With over 40 members for their debut into national hockey broadcasting, Rogers has kept the old faces from Sportsnet, the familiar faces from CBC and TSN, and brought in some new faces as announcers, analysts, and insiders for 2014–15.
News slowly trickled out over the past few months of personnel Rogers had signed up, including former TSN personalities Dave Randorf and Paul Romanuk. Now with the full release, we can see Rogers have nabbed some TSN folk, US folk and a whole load of CBC broadcasters.
Hosting all the programming across the suite of Rogers channels will be the familiar names of Ron MacLean, George Stroumboulopoulos, Jeff Marek and Darren Millard. The new name is former Canadian broadcaster Leah Hextall, who returns north of the border from Boston’s NESN.
National play-by-play commentators will be longtime CBC commentator Jim Hughson, former TSN’er Paul Romanuk, former CFL on TSN host Dave Randorf, and old-timer Bob Cole. Joining them as analysts from CBC will be Glenn Healy, Gary Galley, and Craig Simpson, and from TSN the young up-and-comer Mike Johnson. Regional commentators and reporters include a mix of former CBC and current Sportsnet staff. The (seemingly unnecessarily-long) list of studio people is below.
Sadly, Rogers has hired the three worst parts of the former CBC Hockey Night In Canada staff: longtime d-bag Don Cherry, the well-past-his-prime Bob Cole and the always-terrible Glenn Healy. You could probably add PJ Stock to the list also, but no one really cares about him enough to expend the energy. All hate mail in regards to this topic can be directed to the comments section below.
The full broadcast team is after the jump.
Canadiens English-language broadcasts
There is still no rights holder for Anglophone Habs fans in Eastern Canada. It was reported a couple weeks ago both outlets (Bell and Rogers) were balking at the high price Montreal were asking for the regional rights. Bell had the previous rights and screened games on the now-defunct TSN-Habs specialty channel. TSN has since picked up Senators rights, which could possibly cause scheduling conflicts on TSN5.
According to a vague tweet from Sportsnet President Scott Moore and a tweet from CTV Montreal reporter Brian Wilde, Rogers could be announcing rights to Habs games this week. Of course, Moore’s tweet could also be referring to an announcement about the future of NHL Centre Ice and Gamecentre. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Rogers will have full Flames coverage across their cluster of channels for the upcoming NHL season with Alberta & Saskatchewan viewers able to catch 50 regional games on Sportsnet West and alternate channel Sportsnet Flames. Sportsnet 960 The Fan will have all 82 games on your radio device.
There will be two newcomers to the television broadcast booth with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey joining the Sportsnet team. Host Roger Millions will be rinkside with updates. Both Ball and Hrudey come from CBC with Ball leaving Vancouver (and calling CFL games mid-season for TEAM radio) to move to Calgary.
On the radio side, The Fan 960 welcomes Derek Wills for play-by-play joining veteran analyst Peter Loubardias.
Full regional schedule below. All times are Mountain. Schedule subject to change.
Fans of the Edmonton Oilers will be able catch all 82 regular season games across the Rogers/Sportsnet channels. 32 games will be shown nationally (schedule here) and the remaining 50 regional games will be available on Sportsnet West and alternate channel Sportsnet Oilers.
Kevin Quinn will be return to the broadcast booth calling play-by-play and analyst Drew Remenda will be joining him after spending the past 14 years on the San Jose Sharks telecast. Gene Principe will be rinkside for the 40 games on SN West and 10 games on SN Oilers.
CHED AM 630 will have the radio coverage with Jack Michaels and Bob Stauffer returning for another season.
Below is the full schedule. All times are Mountain. Schedule subject to change.
In a new era for hockey broadcasting in Canada, fans will see more games than ever, especially on free-to-air networks, as Rogers will show over 350 games nationally across the country, utilizing up to six networks, with games every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada will feature anywhere from four to eight games each week in a huge expansion of games for Canadian hockey fans. The allocation of what game screens on what network will be decided on a week-to-week basis, utilizing CBC, City, Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada. FX Canada is currently available on all major providers except Bell, which may piss off a bunch of people, but I suspect no Canadian teams will feature on that channel.
Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey will feature at least one Canadian team each of the 35 weeks during the season and includes nine doubleheaders, with all games being shown on Sportsnet or Sportsnet One. Sunday night hockey will be new for this season, and Rogers will show 25 matchups will all but one featuring a Canadian team and all but one will be found on City. Sunday Night Hockey will be broadcast from a different community rink across Canada each week and will feature players, stories and entertainment.
The 2015 Winter Classic, All-Star Skills competition and All-Star game will be on CBC as usual and the annual Hockey Day in Canada will feature a Canadian triple-header on February 14. All playoff games will be on the Rogers array of stations.
