The Dog Days of Summer
Like watching a spaceship getting sucked into a black hole, the world of sports after the MLB All-Star break also seems to stop moving. If you know science or astronomy, then you’ll know that while it looks like the spaceship has stopped moving, it is in fact just moving really slowly. The following is random pieces that we’ve received from the slow-moving spaceship.
— MLB RATINGS
MLB Home Run Derby: 694k; Jays vs. Rays: 660k (July 19); Jays vs. Rays: 603k (July 21); Jays vs. Dodgers: 477k (July 22).
From the Montreal Gazette:
As of July 10, Sportsnet was averaging 544,000 viewers (aged two and over) for Jays’ broadcasts. That’s nine per cent down from the 2012 average of 595,000 at this point of the season but up 10 per cent from 2011′s average of 496,000 at the same time. Breaking it down by month, the 2013 Jays averaged 639,000 in April, 403,000 in May (when the team went 13-15) and 575,000 in June (when the team won 11 straight).
This is definitely well-below the one-million viewers Rogers predicted they could get headed into the latter half of the season and under the 600,000 season average they were looking for.
— MISC RATINGS
Wimbledon Men’s Final did 451k. This is considerably down from last year’s record of 515k viewers who watched Federer beat Murray. The final round of the British Open on Global did 568k.
In the CFL: Edmonton vs. Hamilton — 570k (July 7), Toronto vs. Saskatchewan — 786k (July 11), Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan – 782k (July 21).
— FOX SPORTS ONE
In just a few weeks from now, Fox Sports One will start beaming into the homes of millions of US viewers as it replaces Speed. As for what the millions of Canadians will see, that is still unknown. A loyal-little of this site commented in a previous post that he asked Bell on their Facialbook page about the change, to which they responded “Just received word that Speed TV will only be re-branding in the States and will remain unchanged in Canada. Thanks for inquiring!”.
Complimenting that, we have the following tidbit from the Sports Business Journal:
It’s not clear what Fox will provide distributors that don’t cut FS1 deals but still have contracts to carry Speed. Distributors say they’ve been told that one option is that Fox will provide a watered-down motorsports channel that would run in place of Speed, possibly even keeping the Speed name.
Fox have already announced they will be cancelling a bunch of existing Speed programming once the channel ends, so it’s hard to see exactly how watered-down a new channel would be without live racing and general programming. Australia currently has their own version of Speed TV (which airs plenty of live racing not shown on the US version) which could possibly air here, though a majority of live programming would be blacked out, just as it would be should we get FS1. Motorsports fans would prefer to see a modified version of Speed, while general sports fans would be looking forward to seeing the offering from FS1 despite the many blackouts that come with it.
— NBC GETS NASCAR / INDYCAR RATINGS
NBC Sports is still a young network, relatively speaking, but it has fast acquired numerous sports rights. NHL, Indycar, MLS, Formula One, English Premier League, and now, NASCAR. Beginning in 2015, NBC and NBC Sports Network will shown a portion of the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. NBC has quickly become the home of motorsport in the US, and one wonders if Sportsnet would consider making a similar move in Canada. They got the Indycar rights beginning this year and have already put more effort into their broadcast than TSN ever did, featuring pre- and post-race coverage as well as being track side for the Indy 500 and the Toronto race a couple weeks ago. I don’t think you could find a single fan of Formula One who is happy with TSN’s coverage, from the minimal coverage before or after the races (especially for the grand prix in this very country) to constant audio problems, so it would certainly be great to see Sportsnet takeover (a Google search could not tell me when the rights are next up for grabs) and — presumably — put the same amount of effort in as they do Indycar.
While on the subject, Globe and Mail media reporter Steve Ladurantaye has a great comparison on his personal site of this years Indycar ratings on Sportsnet versus last year on TSN, headlined by the fact that the terrible Sharknado special got 50,000 more viewers than the Toronto weekend of races. Granted, this is more likely due to the declining popularity of Indycar in general (it hasn’t been the same since Indy merged with CART, of which I was a huge fan) than Sportsnet taking over the broadcast from TSN.
— BROADCAST SCHEDULE RELEASES
The NHL released their schedule last week, which was quickly followed by the CBC putting out their broadcast schedule, which can be viewed in a previous post. Sportsnet and TSN will have theirs in the coming month or so. And speaking of Canada’s two biggest sporting networks, they still are yet to confirm who will be showing what games in the upcoming EPL season, which kicks August 17. Beginning this year the two networks will share the games 50/50. A number of games will also be seen on NBC.
— WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS
The 104th RBC Canadian Open begins tomorrow from Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario. TSN will have coverage of the opening two rounds (Thu/Fri at 3pm) and Global will have coverage after the cut from 3pm each day. Global also have their The Morning Show and Global News crews broadcasting live from the course throughout the tournament. French coverage can be found on RDS.
Sportsnet has six hours of UFC coverage for the UFC on Fox 8: Johnson vs. Moraga card this weekend from Seattle. The weigh-in can be seen Friday on Sportsnet 360 at 7pm, early prelim fights on Saturday at 4pm streaming on sportsnet.ca (post-fight pressers will also be live online), and the prelims and main card begin from 5pm Saturday on Sportsnet 360.
Elsewhere: Super 15 Rugby and English Super League finals action can be seen on Sportsnet World; just weeks away from the EPL season, Sportsnet World are showing a bunch of friendlies; the Formula One circus arrives in Hungary, Sunday 8am on TSN/RDS; the UEFA Women’s Euro final goes at 9:45am Sunday morning on TSN2/RDS; and if you wanted even more soccer, the CONCACAF Gold Cup final kicks off 4pm Sunday on Fox and Sportsnet World.