On Sportsnet, Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun will preview each game (1 hour preview for games 1 and 3, 30 minute preview otherwise) with MLB Central and will feature reports live on location from Barry David and Hugh Burrill. All games will be on the four regional Sportsnet channels and will feature the voices of Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe from the MLB world feed.
For Fox, Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci will be in the booth with Erin Andrews and Ken Rosenthal reporting. Kevin Burkhardt, Gabe Kapler, Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher will be in the studio and for the first two games, will be joined by David Ortiz. Fox coverage begins at 7:30pm each night except for game 5 (7pm).
On radio, Sportsnet 590 Toronto will have full coverage with Mike Wilner hosting a pre-game show from 7pm each night. Sportsnet 960 in Calgary will broadcast games 2, 4 and 7.
Game 1: Tuesday 21st, 8:07pm — San Francisco at Kansas City, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 2: Wednesday 22nd, 8:07pm — San Francisco at Kansas City, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 3: Friday 24th, 8:07pm —Kansas City at San Francisco, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 4: Saturday 25th, 8:07pm — Kansas City at San Francisco, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 5: Sunday 26th, 8:07pm — Kansas City at San Francisco, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 6: Tuesday 28th, 8:07pm — San Francisco at Kansas City, Sportsnet/Fox
Game 7: Wednesday 29th, 8:07pm — San Francisco at Kansas City, Sportsnet/Fox
In previous seasons, the only college hockey TSN has broadcast was the NCAA Frozen Four — and that was usually on tape delay. This year though, beginning this past weekend, TSN will broadcast 37 games in total which includes the eastern division playoffs and all the action of the Frozen Four championship. Details from the release follow.
“This partnership will allow TSN to deliver Canadian fans unprecedented access to the excitement of NCAA Hockey,” said Mike Snee, Executive Director, College Hockey Inc. “Canadians have always had a strong presence in college hockey and currently make up 30% of all Division I players. TSN will provide fans in Canada the chance to see for themselves why so many skilled Canadian hockey players are choosing college hockey, and why NCAA Hockey is the fastest growing development path to professional hockey.”
With live coverage of NCAA Hockey all season long, TSN’s five feeds shine the spotlight on the game’s next generation of star players, among them Boston University centre Jack Eichel and Boston College defenceman Noah Hanifin, as well as the best college hockey teams from across the United States, including the #1-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers and the 2014 FROZEN FOUR champion Union Dutchmen.
In addition to the network’s live broadcast coverage, TSN delivers news updates and analysis of NCAA Hockey on multiple platforms including TIM HORTONS THAT’S HOCKEY, SPORTSCENTRE, and TSN.ca.
The full schedule is below and subject to change. All times Eastern.
At the end of August, TSN launched three additional channels to create five individual and regionalized feeds for subscribers across the country. Of the dozen or so individual TV providers across the country, Quebec-based company Videotron was the only one not to, resulting in viewers missing out on US Open programming at the beginning and more recently, NFL telecasts. Subscribers who called TSN to complain were sent in the direction of Videotron, who were balking for whatever reason at carrying the three new channels.
As the Montreal Gazette reports, Videotron subscribers will finally be able to enjoy all five channels beginning this week.
Vidéotron president Manon Brouillette confirmed to The Gazette a month ago that the company had reached a deal to expand the number of TSN feeds from two to five, all in high definition. Shortly thereafter, Vidéotron started telling customers that it was adding the other three feeds on Oct. 29. The company told The Gazette on Friday that TSN1 will launch early, on Oct. 20, in time for the next Monday Night Football. The existing channels will be moved, so TSN1-5 are at to 186-190 in standard definition and 786-790 in HD. And all five feeds will be free to Vidéotron’s existing TSN subscribers and will count as a single channel in custom packages.
Currently, Videotron subscribers only receive TSN2, the national feed, and TSN5, the regional feed for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. At times, TSN uses all five feeds to show five different events taking place, so Videotron customers have been missing out on certain matches and events. After October 29, all digital cable and satellite customers in Canada will have access to TSN 1–5.
For the past eight years, Sportsnet has been the home of Ultimate Fighting Championship in Canada. When Rogers acquired The Score, the renamed Sportsnet 360 became the landing place for all UFC live programming such as pay-per-view pre-fights, UFC Fight Night, The Ultimate Fighter and the only Canadian MMA studio program being made, UFC Central. If recent events and speculation are any indication, UFC may be looking for a new broadcaster in Canada.
