I really don't understand Sportsnet. Their contract with the NHL, it appears, is regionally based. But I guess the centre of that regional universe is Toronto. Last night they had NHL games advertised on the on-screen TV guide for Ontario East, Ontario and Sportnet West. The HD channel advertised the Toronto game. Ontario East got to see the Sens vs. Flyers in non-HD TV. And on a 1080p TV, their feed does not look great. But when you tune into the HD channel, where they've advertised the Leafs -- we got poker, and then billiards in glorious HD. How wonderful!
Mr. Bitterman emailed Sportsnet for an answer, and this is what we got:
"Dear Mr. Bitterman,
Unfortunately, due to blackout restrictions set forth by the NHL, not Sportsnet, we are only able to broadcast NHL SD/HD games regionally this season. In other words, since you live in Nepean (East of the Belleville/Pembroke line), you will only be able to access our Senators games on Sportsnet East. All other teams' games will be blacked out from you. Please keep in mind that Sportsnet's HD channel is a feed made available nationally -- this means that we cannot air NHL regional games on this channel due to the aforementioned blackout restrictions. Our apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.
These NHL imposed regional restrictions have been in place since Sportsnet's inception in 1998.
If, like Zaiontz says, "Sportsnet's HD channel is a feed made available nationally -- this means that we cannot air NHL regional games on this channel due to the aforementioned blackout restrictions," then why did the online guide advertise the Leafs game, then? Sportsnet is owned by Rogers. I have Rogers. They make me angry. I should get Bell.