In addition to all of the above, Sportsnet 360 will feature 25 US match-ups throughout the season on Thursday nights (and one Friday night), Sportsnet One currently has 40 American match-ups scheduled on a variety of nights throughout the season, and except even more to be added at a later date.
Hopefully I have managed to include everything in the schedule below without any doubling-up, but no promises as it is a shit-ton of games.
EDIT: Forgot to include a little passage on NHL Centre Ice and Gamecentre. So far, for those north of the border, there is ZERO information currently available in regards to either of these services. Gamecentre is currently available to US-based viewers as it always has been. Included in the Rogers purchase are rights to both Centre Ice and Gamecentre in Canada only, so both could be drastically different. Given how many games are already showing on TV, it will be interesting to see what they offer, especially for those (including yours truly) who support a US team and would live to see every game.
All times are Eastern. Schedule subject to change.
TSN launches three additional channels today, as outlined over the weekend. One change from that previous post is that Alberta will have TSN1 as their primary channel, not TSN2.
For those having trouble finding the channel numbers for TSN3, TSN4 and TSN5 on their cable/satellite provider, here they are:
With the new feeds, TSN promises:
- More hockey: Expansion of international events such as more games at from the World Juniors and Hockey Championships, in addition to their NHL regional coverage
- More tennis: Additional court feeds for all majors, starting today with the US Open
- More football: Expansion of NCAA football coverage this season, in addition to every CFL game and Sunday and Monday NFL games
- More soccer: Expanded EPL coverage with more games on Saturdays and expansion of MLS coverage, in addition to upcoming international tournaments
- More golf: Expanded coverage of majors, including featured hole feeds and increased studio programming and highlight shows
- More baseball: More coverage of MLB from ESPN’s Sunday, Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball as well as Baseball Tonight
- More basketball: In addition to nearly 50 Raptors, expect more coverage during the NCAA regular season as well as more March Madness games on your screen
- More curling: More feeds of more games during TSN’s curling coverage
- More auto racing: Expanded Formula 1 and NASCAR (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Canadian Tire Series) programming
Below are some are some fancy images outlining schedule with the new feeds:
The 2014 US Open from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York begins on Monday and coincides with TSN expanding from two national channels to five, and with the additional channels comes more grand slam coverage than Canada has ever seen with nearly 300 hours of tennis action over the next two weeks.
During the first week, TSN will offer up to four different feeds across the network enabling viewers to potentially watch four matches at once. Before action begins on Monday, Rod Smith will host a 30-minute special at 10:30am ET on TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5 previewing the US Open as well as giving a rundown of the new feeds and what choices will be available.
Fans will be told what games are currently on what channel via onscreen graphics as well from studio host Kara Wagland. Mark Masters will be onsite to follow Canadians Milos Raonic, Genie Bouchard and Vasek Pospisil as they look to continue their form from Wimbledon, providing live reports during the broadcast as well as online at TSN.ca.
As per the schedule below, TSN will have two channels dedicated to specific courts and two channels floating between matches, interviews and press conferences. One floating feed will definitely be ESPN, with the second either being Tennis Channel or CBS Sports Network (who are in their final year of broadcasting the US Open after 47 years. ESPN takes over full rights in 2015).
CBS will cover the women’s and men’s finals (Sun. Sept. 7 at 4:30pm ET and Mon. Sept. 8 at 5pm ET) and have a special ‘CBS Salutes the US Open’ on Sunday at 1:30pm ET looking back at the past 46 years of coverage featuring long-time play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg, who will also call a match on Sunday alongside former partners John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.
While TSN has stepped up its coverage dramatically, it still lags behind what ESPN offers online, and this year, ESPN will have a new feature called “ESPN 3 Surround” during prime-time matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Matches will be able to be viewed online with four windows — the traditional end court view, the view from above via Spidercam, and two smaller boxes showing each player exclusively. ESPN3 also offers 400 hours of live compeition online with up to seven courts available to choose from. TSN will only feature streams of the four feeds at TSN.ca and via the TSN GO app.
RDS will provide around 115 hours of coverage with Yvan Ponton and Hélène Pelletier providing commentary throughout the tournament. Anouk Grignon-L’Anglais will be onsite. The full RDS schedule can be found at RDS.ca.
TSN’s schedule for the first week is below with the second week coming out later during the tournament. All times are Eastern.
Circle your calendars, people!! Monday morning at 10:30am ET, TSN will go from having two national channels to five in a bid to remain the number one sports network in Canada in light of losing the national NHL rights to Rogers. Announced back in May, TSN and TSN2 will become TSN 1 through 5 as three additional channels come online just in time to broadcast the final tennis major of the year, the US Open from Flushing Meadows in New York. All channels will be available on TSN.ca and the TSN GO app.