Sportsnet’s current contract runs out at the end of this year and thus far, no new deal has been signed. When the current contract was signed, UFC was considerably more popular than it is now, with general interest and ratings waning in North American as UFC purchased their competition, diluted their product with more and more live events and finding it difficult to replace big household names that have left the organisation.
Four years ago, Rogers also hadn’t just spent $5.2-billion on 12 years of NHL rights. One of the affects of this deal — one of many more to come, no doubt — on the Sportsnet budget was evident at the beginning of this month when, without warning, Sportsnet’s UFC insider and host “Showdown” Joe Ferraro announced via Facebook that UFC Central has been cancelled after more than five years on the air. He states that the removal of UFC Central was a business decision made by the network and one that he fully supports. Ferraro continues to write for sportsnet.ca and host UFC Central Radio on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
A different take on the Sportsnet/UFC situation comes from In The Cage and theorizes that UFC switched September’s pay-per-view event UFC 178 from Toronto to Las Vegas as a negotiation tactic against Sportsnet. UFC President Dana White stated “Vegas just wanted it more”, which apparently involved the MGM Grand forcing out previously booked act King of Leon. UFC has also pulled out of a planned live event in Montreal in December.
So, what are the odds UFC and Sportsnet sign a new deal? Rogers just spent a shit-ton of money on hockey and may not want to pay the asking price for a product that has been gradually going down in the ratings for the past few years. A large majority of UFC fight events occur on Saturday nights, a night that now features hockey on every Sportsnet channel (bar whatever one is currently showing the MLB postseason). With the recent addition of three feeds, TSN could certainly be in the market to get extra programming, even though they seem to have shown little interest in UFC/MMA in the past. They could certainly use some mid-week programming such as The Ultimate Fighter and possibly a studio show to prevent the endless canned programming that has featured strongly, particularly this week. Personally, I vote for slim.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 16
8:25pm — New York Jets at New England Patriots
• CBS, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Jim Nantz, Phil Simms & Tracy Wolfson
SUNDAY OCTOBER 19
1pm — Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams
• CTV BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan
• Fox Spokane, Tacoma
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
1pm — Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills
• CTV Ontario, Winnipeg
• Fox Buffalo, Rochester, Minnesota
Tim Brando, Brendon Ayanbadejo & Peter Schrager
1pm — Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers
• CTV Montreal, Atlantic
• Fox Boston, Burlington
Sam Rosen, John Lynch & Pam Oliver
1pm — Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts
• CTV Two Nationwide
• CBS Boston, Burlington, Watertown, Rochester
Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts & Jenny Dell
1pm — New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions
• Fox Detroit
Chris Myers, Ronde Barber & Jennifer Hale
1pm — Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars
• CBS Cleveland
Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein
4:05pm — Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
• CTV Two (except Atlantic)
• CBS Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota, Spokane, Seattle
Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
4:25pm — New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
• CTV Nationwide, CTV Two Atlantic, RDS
• Fox Nationwide
Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman & Charissa Thompson
8:15pm — San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos
• NBC, TSN1/3/4/5, RDS
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth & Michelle Tafoya
MONDAY OCTOBER 20
8:30pm — Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers
• TSN1/3/4/5, RDS
Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden & Lisa Salters
BYE: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Rogers purchased NHL televisions rights for the next 12 seasons last November, everything was promised to be different. As Sportsnet rolled out its new flagship broadcasts, Wednesday Night Hockey, a reinvigorated Hockey Night in Canada and Hometown Hockey over the past week, the broadcasts felt remarkably similar to what we have watched on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central, HNIC and TSN in the past.
On Wednesday, Sportsnet signed on to show their first Wednesday Night Hockey telecast. In the studio were Hockey Central stalwarts Darren Millard, Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos, joined by new recruit and former TSN analyst Darren Pang. While the studio itself was large, expansive and impressive, the on-air talent was the same as many regional broadcasts last season. But one can hardly really expect Sportsnet to compete with TSN’s James Duthie, Bob McKenzie and Aaron Ward regardless of how hard they try. What was more impressive, however, was Sportsnet in-game production. It felt very similar to a CBC broadcast, with CBC’s former lead broadcast crew of Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy and reporter Scott Oake still intact. The Canadiens-Leafs matchup gave us our first glimpse of the best innovation Sportsnet has offered thus far, the sky cam they installed at the ACC.
