CBC bets on more hockey

The network has signed a one-year deal with the AHL.

The CBC is betting Canadians just can’t get enough hockey on their TV sets.

The pubcaster has signed a one-year TV deal with the American Hockey League to air ten professional minor hockey games during the upcoming
2010-11 season live on Sunday afternoons, and on-demand on CBCSports.ca.

The AHL, a major source of NHL players and coaches, became the stuff of legend for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada‘s Don Cherry when he met his future and late wife Rose Cherry while playing for the Hershey Bears.

The CBC also hopes the AHL will offer up ratings.

‘We’re looking forward to featuring the stars of hockey’s future with the AHL on CBC,’ Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports and general manager, said in a statement.

All the AHL telecasts, starting Oct. 17 with a Toronto Marlies-Binghamton Senators match-up, will feature farm teams affiliated with one of the six Canadian NHL teams.

The CBC’s AHL broadcast deal follows the NHL enjoying impressive ratings for its most recent 2009-2010 season, culminating with the Chicago Blackhawks picking up the Stanley Cup trophy last June as league champions.

From Playback Daily