As with most professional sports ice hockey is broadcast both by radio and television
The first complete hockey game carried over the radio was on March 14, 1923 on CKCK out of Regina, Saskatchewan and reported by Pete Parker. Eight days later Foster Hewitt broadcast the first Hockey Night in Canada game. The first hockey game televised in Canada was on October 11, 1952 .
As in other sports television has had a major effect on hockey. The infusion of money has made the major leagues far more professional with vastly higher salaries for players. It has also changed the game as NHL rules now mandate four commercial breaks per period, giving players top time to recuperate and allowing the stars to be on the ice for more of a game. However it also lengthens and slows the games considerably.
Television networks also despise how often games go into overtime, destroying set schedules and have long pushed for a faster shoot out to resolve games.
Games are today also broadcast over the Internet. The NHL website allows fans to listen to listen to radio broadcasts of every NHL game.
In Canada NHL hockey is broadcast every Saturday night on the country's longest running television show, Hockey Night in Canada. During the week other games, mostly Toronto Maple Leafs ones, are broadcast on the TSN cable channel. Various local channels carry other games. During the playoffs the CBC carries the major series and any involving Canadian teams, those CBC chooses not to broadcast are shown on TSN.
CBC also carries all major tournaments such as the World Juniors , the World Cup of Hockey, and the Winter Olympics. Major games like those of the 1972 Summit Series or the 2002 Winter Olympics have received some of the highest ratings in Canadian history. Some less well-known tournaments are carried on TSN.
CHL and AHL games are sometimes broadcast by local channels in Canada as is the occasional university game.
HNIC is by far the CBC's most profitable show and supports many of the corporation's other ventures.
In the United States the NHL rights are owned by Disney, regular season games are shown on ESPN or ESPN2 while the some regular season and a number of playoffs games appear on ABC. This $600 million contract was signed in 1998, and has not been regarded as a great success. Hockey has never fared well on American television and ratings were poor. Previously the NHL had been broadcast on FOX and ESPN, FOX had put much effort into trying to grow the game, but had achieved little success. One of their schemes was to make the puck more visible by highlighting it on television with a red aura, this was put into effect by a system called FoxTrax. When a slapshot was made the puck would leave a blue comet like trail. This idea met with great derision in Canada and little success in the United States.
Levels below the NHL are rarely shown on television in the United States, but major tournaments are shown there. University hockey is also shown.
In U.S. areas that are near enough to receive Canadian broadcasting, particularly southeast Michigan, the Canadian broadcasts are generally preferred.
Europe's many leagues NHL games are broadcast on the North American Sports Network