Roger that – or make it, “Rogers that.” The Bell finally tolls for hockey.
What does this mean? Welcome to Bell TV distribution outlets, FX Canada and FXX.
FX Canada and FXX now are available on Bell, as of Friday, Oct. 10. Not coincidentally, FX Canada has its first NHL hockey game of the new season on Saturday, Oct, 11 (Alex Ovechkin, pictured above, and the Washington Capitals at the Boston Bruins).
FX Canada and FXX are owned by Rogers. But up until Friday, Bell had resisted striking a deal to carry FX Canada and FXX. Rogers had been wanting to get its channels wider distribution for years (FX Canada launched in 2011, FXX in 2014).
So what changed? Well, late in 2013 it was announced that Rogers had purchased NHL rights for $5.2 billion over 12 years. The first season with Rogers in charge began on Wednesday.
So suddenly on Friday, Bell miraculously came around. If you call a Bell provider now, they happily will tell you that FX Canada and FXX are available through Bell.
Turns out even Bell couldn’t play hardball with pucks.
And just as significant for all those Bell customers who aren’t necessarily hockey fans, they now finally can have access to exclusive FX Canada and FXX programming, such as the always delightfully creepy American Horror Story, which began its new season on Wednesday as well (full title American Horror Story: Freak Show; Evan Peters pictured below). And FX Canada just came off a record-setting season for the channel with the shot-in-Toronto vampire series from Guillermo Del Toro, The Strain.
So as of now, FX Canada is available in 5 million homes, with FXX in 1.5 million homes.
Game on for Rogers, or gamesmanship over for Bell, depending upon your point of view.