MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2012) - The Hamilton Bulldogs, the top development team for the Montreal Canadiens, come to TVA Sports starting in October as the result of a new broadcast agreement between the channel and the American Hockey League (AHL).
The first TVA Sports broadcast will be on October 20th at 7 p.m. as the Bulldogs face off against the Toronto Marlies, the top affiliate of the Maple Leafs, in Toronto.
Future broadcasts will be announced at a later date.
Play-by-play for Bulldogs' games will be handled by the well-known, experienced team of commentator Michel Langevin and analyst Yvon Pedneault. Joining them will be Enrico Ciccone, reporting on each team's performance from ice level, at the heart of the action.
"With this new agreement, TVA Sports is proud to provide fans with high-level professional hockey starting in October," declares Pierre Dion, President and CEO of the TVA Group. "Up-and-coming Canadiens talent will be showcased early on in the Bulldogs' season, and this agreement allows fans to follow the progress of future NHL stars such as Louis Leblanc, Brendan Gallagher, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi."
"The American Hockey League has long had a terrific fan base in Quebec and among all of French-speaking Canada," said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am certain that TVA Sports' viewers will enjoy seeing the Canadiens of the future in action today."
The Hamilton Bulldogs have served as the top development affiliate of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens since 2002, winning four division championships and the 2007 Calder Cup in that time. Current Canadiens players who have come through Hamilton include Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec and P.K. Subban.
In fact, nearly 90% of last season's NHL players had spent time in the AHL during their career, which augurs well in terms of the quality of play that viewers can expect to see on TVA Sports.
TVA Sports' Global Hockey Offering
With this major agreement, TVA Sports greatly enhances its TV hockey offering for the upcoming 2012/2013 season. In conjunction with the recent agreements with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League for regular season and playoff games, as well as the Memorial Cup and the SUBWAY® Super Series, this Bulldogs agreement once again demonstrates TVA Sports' positioning as a top-tier player in terms of French-language hockey coverage and broadcast in Quebec and Canada.
About TVA Sports
The TVA Sports station offers a wide range of programming, with sports newscasts worthy of the TVA Network's news reputation, along with bold coverage and opinions, and a broadcast team that stays close to sports fans. The station has already signed long-term agreements with several highly prestigious sports properties that enjoy tremendous fan followings, including the Ottawa Senators, the QMJHL, the CHL, the Memorial Cup, the Montreal Impact, the Toronto Blue Jays, ATP and WTA Tennis, the Quebec City and Montreal Cycling Grand Prix, the NBA, the Toronto Raptors, the Davis Cup, Red Bull Crashed Ice, the UFC, the Interbox Group, GYM, the PGA Australian Open, the Montreal Championship, the Champions League, the Dew Tour, and the Quebec City Velirium.
About the American Hockey League
The American Hockey League, which begins its 77th season of play on Oct. 12, continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 11th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2011-12. Through the years, the AHL has been home to more than 100 future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, including legends such as Johnny Bower, Andy Bathgate, Gerry Cheevers, Larry Robinson, Patrick Roy and Brett Hull.