RDS extends French hockey rights

Le Réseau des sports has a new deal for coverage of the Montreal Canadiens' and other NHL games.

Quebec broadcaster RDS (Le Réseau des sports) has extended its French-language rights deal with the Montreal Canadiens and the National Hockey League for a five-year period. The initial agreement was set to expire at the end of the 2007-08 season. Now, RDS will keep the rights until the end of the 2012-13 season.

RDS will carry all 82 of the Canadiens’ regular season games and a minimum of 40 playoff games, as well as league events such as the NHL All-Star Game and the All-Star Skills Competition. This partnership broadens RDS’ broadcasting range with RIS Info-Sports, its digital channel launched in 2004, which will now become the prime network for NHL regular season games.

RDS will now also be the exclusive webcaster for the games. The new rights agreement covers web video and new media platforms. RDS.ca currently attracts about one million unique visitors monthly.