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CBC wants concerts to mark 60-year 'Hockey Night in Canada' anniversary

Hockey Night in Canada host Ron McLean. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, CBC

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Hockey Night in Canada host Ron McLean. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, CBC

TORONTO - The CBC is considering a series of concerts across the country to celebrate the 60th anniversary of "Hockey Night In Canada."

The public broadcaster revealed its plans in an online call for proposals from event companies that could handle such a venture.

It says its wants "to create a series of concerts in eight Canadian communities to celebrate 'CBC's Hockey Night in Canada''s 60th anniversary."

The concerts would run on Saturdays to co-ordinate with its hockey broadcast schedule and see shows in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal and an unspecified "Eastern location." They would run from November 2012 to April 2013.

A spokesman for the CBC says it's too early to comment on plans to mark the milestone.

But if the CBC does go forward with the concerts it won't cost the broadcaster anything because the shows would be sponsored, he added.

The anniversary comes as punishing budget cuts have some wondering whether the CBC can afford to hold onto its lucrative hockey franchise. Broadcast rights expire after the 2013/2014 season and Rogers Media, which runs Citytv, has said it would consider chasing the rights.

The CBC is grappling with federal cuts that slash funding by $115 million over the next three years.

But the CBC has vowed to hang onto its iconic "Hockey Night In Canada" franchise.

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