A Rouge Point

I'm free to say whatever I like, if it's wrong or right it's alright

2014 FIFA World Cup Canadian Viewers’ Guide

with 32 comments

The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins Thursday afternoon in Brazil as the host country plays Croatia. 32 countries from six continents will take part in the World Cup, with games played in 12 cities across Brazil. Canadian viewers will have access to every game from Brazil 2014 on television in four languages – English, French, Spanish and Italian. Games will also air on radio and CBC is launching a FIFA World Cup app to allow for live streaming on mobile devices.

English coverage will air on CBC (56 matches) and Sportsnet (8 matches). Scott Russell, Nigel Reed and Craig Forrest will host CBC’s primetime coverage every evening, with a live game (usually at 6pm ET) followed by an encore. Andi Petrillo will host CBC’s afternoon coverage, along with analysts Reed and Lloyd Barker. CBC also has two reporters in Brazil, Brenda Irving and David Amber. CBC will utilize the world feed commentators for their World Cup broadcasts, featuring Peter Drury, John Helm, Dave Woods, John Roder, Martin Fisher, Gary Bloom, Kevin Keatings and Dan O’Hagan.

English-language coverage is also available in Canada on ABC, which will broadcast 10 matches including the final. ABC’s coverage, which is produced by ESPN, features hosts Mike Tirico and Bob Ley. ESPN’s commentators are led by Ian Darke and Steve McManaman, who will call the final. Their other commentators include Jon Champion, Daniel Mann, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey and Fernando Palomo. Other prominent analysts on ABC include Stewart Robson, Efan Ekoku and Roberto Martinez.

French language coverage will mostly air on Radio-Canada, with TVA Sports picking up 18 matches as well. TLN will provide coverage in Spanish and Italian through its Univision Canada and Mediaset Italia channels. The main TLN channel will also show every game in Spanish or Italian, including encores in both languages. Spanish coverage will feature Univision commentators from the United States, while Italian coverage will feature Italian domestic commentators from Sky Italia.

You may be wondering, just who exactly are these world feed commentators? In that case, here is a quick rundown of where you may have heard each of them before.

  • For Premier League viewers, Drury is probably the most familiar name and voice. He calls many of the Premier League’s biggest Sunday matches for the world feed. He was formerly a commentator at ITV, where he worked every World Cup between 1998 and 201o, as well as every European Championship between 2000 and 2012.
  • John Helm has called every World Cup final in Canada since 2002. Helm is a bit of an oddity in that he doesn’t commentate on many big football matches anymore, outside of the World Cup. Ironically it was some 15 years ago that Drury pushed him aside as a commentator at ITV. Since then he hasn’t featured much on British domestic television.
  • Dave Woods is a regular fixture of the world feed for both the World Cup. He has also worked for the BBC and was Five’s primary commentator when that network held Europa League rights. In Britain he is perhaps better known as a rugby league commentator, calling the biggest Super League matches for the BBC.
  • John Roder regularly works matches for BBC highlight programs Match of the Day and The Football League Show. Last year he was one of the commentators for the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
  • Martin Fisher also calls matches for BBC’s Match of the Day and The Football League Show. He has also recently called the UEFA Champions League final on the world feed.
  • Gary Bloom was once the main commentator for Channel 4’s famed coverage of Football Italia, back when Serie A was the envy of the rest of Europe. Aside for the World Cup, I’m not sure what he’s done recently to be honest.
  • Kevin Keatings is Sky Sports’ Spanish football commentator. He covers La Liga matches each weekend, as well as many UEFA Champions League matches featuring the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
  • Dan O’Hagan is yet another commentator who works for BBC’s Match of the Day and The Football League Show.

Here is the complete English-language broadcast schedule. All CBC and ABC broadcasts are preceded by a 30 minute pregame show. Since most of Brazil is in the Atlantic Time Zone (ET + 1 hr), those are the times listed here.