Something that I thought worked better than the Wednesday night broadcast was the debut of Hockey Night in Canada. Having the games spread out across CBC, City, Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet One was fantastic. Almost too much to keep track of. George Stroumboulopoulos exceeded my expectations as the new host. My only complaint is he seemed rushed at times during Sportsnet’s fast-paced pregame show. It was strange seeing Sportsnet microphone flags on CBC, but the broadcasts still felt very-CBC for a Sportsnet-produced broadcast. Again, Hughson, Simpson, Healy and Oake were at the helm in the primary 7:00pm ET broadcast on the CBC. Elsewhere former CBC personalities were equally well represented. Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey were in St. Louis, Bob Cole and Greg Millen were in Tampa Bay, Garry Galley and reporter David Amber was in Philadelphia.
Elsewhere on Saturday night, Don Cherry was cut down to a 5 minute segment in the first intermission. I think in a small dose, his continuing presence on Hockey Night will be fine. But where Sportsnet really missed the mark was the second intermission. Officially the Hotstove has been axed, but Sportsnet has kept a lighter version of it. With insiders Cox, Friedman and Kypreos in studio, Sportsnet has the opportunity to return the Hotstove to its former glory. I know Scott Moore has been clear that he wants to shift the focus away from off-ice stories (which I think is a mistake, but that’s a different matter) to on-ice, but devoting one segment a week to trade rumours seems important, regardless.
While the broadcasts on Wednesday and Saturday were really more of the same, City’s Sunday night broadcast of Hometown Hockey was new and innovative. Unfortunately, it didn’t really appeal to me. Sportsnet seemed to want to capture a family audience, which is fine for a Sunday evening broadcast, but it could come at the risk of alienating fans. It doesn’t seem like a weekly must-watch for me. The studio panel, with George, Healy and Cox, looked very casual with no ties, in a style similar to many English soccer broadcasts in Sky and the BBC. It was an interesting, and noticeable differentiation from just about every other sports broadcast in North America.
All early ratings were slightly down from last year. The Wednesday night games averaged 2 million (MTL-TOR) and 1 million (VAN-CGY) viewers. Canadiens-Leafs is now the most watched broadcast in Sportsnet history though. Saturday numbers were also slightly down. The early games averaged 2.25 million viewers, with TOR-PIT leading the way at 1.57 million. The late games averaged 1.31 million viewers.
8pm: Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks (SN)
Dave Randorf, Mike Johnson, Scott Oake
8pm: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (SN 1, TVA Sports)
Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
10:30pm: Edmonton Oilers at Arizona Coyotes (SN West*)
Thursday October 16
7pm: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins (TVA Sports 2)
7:30pm: Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens (SN 360, RDS*)
John Bartlett, Jason York, Chantal Desjardins
7:30pm: Colorado Avalanche at Ottawa Senators (TSN5*, RDS2*)
Friday October 17
7pm: Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres (Sabres TV*)
7pm: Calgary Flames at Columbus Blue Jackets (SN Flames*)
7:30pm: Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs (SN Ontario*)
8pm: Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets (TSN3*)
9:30pm: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers (SN Canucks*, SN Oilers*)
Saturday October 18
7pm: Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings (CBC)
Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy, Christine Simpson
7pm: Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens (City, TVA Sports)
Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Scott Oake
7pm: Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators (SN 1)
Bob Cole, Greg Millen, David Amber
7pm: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres (FX Canada)
8:30pm: Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks (WGN)
10pm: Tampa Bay Lightning at Vancouver Canucks (CBC, TVA Sports 2)
Dave Randorf, Gary Galley, Cassie Campbell-Pascal
Sunday October 19
5pm: San Jose Sharks at New York Rangers (TVA Sports)
7pm: Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets (City)
Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Scott Oake
Monday October 20
9:30pm: Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers (SN West*, TVA Sports)
Tuesday October 21
7pm: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Islanders (TSN4*)
7pm: San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins (TVA Sports)
7:30pm: Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens (City Montreal*, RDS*)
8pm: Carolina Hurricanes at Winnipeg Jets (TSN3*)
8:30pm: Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars (SN Canucks*)
9pm: Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames (SN Flames*)
Announcers courtesy of Awful Announcing.