m.

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