Group A
Thursday 6/12, 5:00pm – Brazil vs. Croatia – CBC (John Helm)
Friday 6/13, 1:00pm – Mexico vs. Cameroon – CBC (Peter Drury)
Tuesday 6/17, 4:00pm – Brazil vs. Mexico – CBC
Wednesday 6/18, 7:00pm – Cameroon vs. Croatia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Croatia vs. Mexico – CBC/SN
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Cameroon vs. Brazil – CBC/SN

Group B
Friday 6/13, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Holland – CBC (Dave Woods)
Friday 6/13, 7:00pm – Chile vs. Australia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Wednesday 6/18, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Holland – CBC (John Roder)
Wednesday 6/18, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Chile – CBC
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Holland vs. Chile – CBC/SN (John Roder)
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Spain – CBC/SN (Dan O’Hagan)

Group C
Saturday 6/14, 1:00pm – Colombia vs. Greece – CBC/ABC (Adrian Healey & Taylor Twellman)
Saturday 6/14, 10:00pm – Cote d’Ivorie vs. Japan – CBC (Gary Bloom)
Thursday 6/19, 1:00pm – Colombia vs. Cote d’Ivorie – CBC
Thursday 6/19, 7:00pm – Japan vs. Greece – CBC (Gary Bloom)
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Greece vs. Cote d’Ivorie – CBC/SN
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Japan vs. Colombia – CBC/SN (Kevin Keatings)

Group D
Saturday 6/14, 4:00pm – Uruguay vs. Costa Rica – CBC/ABC (Jon Champion & Stewart Robson)
Saturday 6/14, 7:00pm – England vs. Italy – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Thursday 6/19, 4:00pm – Uruguay vs. England – CBC
Friday 6/20, 1:00pm – Italy vs. Costa Rica – CBC
Tuesday 6/24, 1:00pm – Italy vs. Uruguay – CBC/SN (Gary Bloom)
Tuesday 6/24, 1:00pm – Costa Rica vs. England – CBC/SN

Group E
Sunday 6/15, 1:00pm – Switzerland vs. Ecuador – CBC/ABC (Adrian Healey & Alejandro Moreno)
Sunday 6/15, 4:00pm – France vs. Honduras – CBC (John Roder)/ABC (Daniel Mann & Kasey Keller)
Friday 6/20, 4:00pm – Switzerland vs. France – CBC
Friday 6/20, 7:00pm – Honduras vs. Ecuador – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Ecuador vs. France – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Hondruas vs. Switzerland – CBC/SN (Dan O’Hagan)

Group F
Sunday 6/15, 7:00pm – Argentina vs. Bosnia – CBC
Monday 6/16, 4:00pm – Iran vs. Nigeria – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Saturday 6/21, 1:00pm – Argentina vs. Iran – CBC
Saturday 6/21, 7:00pm – Nigeria vs. Bosnia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Nigeria vs. Argentina – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Bosnia vs. Iran – CBC/SN

Group G
Monday 6/16, 1:00pm – Germany vs. Portugal – CBC
Monday 6/16, 7:00pm – Ghana vs. United States – CBC (Gary Bloom)
Saturday 6/21, 4:00pm – Germany vs. Ghana – CBC
Sunday 6/22, 7:00pm – United States vs. Portugal – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – United States vs. Germany – CBC/SN (Gary Bloom)
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – Portugal vs. Ghana – CBC/SN

Group H
Tuesday 6/17, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Algeria – CBC
Tuesday 6/17, 7:00pm – Russia vs. Korea – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Sunday 6/22, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Russia – CBC (Gary Bloom)/ABC
Sunday 6/22, 4:00pm – Korea vs. Algeria – CBC/ABC
Thursday 6/26, 5:00pm – Korea vs. Belgium – CBC/SN
Thursday 6/26, 5:00pm – Algeria vs. Russia – CBC/SN (Kevin Keatings)

Knockout Phase
Saturday 6/28, 1:00pm – A1 vs. B2 – CBC/ABC
Saturday 6/28, 5:00pm – C1 vs. D2 – CBC/ABC
Sunday 6/29, 1:00pm – B1 vs. A2 – CBC
Sunday 6/29, 5:00pm – D1 vs. C2 – CBC
Monday 6/30, 1:00pm – E1 vs. F2 – CBC
Monday 6/30, 5:00pm – G1 vs. H2 – CBC
Tuesday 7/1, 1:00pm – F1 vs. E2 – CBC
Tuesday 7/1, 5:00pm – H1 vs. G2 – CBC

Friday 7/4, 1:00pm – Quarterfinal #1 – CBC
Friday 7/4, 5:00pm – Quarterfinal #2 – CBC
Saturday 7/5, 1:00pm – Quarterfinal #3 – CBC/ABC
Saturday 7/5, 5:00pm – Quarterfinal #4 – CBC

