OJHL signs first major TV deal

The Ontario Junior Hockey League, whose alumni include John Tavares and Mitch Marner, will broadcast across Ontario via CHCH.

Indie channel CHCH has signed a broadcast partnership with the Ontario Junior Hockey League to air six live hockey games over the remainder of the 2018/2019 season.

The “CHCH Game of the Week” will provide viewers across Ontario with games every Saturday afternoon. In addition, the deal includes the broadcast rights of six episodes of The OJ Today, a weekly hockey magazine show featuring highlights and analysis from across the league.

This is the first time the OJHL has signed a broadcast deal that will transmit games across Ontario. OJHL chairman Marc Mercier said in a statement that the partnership is an opportunity to “showcase our league to a broader audience.” Commissioner Marty Savoy added that “it provides our players with added exposure, promotes our leagues to future players… and gives us another valuable asset to enhance our corporate partnerships.”

Sponsors of the league include StoneRidge Insurance Brokers and Quinte West Tourism. The individual clubs also boast a roster of sponsors from local businesses as well as national advertisers and franchises, such as Leon’s, Canadian Tire, Clif Bars, CIBC Wood Gundy, local auto dealers and more.

The league consists of 22 teams. Current Maple Leafs players who came up through the OJHL include John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, Travis Dermot and Zach Hyman. Four current players in the OJHL are on the NHL Central Scouting’s Players To Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft. League alumni have also gone on to win gold for Canada at the World Juniors.

The broadcasts will kick off Dec. 22. Teams represented on TV will include Lindsay, Whitby, North York, Toronto, Burlington, Oakville, Kingston, Wellington, Pickering, Aurora, Trenton and Cobourg. Veteran junior hockey announcer Alex Bloomfield will serve as the play-by-play announcer while The OJ Today host Alex Bastyovansky will provide colour commentary.