Finding the Senators On the Dial

A guide on where to watch the games this season

With new regional and national broadcast deals going in to effect this season, the TV landscape for Sens fans is going through a full shuffle. Nothing is quite where it used to be, even though all of the players are familiar.

The majority of Sens games will be the 53 English regional broadcasts on the new TSN5, which is the regional TSN channel for Eastern Ontario/Quebec/Atlantic. These games will be subject to the same blackout restrictions as the games on Sportsnet in previous years.

If you're on basic cable and only get one TSN channel, you're probably fine as long as you're in the Sens broadcast region. Probably. If you're "lucky" enough to be in one of the areas where the Sens and Leafs broadcast regions overlap, you may need a tv package that includes all 5 TSN channels separately. It will likely break down very similar to how it did with Sportsnet East in previous years (map), with the blue region getting TSN5 as the default as well as most of the orange region, and the yellow area getting TSN4 by default but still get the game on TSN5 if they have access to it.

There will also be 54 French regional broadcasts carried on RDS, RDS2 and RDSinfo. They should follow the same regional restrictions as the English regional broadcasts.

On to the national broadcast beast.

Sportsnet will be airing 5 Wednesday night Senators games through the course of the season. They will be airing on all of the Sportsnet regional channels (East/Ontario/West/Pacific), though if the October 22nd Toronto @ Ottawa game runs past 9:30, West and Pacific may cut to the late game of the double header with East and Ontario sticking with the Battle of Ontario.

Sunday Night Hockey is pretty straight forward. The Sens will be making 6 appearances on it this season, all on CityTV.

Ottawa has 18 appearances on Hockey Night in Canada this season. We know which games are getting the national treatment, but Rogers has only announced which channels each game will be on through November 1st. The rest will be announced as the season progresses. Those first four Saturday games will alternate between Sportsnet One and CityTV. Past that, the remaining 14 HNIC games could be on any of CBC, CityTV, Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 360, or FX Canada. FX Canada seems to be for the all-US matchups, so don't rush out to add that to your TV subscription just yet.

TVA will be carrying 22 Sens games nationally in French on TVA Sports and TVA Sports 2.

Prefer a breakdown by day of the week?

Sunday (before 7pm): TSN5
Sunday (7pm or later): CityTV
Monday: TSN5
Tuesday: TSN5
Wednesday: Sportsnet
Thursday: TSN5
Friday: TSN5
Saturday* (before 7pm): TSN5
Saturday* (7pm or later): HNIC (CBC/CityTV/Sportsnet/Sportsnet One/Sportsnet 360/FX Canada)
Hockey Day in Canada (Feb 14): HNIC (CBC/CityTV/Sportsnet/Sportsnet One/Sportsnet 360/FX Canada)

Sunday (before 7pm): RDS
Sunday (7pm or later): TVA
Monday: RDS
Tuesday: RDS
Wednesday: TVA
Thursday: RDS
Friday: RDS
Saturday* (before 7pm): RDS, plus Feb 18th and 25th
Saturday* (7pm or later): TVA, minus Feb 18th and 25th
Hockey Day in Canada (Feb 14): TVA

*Except Hockey Day in Canada
**There are 6 games not scheduled to be televised in French this season, all Saturday night games: October 11th, 18th and 25th, November 8th and 29th, and January 10th.

Out of market fans can get the regional games on Centre Ice as in previous years, but Gamecentre Live is changning somewhat for Canadian viewers. First, the price is going up to $200 - but that's the only real negative that we know about right now. A positive change is that it will now also include all of the national games, where previously you would have to leave the multiplatform ways of GCL behind to use CBC's flash-based streaming and were out of luck for the TSN national games.

The second positive change lets Game Centre Live users potentially get some in-region regional games - with some conditions. First, it has to be a regional game on Sportsnet (so the Sens are ruled out right there). Second, you need to subscribe to a TV package with that regional Sportsnet channel. Those two conditions make this change more of a novelty than real added value.

Gamecenter Live remains unchanged for US and overseas viewers.

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