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Habs, RDS reach new regional broadcast deal

In this file photo, A fan reads the inscription under the statue of Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau outside the Bell Center in Montreal Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009. The NHL club announced a new 12-year broadcasting rights deal and naming rights deal on Friday.


French-language sports channel RDS will be the Montreal Canadiens' official broadcaster through the 2025-26 season, the two organizations announced Friday.

The Habs and RDS have struck a new 12-year regional broadcast rights agreement that includes 60 regular season games each season, plus additional pre-season games. As part of the deal, RDS' parent company Bell will retain naming rights to the Canadiens' home arena, the Bell Centre, through 2028.

"Montreal Canadiens games have been a cornerstone of RDS programming for the past two decades and our commitment to covering the team and the league has never been stronger," RDS president Gerry Frappier said in a press release.

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Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Representatives from RDS and the Canadiens organization could not be reached for comment.

The Habs-RDS deal comes about one month after Rogers Communications Inc. struck a blockbuster $5.2-billion, 12-year deal for national broadcast and digital rights for National Hockey League games.

As part of the Rogers deal, TVA Group Inc. will become the official French-language broadcaster of NHL games, gaining access to 22 regular season Habs games, the All-Star Game and playoff matches starting next season. TVA will also have the rights to all national games and special events, such as the NHL draft and Winter Classic.

Editor's note: Due to an editor's error, the content of this article when it was originally published was a press release. This online version was written by Globe staff. 

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