LADIES and gentlemen of Jets Nation, get your remote controls at the ready.
Even though the NHL schedule has yet to be finalized, cable providers are preparing for a second season of TSN Jets, the specialty channel that shows nothing but Winnipeg Jets games.
It's too early to circle the dates on the calendar because the league's 48-game schedule won't come out until after the new collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by both the owners and the players. That process is expected to be complete by the end of the week.
MTS-TV, Shaw Communications and Bell Media need to find out which of the Jets' games will be shown on the national broadcasts of both CBC and TSN's main network throughout the season. The Jets will open up the season at home on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1:30 p.m., a game that will certainly be on Hockey Night In Canada.
A TSN spokesman said a rule of thumb is the specialty channel will broadcast "about 60 per cent" of the Jets games.
MTS was the first out of the gate with information. Its monthly charge will once again be $9.95 and customers who subscribed to the channel last season will have to renew if they want to watch it again this year. Subscriptions can be renewed -- or new ones taken out -- starting on Friday at the company's website (www.mts.ca/tsnjets).
Hockey fans may have to process the fact they'll have to let their fingers do the clicking in order to watch their favourite team or perhaps there's some animosity after the more than 100-day lockout.
"We've seen a modest increase in calls from customers regarding the TSN Jets channel since the NHL's announcement," said MTS spokesman Craig Lawrence.
Customers of MTS Ultimate TV can also purchase the channel directly through their televisions with the "buy now" application on channel 168 or 1168. This option will be available in the next two weeks.
Shaw, the biggest cable provider in Manitoba, won't finalize details of its TSN Jets offering until the NHL announces its schedule. As soon as information, including price and airtime, becomes available, it will be posted on shaw.ca.
Bell customers will receive TSN Jets in their basic cable package.