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Reality of Soccer Culture in NHL heavy town and province: TVA Sports, RDS and the Montreal Impact

As the Montreal Impact is in the middle of a playoff race, the reality of soccer culture in the media showed its ugly head. TVA Sports will not be showing the games against the Houston Dynamo and the Philadephia Union. Both games will be on RDS Info.


Reality has just checked in as the Montreal Canadiens started their 2013-2014 NHL season and so did many other NHL clubs. Sports media, fans, observers are all tuned in to the "Habs" and it's only normal in a country, province and town that has a deep hockey culture.

The disconcerting news around the start of the NHL season is what TVA Sports announced earlier this week. As the official TV broadcaster of the Montreal Impact, TVA Sports has "loaned" 2 games of les Bleus to competitor RDS. Due to a scheduling conflict, TVA Sports could not show the Impact game on live TV.

The games on the October 4th against the Houston Dynamo and on October 19th against the Philadelphia Union will be broadcasted on RDS Info.

RDS is the official MLS broadcaster in the province, by extension of TSN being the MLS broadcaster in the country. Something we already knew is that RDS was going to be broadcasting all of the Impact games in the playoffs up until the MLS Cup, if it gets there.

Richard Legendre, Executive VP of the Montreal Impact

We wish to acknowledge the excellent cooperation shown by our partner RDS, who has agreed to take over and help us solve this unexpected problem. Fortunately, our fans will continue to see all of our live games without missing anything from this race that looks very exciting

What is disconcerting is that the conflict in schedule is with the Ottawa Senators as TVA Sports broadcast some games of the Ontarian NHL club. We can talk numbers and money and ratings as the Senators would be more attractive in ratings, sponsorship money and such. I will never win an argument based on the only thing that matters at the end: Money.

But how inexistent is the soccer culture among decision makers at TVA Sports to totally discredit what it has sold since 2012: The Official Broadcaster of the Montreal Impact. Even if the MLS playoffs were going to be on RDS/TSN, what kind of message are you telling to all the fans looking to quench their thirst for Montreal Impact soccer, in the middle of a playoff run?

RDS has three channels : RDS, RDS 2 & RDS Info. What makes me even more sad and confused is that only those 2 games are not only not being broadcasted due to the Ottawa Senators but they will be shown on RDS Info.

That channel operates on a rotating 30 minute news wheel of sports scores, news and highlights (wikipedia) : a regurgitation of news and highlights.

And this is where you will be watching the Montreal Impact , on October 4th and 19th, fight for a spot to make the 2013 MLS playoffs.

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