Tuesday 7/8, 5:00pm – Semifinal #1 – CBC
Wednesday 7/9, 5:00pm – Semifinal #2 – CBC

Saturday 7/12, 5:00pm – Third Place Match – CBC
Sunday 7/13, 4:00pm – Championship Final – CBC/ABC

Written by canadiansportsmedia

9 June, 2014 at 1:34pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bob Cole Will Return to HNIC Next Season

with 17 comments

As was first reported by Damien Cox last Friday, Bob Cole has not called his last game for Hockey Night in Canada. HNIC host Ron MacLean confirmed the news just before game 7 of Kings vs. Blackhawks last night. Many fans thought Rogers might not retain Cole, who was the primary voice of HNIC through 2008 before taking a secondary role. Cole turns 81 later this month. Terms of the deal were not revealed, and Rogers has not made it official. In fact Rogers has yet to confirm any play-by-play announcers or colour commentators for their NHL coverage, which begins in the fall. They likely will not release these details until after the Stanley Cup Final, which begins Wednesday night in Los Angeles. However, I do expect Rogers might release this before July 1. However, some more details of Rogers’ NHL coverage, including the start time and details of Hometown Hockey, will likely be revealed at City’s upfront presentation in Toronto tomorrow afternoon, June 3.

EDIT: Steve Lepore is reporting that Dave Randorf is leaving TSN to join Sportsnet as a NHL play-by-play announcer. I’m not surprised Randorf is leaving TSN considering James Duthie will assume his role of CFL on TSN host, which was part of the new contract he signed with TSN last December. Randorf’s other main gig at TSN is calling regional NHL and IIHF games. Next season TSN’s main hockey commentators, Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert, will be available to call those games. Stay tuned for updates.

Written by canadiansportsmedia

2 June, 2014 at 5:13pm

Posted in HNIC, NHL on Sportsnet

MLB Canadian TV Schedule: April 21-27

with 5 comments

Here is this week’s MLB schedule for TSN and Sportsnet.

Monday April 21
11:00am, Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – Sportsnet
7:00pm, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers – Sportsnet
7:00pm, Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates – TSN2
10:00pm, Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics – SN West/Pacific

Tuesday April 22
10:00pm, Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics – SN West/Pacific

Wednesday April 23
3:30pm, Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics – SN1
7:00pm, New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox – TSN2

Thursday April 24
1:00pm, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers – SN1

Friday April 25
10:00pm, Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners – SN West/Pacific

Saturday April 26
7:00pm, Cincinnati Reds @ Atlanta Braves – Sportsnet

Sunday April 27
8:00pm, Anaheim Angels @ New York Yankees – TSN2

Written by canadiansportsmedia

20 April, 2014 at 8:32pm

Posted in 2014 MLB Schedule

MLB Canadian TV Schedule: April 14-20

with 8 comments

Here is this week’s MLB schedule for TSN and Sportsnet.

Monday April 14
7:00pm, Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies – TSN2
7:00pm, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles – SN1
10:00pm, Oakland Athletics @ Anaheim Angels – TSN2

Wednesday April 16
12:30pm, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles – Sportsnet

Thursday April 17
7:00pm, New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays – SN360
8:00pm, Boston Red Sox @ Chicago White Sox – SN1

Sunday April 20
7:00pm, Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – TSN2

Written by canadiansportsmedia

13 April, 2014 at 7:54pm

Posted in 2014 MLB Schedule, MLB

2014 NHL Divisional Semifinals Schedule and Announcers

with 17 comments

The new NHL playoff format debuts Wednesday night with the start of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The new divisional-based format has resulted in one laughable “rivalry” (Montreal-Tampa Bay), but otherwise the first round features quite a few true rivalry matchups. In the East the Detroit Red Wings will play the Boston Bruins in the playoffs for the first time since the Original Six era; they last met in 1957. Meanwhile the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers re-new their longtime playoff rivalry. The Western Conference features three great rivalry series. The Colorado Avalanche face the Minnesota Wild. These two have played in the same division since the Wild joined the NHL in 2000. The St. Louis Blues encounter the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. In the Pacific Division, California rivals San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings face off.

Here is the complete schedule for each series, including commentator information.

