The Maritime Junior A Hockey League has entered into a partnership with Rogers TV that will see seventeen MJAHL games made available to approximately 140,000 Rogers subscribers in New Brunswick. The game broadcasts begin on Saturday, September 19th as fans will get to take in live action from Miramichi as the Timberwolves host the Truro Bearcats.
"We are obviously very excited to partner with Rogers to bring exciting MJAHL hockey to a broader audience in New Brunswick", commented MJAHL President Derryl Smith. "The idea was brought forward at our AGM in June and it was decided amongst our New Brunswick teams that is was a great opportunity. Making our product more visible through Rogers TV is a great step forward for the league and can only generate increased interest in Junior A hockey in the Maritimes."
Rogers TV Regional Station Manager Scott Jackson says that the plan to broadcast games arose at the Fred Page Cup in Dieppe last spring. After taking in some very exciting action over the duration of the tournament, Jackson explains that Rogers began discussing the idea of broadcasting games with Jean-François Damphousse, Director of Hockey Operations for the Dieppe Commandos. "We were very impressed with the quality of play at the Fred Page Cup and saw an opportunity to raise the profile of the league and hometown players", explains Jackson. "Rogers supervising producer Charles Olscamp had some initial discussions with Jean-Francois and he agreed to bring the idea up at the league's Annual General Meeting. As a result the league agreed to go ahead with the broadcasts and now we are very pleased to announce this seventeen game offering to our viewers."
Because of infrastructure limits at various facilities, game broadcasts will be live from Miramichi but will be delayed-broadcast when played in other locations such as Dieppe, Woodstock and Campbellton. And although the game broadcasts will start out with the basics, Jackson adds that the plan is to expand the content of the programming as they move through the schedule. "We'll start out with a basic broadcast and between-period interviews", says Jackson. "Since we'll be originating broadcasts from some venues that are new to us, we'll take some time to develop production crews in those locations in order to develop a comfortable working environment. Once we establish ourselves in these new areas, we hope to add to the broadcasts with some more in-depth content about teams, players and the league."
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)