Canadians Join All-Access Crowd with “24CH”

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(from Sports Business Journal, February 4-10, 2013) All-Access, words that every fan wants to hear when speaking about their favorite sport. For some it might be a locker room meet and greet or an autograph signing during the post-game. However, for fans of the Montreal Canadiens all-access means tuning into a new set of television shows.

The Montreal Canadiens have begun a new series of shows, all titled “24CH.”  The footage focuses on team practices and the players during travels. One portion of the series “24CH Flash” is a composition of 48 short clips, which will be run on game days, are available in French and English on the Canadiens’ app for Bell Mobility customers. Another portion called “24CH Weekly” is also available in both languages and is featured on  Canadiens.com. Finally the “24CH The Series” is a package of 6 30-minute episodes that run during the season in French on RDS and in English in TSN2. President and CEO, Geoff Molson, says, “It’s important to give our fans greater access to our players and management so the fans get to know their team.”

The Canadiens are not the first hockey team to have this type of all access. Teams like the Edmonton Oilers have had similar shows in the past. In fact, the Oilers “Oil Change” is seen by NHL teams as a pioneer of access shows. The Pittsburgh Penguins created an all-access show titled “In the Room,” which started as 6 minute in depth looks at players and is now a half an hour show. This type of show is not uncommon to sports. The NFL has had “Hard Knocks,” the MLB has been involved with “The Franchise,” and the Brooklyn Nets are currently featured in “The Association.” The success of shows like these with other sports and teams shows how much the Canadiens have to gain from this production.

“The Canadiens are a religion to the people of Montreal,” said Nicolas Poitras, Vice President of Residential Services Marketing at Bell Canada. By allowing fans to have the all-access pass to their players’ The Canadiens are opening doors to build brand and to potentially bring in new customers, the goal of any sports business.