Atlantic Division
(1) Boston Bruins vs. (WC2) Detroit Red Wings – TSN (Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro)
Game 1, Friday April 18, 7:30pm
Game 2, Sunday April 20, 3:00pm* (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire)
Game 3, Tuesday April 22, 7:30pm
Game 4, Thursday April 24, 8:00pm
Game 5, Saturday April 26, 3:00pm* (NBC)
Game 6, Monday April 28
Game 7, Wednesday April 30

(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (3) Montreal Canadiens – CBC (Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy)
Game 1, Wednesday April 16, 7:00pm
Game 2, Friday April 18, 7:00pm
Game 3, Sunday April 20, 7:00pm
Game 4, Tuesday April 22, 7:00pm
Game 5, Thursday April 24, 7:00pm
Game 6, Sunday April 27
Game 7, Tuesday April 29

Metropolitan Division
(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (WC1) Columbus Blue Jackets – CBC (Bob Cole, Garry Galley)
Game 1, Wednesday April 16, 7:30pm – CHEX
Game 2, Saturday April 19, 7:00pm
Game 3, Monday April 21, 7:00pm
Game 4, Wednesday April 23, 7:00pm
Game 5, Saturday April 26
Game 6, Monday April 28
Game 7, Wednesday April 30

(2) New York Rangers vs. (3) Philadelphia Flyers – TSN (Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro)
Game 1, Thursday April 17, 7:00pm
Game 2, Sunday April 20, 12:00pm* (Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti)
Game 3, Tuesday April 22, 8:00pm – TSN2*
Game 4, Friday April 25, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sunday April 27, 12:00pm (NBC)
Game 6, Tuesday April 29
Game 7, Wednesday April 30

Central Division
(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (WC1) Minnesota Wild – TSN (Chris Cuthbert, Mike Johnson)
Game 1, Thursday April 17, 9:30pm* (John Forslund, Tripp Tracy)
Game 2, Saturday April 19, 9:30pm
Game 3, Monday April 21, 7:00pm
Game 4, Thursday April 24, 9:30pm – TSN2*
Game 5, Saturday April 26
Game 6, Monday April 28
Game 7, Wednesday April 30

(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (3) Chicago Blackhawks – CBC (Dean Brown, Greg Millen)
Game 1, Thursday April 17, 8:00pm
Game 2, Saturday April 20, 3:00pm
Game 3, Monday April 23, 8:30pm – CHEX
Game 4, Wednesday April 23, 9:30pm
Game 5, Friday April 25, 9:00pm
Game 6, Sunday April 27, 3:00pm
Game 7, Tuesday April 29

Pacific Division
(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (WC2) Dallas Stars – TSN (Chris Cuthbert, Mike Johnson)
Game 1, Wednesday April 16, 10:00pm
Game 2, Friday April 18, 10:00pm
Game 3, Monday April 21, 9:30pm
Game 4, Wednesday April 23, 8:00pm
Game 5, Friday April 25, 10:30pm
Game 6, Sunday April 27
Game 7, Tuesday April 29

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (3) Los Angeles Kings – CBC (Mark Lee, Kelly Hrudey)
Game 1, Thursday April 17, 10:30pm
Game 2, Sunday April 20, 10:00pm
Game 3, Tuesday April 22, 10:00pm
Game 4, Thursday April 24, 10:30pm
Game 5, Saturday April 26
Game 6, Monday April 28
Game 7, Wednesday April 30

Written by canadiansportsmedia

13 April, 2014 at 4:31pm

Posted in NHL

CBC’s Decision To Stop Showing Unprofitable Sports is Unfortunate

with 14 comments

The big news revealed on Thursday by CBC President Hubert Lacroix was that the public broadcaster will no longer compete for the broadcast rights of professional sports leagues. However, I think this was a largely symbolic move by Lacroix. In reality CBC hasn’t been competitive for professional sports rights for years and has slowly dropped every pro sports they once broadcast. The Blue Jays first disappeared in 2003, before a few games returned to the CBC in 2007 and 2008. CBC also picked up Raptors broadcasts in 2007, but only kept them for two seasons. The CFL ended its 52 year run on the CBC in 2007. And while curling isn’t a fully professional sport (yet, at least), it has ratings most sports in Canada could only wish for. Curling’s signature events, branded the Season of Champions, left CBC for TSN in 2008. This summer the CBC will mark the last of the CBC showing the FIFA World Cup, which is headed to CTV in 2018. So, again, in reality the CBC has not truly competed for professional sports rights for a few years now. The exception was Hockey Night in Canada. Last November it became clear CBC would no longer compete for that either.

