Rogers Television is moving into the big leagues.
The community TV station will broadcast its first-ever NHL game on Sept. 25, a pre-season matchup between the Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs at the Corel Centre.
"This is huge for Rogers Television," said Rich Danby, who'll produce the game along with the crew Rogers uses for its Ottawa 67's telecasts.
It's an opportunity Rogers has been "toying with" for the past few years, said station manager Ray Skaff, adding "the stars finally aligned for us this year."
"We have a longstanding partnership with the Senators because of Overtime (a weekly Senators magazine show on Rogers, which makes its season debut Oct. 7)," said Skaff. "We know there's huge interest in the Leafs-Sens rivalry, and we know people will want to watch this game."
Leafs TV is also airing the game to its digital subscribers in southern Ontario, but Rogers' crew will have priority for camera positions because it is the home broadcaster. The station's production crew is familiar with the Corel Centre, having done some 67's games there in previous seasons.
The Rogers 67's tandem of Ed Hand and Lee Versage will call the game, with Scott MacArthur and new Overtime host Ian Mendes handling rinkside reporting duties.
Senators fans already had one other pre-season game on the TV slate. Rogers Sportsnet is airing the Sept. 29 visit by Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Corel Centre.
"It's the first time we've ever had two of our home pre-season games televised," said Jim Steel, the Sens' VP of broadcasting.
Skaff would like Rogers to be a part of that number increasing next season.
"We're hoping that, beginning next year, we'll be doing even more games," he said.
Rogers has also boosted its 67's content for the coming season, with 46 home and away games currently on its schedule.
OHL games also remain a part of the Rogers Super Sports Pak.