Four of the five TSN’s will be used as regional feeds for NHL games this season, doing away with alternate channels such as TSN-Jets and TSN-Sens which were only available in that particular market. Similar to how Sportsnet’s channels are broken down by region, TSN will be similar, as follows:
TSN 1 — BC, Yukon, (Update: Alberta) (Pacific)
TSN 2 — National
TSN 3 —
Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut (West)
TSN 4 — Leafs viewing area (Most of Ontario)
TSN 5 — Eastern Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic (East)
TSN haven’t stated outright this is how it structured, but based on the release of their regional games for the Senators, Leafs and Jets, as well as other information, it should follow this pattern. I don’t know at all the way most cable/satellite TV packages work across the country, but if regular/current TSN is part of the basic package, that will switch to the TSN associated with your region. For example, regular TSN in Montreal will become TSN 5 as the basic/default TSN channel. At times, TSN 1, 3, 4, 5 will be showing the same programming for big events in order to reach the maximum number of viewers possibly (those with only basic cable).
The following providers have signed on to have all five networks available to customers (Videotron seems to be the biggest name that is missing):
- Bell Fibe / Satellite
- Cogeco Cable
- FibreOP TV (Bell Aliant)
- Shaw Direct
- Source Cable
- TELUS Optik TV
UPDATE: Channels listings for each provider can be found here.
The TSN presser about the new channels touts “more live game coverage, more choice of games/events taking place at the same time, expanded coverage of marquee live events, and effective scheduling of TSN studio programming”. This is noticeable from day one. TSN will dedicate four channels (TSN 1, 3, 4, 5) to showing four different feeds from the US Open (a more detailed US Open post to come later this weekend). Two feeds will feature dedicated court coverage, another will be ESPN’s feed featuring interviews and court-to-court coverage (jumping around to certain matches) and the fourth will also be court-to-court coverage (possibly the feed from the Tennis Channel).
Here is what the first week looks like as per my Bell guide:
- Four different feeds for US Open coverage on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5 all day and night.
- EPL game on TSN 2 at 3pm ET.
- Off The Record, Pardon the Interruption, Sportscentre from 5pm to 7pm ET on TSN 2.
- Monday Night Baseball on TSN 2 at 7pm ET.
- Sportscentre at 11pm ET on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5 and loops overnight. Random/replay programming on TSN 2.
Tuesday and Wednesday
- US Open coverage on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5 all day and night.
- TSN 2 canned programming during day. OTR, PTI, SC and studio programming run during afternoon and evening.
- Same as above but instead we get something new: Two NCAA football games on Thursday night. College football fans rejoice! Wake vs. Louisiana-Monroe at 7pm on TSN 2 (from ESPN U). Boise State vs. Mississippi at 8pm ET on TSN 3 (from ESPN).
- Sportscentre loops in the morning on 1, 3-5, TSN 2 has Aussie Rules football live.
- US Open coverage as above but with something new: 2:30pm ET on TSN 2 is NASCAR Sprint Cup practice. Speed Channel (RIP) fans rejoice!
- Friday night US Open coverage goes to only TSN 2 while the other channels show SC at 6pm followed by CFL.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying shown on delay at 11:30pm ET on TSN 4.
- Three different EPL games on TSN 1, 3, 4 in the morning. No more online-only game and all five 10am EPL games will be on Canadian TV. Soccer fans rejoice!
- ESPN College Gameday on TSN 2. Sportscentre loop on TSN 5.
- Into the afternoon, US Open on TSN 2, 4, 5. NCAA football double-header on TSN 2 and 3. That’s four games. NCAA fans are foaming at the mouth at this stage.
- Saturday night: US Open on TSN 1, 4 & 5, NCAA on TSN 3, NASCAR on TSN 2 and MLS late on TSN 1 (Vancouver in action, hence the game on the “Pacific” feed).
- Both early EPL games: Tottenham vs. Liverpool on TSN 1 & 4, Aston Villa vs. Hull on TSN 3 & 5. SC loop on TSN 2.
- US Open features on all five channels at 11am, with TSN 5 breaking away in the afternoon for NASCAR Canadian Truck series.
- CFL matchup Winnipeg vs. Saskatchewan at 4pm ET on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5; US Open coverage continues only on TSN2.
- Sunday night has NASCAR on TSN 1 & 5, US Open on TSN 2 & 4, and Sunday Night Baseball on TSN 3.
So there we have it. More US Open than ever before, more EPL than before, more college football and more NASCAR, and that’s just week one. Seems safe to say this will be nothing like the way Sportsnet uses their four regional channels, showing the same programming 95% of the time. If you only have one TSN channel on your cable package, prepare to miss out a lot of sporting action in the future (then again, that’s the point right? To get more people to subscribe to a higher-tiered package to get all five channels).
For those on Bell, the new channels will be on channels 1400 through 1404.