The more troubling aspect of Lacroix’s statement, which the media has mostly ignored, is that the CBC will only consider broadcasting sports where it can break even or turn a profit. I’ve always thought that the role of the CBC in Canadian sports broadcasting was to fill a void left by the private networks. Since presumably TSN and Sportsnet also don’t broadcast many sports that fail to break even, this could leave some sports completely off the Canadian airwaves. One recent example is the IAAF Diamond League, featuring Track & Field’s signature events. CBC dropped coverage two years ago following government funding cuts. No other network has picked up coverage of the events since. It seems like the sports that the CBC will most likely drop, are also the least likely to be picked up by a private network. And that’s sad for these amateur sports that rely on some TV coverage to generate interest among the youth, Canada’s potential future Olympians.

The most puzzling thing about the CBC’s statement is what constitutes “professional”, which the CBC will not compete for anymore, and what constitutes “national interest”? Obviously the NHL is professional and the Olympics are of national interest, but what about the Rogers Cup. Tennis is a professional sport, but the event is arguably of national interest. And it also makes no mention of sub-licensing, which CBC has touted as a key component to its long-term sports-broadcasting viability. Will the CBC continue to seek sub-licensing deals, as they have with Sportsnet for the World Curling Tour and NHL.

Written by canadiansportsmedia

12 April, 2014 at 1:31am

Posted in CBC Sports

National Post Report: CBC To Make Sports Budget Cuts Thursday

with 15 comments

This evening the National Post reported that CBC Sports will make significant cuts as a result of the loss of Hockey Night in Canada revenue to Rogers. This isn’t a surprise, I’ve heard talk of cuts at CBC Sports since the Olympics ended over a month ago. And it doesn’t take much deduction to figure out that a loss of revenue from HNIC will result in cuts elsewhere at the public broadcaster. This round of cuts at CBC Sports comes almost two years to the day after CBC Sports cut $4 million from its annual budget in light of reduced government funding. That $4 million cut resulted in CBC ending its Sports Weekend amateur sports program during the summer months, and completely eliminated coverage of many summer sports such as athletics. In fact in 2013 CBC didn’t show the World Aquatics Championships or World Athletics Championships for the first time in years.

Will CBC’s winter sports lineup take a hit this time, with the next Winter Olympics a full 4 years away? Speed Skating, alpine skiing and figure skating are the highlights of CBC’s winter lineup. Further cuts to summer programming could include Spruce Meadows equestrian, the Calgary Stampede or the Rogers Cup. Of course the CBC would have to wait until the current broadcast contracts end before they could cut cost through those events. And tennis popularity is at an all-time high in Canada with Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard serious threats to win on home soil. So, the most immediate cuts will likely come in on and off-air talent. Senior employees such as Scott Russell, Scott Oake and Steve Armitage are probably the safest, but cuts in the sports broadcast industry are never something pleasant to write about.

Edit (April 7, 2014):

Yahoo! Finance’s Andy Raida has also published an article about the impending cuts at the CBC. Quoting Ian Morrison of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the article seems to confirm much of what I speculated about earlier in this article. Raida reports that the cuts will equal dollar value cuts of $130 to $140 million, with around 350 English-language positions cut. Morrison adds, “In terms of programming, what I’ve heard is that they’re going to really curtail anything that has to do with sports. That’s a decision that has been made. They’re going to close down sports departments — things of that nature.”

So things do not look good for CBC’s sports department. It looks at though the private sports broadcasters could finally devour it. As I mentioned earlier, after losing hockey CBC doesn’t have many sports properties to cut. Aside for Rio 2016, the only events CBC holds rights to are the Figure Skating’s Grand Prix and World Championships (through 2016 Worlds), Alpine Skiing’s World Cup, the Rogers Cup (through 2015), Calgary Stampede (through 2015, options for 2016-17) and Spruce Meadows equestrian. I am unsure of the current contract situation for both the Queen’s Plate and the Canadian Women’s Open The CBC also sub-licenses a couple Grand Slam of Curling broadcasts a year from Sportsnet, but if Sportsnet is producing CBC’s hockey coverage, there’s no reason they couldn’t begin producing their curling as well. But I think the end-dates of these contracts makes it clear CBC could almost entirely pull out of producing sports coverage by the end of the Rio 2016.

Written by canadiansportsmedia

8 April, 2014 at 1:00am

Posted in CBC Sports