Assuming the NHL regular season starts on time, the Capitals will be featured on NBC or NBC Sports Network 12 times during the season, according to the schedule released by NBC today.
Last year, NBC and the NHL agreed to a 10-year, 2 billion contract that calls for more than 100 games to be broadcast per season. According to player agent Allan Walsh, if a lockout wipes out the entire 2012-13 season, NBC will still make a 200 million payment to the league and an extra year will be added to the deal with no rights fees for the final year.
This season NBC Sports Network will air NHL games three consecutive nights each week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday nights will be exclusive, and in January, NBC Sports Network will add a second exclusive night on Sundays, giving NHL fans four straight nights of hockey action.
As a result of NBCs new schedule the Capitals announced six time changes from the original schedule: Oct. 15 vs. Florida (7:30 p.m.), Nov. 8 vs. Edmonton (7:30 p.m.), Nov. 23 at Dallas (8:30 p.m.), Dec. 11 vs. Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.), March 17 vs. Buffalo (7:30 p.m.) and March 24 at N.Y. Rangers (3 p.m.).
NBC will broadcast up to two Capitals games exclusively while NBC Sports Network has selected at least 10 Capitals games for exclusive coverage, with the potential of 11 (depending on NBCs flex scheduling). NHL Network will carry seven Capitals contests, while 28 games will be televised nationally in Canada on CBC (five games), TSN (10
games), TSN2 (nine games) and RDS (four games).
NBC will feature Washington on Feb. 3 vs. Los Angeles (12:30 p.m.), and has the option through flex scheduling to select one of three Capitals games currently scheduled for NBC Sports Network: March 10 vs. Boston (7:30 p.m.), March 17 vs. Buffalo (7:30 p.m.) and April 7 at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.).
NBC Sports Network will feature the Capitals up to 11 times this season, with a minimum of 10 games (depending on flex scheduling). The network will broadcast the following games exclusively: Oct. 15 vs. Florida, Oct. 29 at Minnesota, Oct. 31 vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 14 at N.Y. Rangers, Dec. 5 vs. N.Y. Rangers, Dec. 11 vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 26 at Buffalo, Feb. 27 at Philadelphia, March 10 vs. Boston (flex), March 17 vs. Buffalo (flex), April 7 at Pittsburgh (flex).
NHL Network will carry seven non-exclusive Capitals contests this season: Nov. 10 vs. Toronto, Nov. 16 vs. N.Y. Rangers, Dec. 22 at Boston, Jan. 5 vs. Chicago, Jan. 11 at Tampa Bay, March 14 at Carolina and March 16 at Boston.
In addition to the national broadcasts in the United States, 28 of the Capitals 82 games will be televised nationally in Canada.
Comcast SportsNet, part of NBC Sports Group, in conjunction with the Capitals, will announce the teams regional television schedule at a later date.