The good news for hockey fans is that we’re now just 51 days away from the debut episode of HBO 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.
The bad news is reserved for Canadian TV subscribers that like swearing and uninterrupted programming.
On Thursday, the NHL and HBO announced they’re joining forces with Sportsnet to air the highly-popular show in Canada this year. Previously, the show was only available in Canada through HBO Canada, which had roughly 1.1 million subscribers — a small number compared to Sportsnet, which has 8.8 million.
But while Sportsnet will be bringing 24/7 into more Canadian homes than ever, it won’t be bringing the swears.
“We’re not going to sanitize it at all,” Rogers Media broadcasting president Scott Moore told The Globe and Mail. “With one exception – we will bleep out the f-bombs.
“We won’t edit anything else out or sanitize it, because viewers these days are used to that type of thing.”
There will be two other significant differences between the HBO and Rogers broadcasts. One, HBO will broadcast the debut episode on Dec. 14, whereas Sportsnet will air it on Dec. 15.
Two, Canadians will get advertisements!
Here’s more, from the Globe:
There will be one other difference – the series will feature advertising for the first time. Sportsnet said it sold out the series quickly, with Molson Canadian, Tim Hortons, Recharge with Milk and Ford F-150 signing on as title sponsors.
Americans will still see the show on HBO, with plenty of swearing and no commercials. That channel isn’t available in Canada – HBO Canada does not own the broadcast rights.
I think Molson and Tim Hortons signed on just to keep every imaginable Canadian stereotype alive. All that’s missing is a sponsorship from Politeness.