Radio rights to Vancouver Canucks are likely to stay with Sportsnet 650

Sources confirmed Friday that the NHL team is close to renewing its radio broadcast agreement with Sportsnet 650.

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It looks like the Vancouver Canucks will continue to have a traditional radio partner for at least another two years.

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Sources confirmed Friday that the NHL team is close to renewing its radio broadcast agreement with Sportsnet 650, though a final deal has yet to be agreed upon.

The Canucks and 650 first partnered in 2017, when the upstart sports radio station snatched the rights away from TSN 1040, the market juggernaut that Bell Media shuttered without warning a year ago.

TSN 1040 had consistently pulled in better traditional ratings than 650, with the Sportsnet-branded station consistently landing at the bottom of the traditional people-meter driven ratings charts.

But with fewer people listening to radio using conventional means, broadcasters have been more and more focused on new delivery methods like live streaming over the internet and on-demand listening through podcasts. Sources at 650 have said more than once that their numbers in that regard have been strong, though chatter in the ad sales industry have suggested the station still isn’t generating big revenues — but then again ad sales have been in decline at nearly every station in the country.

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According to a source, the new deal will likely last for two years.

The sense internally for the last few weeks at 650 has been that an extension was likely to be worked out.

CKNW, now part of the Global News family, held the radio rights for years before losing them to 1040 over a decade ago and apparently made some inquiries about grabbing the rights back but it seems those efforts proved fruitless.

There had been some speculation from outside observers that the Canucks would take their radio production in-house and perhaps even make it a streaming-only service, but that appears to not be the case.

At least not yet.

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