Published on Thursday, 30 August 2012 19:19
Assuming there is no lockout and stoppage of the upcoming NHL season, which at this point is anybody's guess, the 2012-2013 hockey season is only a few weeks away. Today, the Chicago Blackhawks announced their broadcast schedule for the 2012-2013 NHL season. Once again, the majority of games will be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, with many games also airing on WGN-TV.
Of the 82 games in the regular season, 69 of them will be shown locally only. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will get to air 52 games (49 of which will be locally only, while three will also be shown simultaneously on NBC-TV or NBC Sports Network), while WGN-TV will get to air 20. Regardless of which of these two stations air the games, the same veteran announcing team will be behind the microphones: Pat Foley on pay-by-play and Eddie Olczyk on commentary. All games on CSN & WGN-TV will be in HD.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will once again get the most Chicago Blackhawks broadcasts, with 52 games being shown. However, it appears that five games may get pushed to CSN+ early or late in the season due to conflicts with live baseball telecasts. For viewers with Comcast Cable & RCN, the CSN+ channel is most often found on CLTV (Comcast Cable on channel 285 and RCN on channel 616 -- both in HD). Other ways to see CSN+ will be on AT&T U-Verse channel 1741 or 1742-HD, W.O.W. channel 14/15, DirecTV channel 666 or 666-HD, and Dish Network channel 440 or 9575-HD. Consult the CSNChicago.com or your system's channel guide the day of the broadcast to be certain.
Before and after almost every Blackhawks contest, CSN Chicago will have live pre-game and post-game shows. The station begins broadcasting the first of its 52 games with the Blackhawks season opening game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, October 13th. This is the ninth consecutive year for CSN Chicago to air Blackhawks games. The Chicago Blackhawks organization are 20% owners in the local sports station.
WGN-TV gets 20 regular season games, the majority of which will air on Saturdays or Sundays, with a few games late at night during the week, so as not to preempt national CW programming that the station is contractually obligated to air. WGN-TV's first Blackhawks game of the regular season will be on Saturday, October 20th, as the Blackhawks take on fierce rivals, the Detroit Red Wings.
WGN-TV first started airing Blackhawks games in 1961 and continued through 1975. This will be the fifth consecutive season since the Blackhawks returned to WGN-TV in 2008.
The Blackhawks will have 14 games shown nationally on NBC-TV or NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). Out of those games, 11 of them will be exclusively NBC Sports' to air (the maximum allowed per the NHL's national television agreement), while three will be non-exclusive, allowing CSN Chicago to also broadcast them locally.
The complete 2012-2013 Chicago Blackhawks schedule, including where to find the television broadcasts on a given day, can be downloaded or viewed at this link HERE
Once again, the radio home of the Chicago Blackhawks will be WGN-AM. The announcing team of John Wiedeman and Troy Murray will be returning to call the games. WGN-AM will broadcast all 82 Chicago Blackhawks regular season games. As happens every year, there may be a few days where, due to conflicts with Chicago Cubs broadcasts, the Blackhawks games will be heard on an alternate radio station (most often WIND-AM) and on WGN-AM's website stream until the Cubs broadcast ends.
This will be the fifth consecutive season for the Blackhawks on WGN-AM. The Blackhawks moved their broadcasts to WGN-AM at the start of the 2008-2009 season, over from its previous home on WSCR-AM. The team is signed to keep its association with WGN-AM as its flagship radio home through the end of the 2015-2016 NHL season.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced the 2012 pre-season broadcast schedule in mid-July, details of which can be seen HERE
All of the above is subject to change, as the season may not start on time this year, as many fans hope. The NHL players and owners are still not on the same page regarding a new collective bargaining agreement, replacing the current one which expires on September 15th. If no agreement is reached by then, this could cause the owners to lock-out the players from practicing or playing, much like what happened last fall between the NBA owners and players. Publicly, both sides seem optimistic about reaching a solution very soon and a new meeting between the sides is set for tomorrow. Privately, some insiders are concerned that the two sides are still much too far apart to reach a compromise by the September 15th deadline and the season's start date is in jeopardy.