The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that the Jets will finally announce their broadcasting plans this afternoon. All the details have largely been leaked out already (check the category listing on the right for my numerous Jets stories) so there’s not much new that will probably be announced. There is one thing that’s still a mystery and that’s who will be the analysts for Jets games. The Free Press says that Shane Hnidy is being considered. Hnidy hasn’t officially retired and he has zero media experience so that would be an odd choice. We should find out all the details today as the Jets will hold a media conference at 1 PM Winnipeg time.
UPDATE: TSN and the Winnipeg Jets have finally announced their agreement to air games on a specialty regional sub-feed channel. The channel will be named TSN Jets and will launch September 20 to coincide with the first Jets preseason game. Also, as previously speculated, Bell Media’s Sports Radio 1290 will get the radio rights. In addition, TSN will create a Winnipeg bureau with Sara Olesky heading it up. The contract is for 10 years with a minimum of 60 games all being in HD on TSN Jets. The Jets broadcast territory will include Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, the Northwestern Territories and parts of Northwestern Ontario including Thunder Bay, Dryden and Kenora. TSN will also offer pre and post game coverage of all games.
As far as on air talent goes, the play by play duties, as originally reported, will have Dennis Beyak handling the main duties with Brian Munz as the backup radio man when Beyak is doing television. We now have confirmation on the analysts and they are a bit of a surprise. On the radio side, Shane Hnidy will handle the colour duties. Hnidy has decided to retire to join the broadcast booth in an interesting decision. On TSN, Brian Engblom and Mike Johnson will join Beyak. Hnidy’s inclusion is very interesting as he has never broadcasted games at all nor do I believe has he ever even guested in a booth. It’s certainly a risk and all eyes will be on him. Johnson already works for TSN’s regional coverage of Montreal so it appears that he might be doing double duty and Engblom will do the same supplementing his current NBC Sports and Altitude Sports duties with his new TSN Jets job.