Trade Deadline Day 2015 on Sportsnet and TSN

Trade Deadline Day 2015 will the the first since Sportsnet took over all national NHL rights. Whether this makes a difference for viewers or not remains to be seen later in the week when the ratings come out. Last year’s TSN broadcast on deadline day had four times as many viewers  as Sportsnet, TSN averaged 243,000 vs. 63,000 on Sportsnet — all poor souls who apparently haven’t harnessed the ability of getting push alerts on their phones instead of watching television for ten hours.

SPORTSNET HOCKEY CENTRAL

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on all four Sportsnet regional channels, Sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet Now.

  • Main Desk – Host Daren Millard is joined by Mike Johnson, Nick Kypreos and Kelly Hrudey to navigate a day’s worth of news
  • Breaking News Desk – Christine Simpson is joined by Elliotte Friedman, Chris Johnston and John Shannon to deliver the latest trades and rumours
  • Reaction Panel – Jeff Marek referees the expert panel of Glenn Healy, Doug MacLean, Darren Pang and Craig Simpson as they debate and discuss the big moves
  • Analytics – Damien Cox dissects the trades of the day, using analytics to explain why a player was traded and what the teams were looking for
  • In the Hot Seat – George Stroumboulopoulos provides insightful interviews and discussions throughout the day
  • Digital Zone – Sophia Jurksztowicz keeps a pulse on the fan reaction on social media
  • Around the League – Sportsnet’s comprehensive network of reporters check in from across the league to share reactions in real-time

TSN TRADECENTRE

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on the four regional TSN feeds TSN1/3/4/5, TSN.ca and TSN GO.

  • Host: James Duthie
  • Trade Breaker Desk: Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, and Gord Miller
  • Instant Analysis Panel: Aaron Ward, Ray Ferraro, Jeff O’Neill, Pierre McGuire
  • Deadline Panel: Darren Dutchyshen, Martin Biron, and Ron Wilson
  • Trade Bait: Craig Button
  • Post2Post: Jamie McLennan
  • TSN The Reporters Panel: Dave Hodge with Michael Farber, Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, and Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur
  • Satellite Contributors: Gary Lawless, Francois Gagnon, and Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch
  • Social Contributor: Cabral “Cabbie” Richards
  • SPORTSCENTRE Updates: Jennifer Hedger
  • SPORTSCENTRE Bureau Reporters: Cory Woron, Mark Masters, Jermain Franklin, Sara Orlesky, Farhan Lalji, Brent Wallace, John Lu, Ryan Rishaug, Sheri Forde, and Matthew Scianitti

Free agent Dustin Penner was scheduled to be apart of TSN’s coverage as a “social contributor” alongside Cabral Richards, however Penner has been cut after making a couple of rape “jokes” on Twitter last night (Saturday). Unfortunately, Cabbie will still be on screen.

News & Notes: Blundell Starts Monday, TVA Sports 3, Shaw Dropping Speed, WWE Network, More

• Former shock-jock and all round douchebag Dean Blundell makes his return to the airwaves in Toronto on Monday, heading up Blundell & Co on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Blundell will be joined by George Rusic and Kayla Harris. Guests during his first week include Blue Jays President Paul Beeston, fellow d-bag Don Cherry, Toronto Mayor John Tory and a couple Toronto sports figures. It’s no coincidence his show launches on trade deadline day to try and get lots of ears listening, but it will be interesting to see how much, if any, insight Blundell will provide. Then again, he does watch TSN’s Sportscentre every morning. What a clown.

• TVA Sports will launch a third channel on April 15 for those on Bell Fibe/Satellite, Rogers, Videotron and Telus Optik TV. The third channel will only temporary though. It’s only sole purpose really is for showing early round NHL playoff games when there are multiple games on the same night. The channel will disappear at the end of May and will be available for free to those who already get TVA Sports and TVA Sports 2.

• WWE Network is finally available to customers with Bell Fibe and Satellite television (channel 1446). The channel went into free preview this past Monday and will run until March 22 — a week out from the grand daddy of them all, Wrestlemania. The service is $11.99 monthly and includes all 12 pay-per-views.

• Before Speed Channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Racing last week, Shaw announced it would be dropping the channel April 1. As of now, Shaw still intends to drop the channel despite the makeover. From Racing North: “The operator of (Fox Sports Racing) provided (Shaw) with little notice or explanation of the name change, and we have no information to suggest that the programming will change,” a Shaw representative stated. “Shaw does not have control over the programming or branding choices that the various networks make.” Rogers is the only major Canadian provider that currently carries Fox Sports Racing.

• Tim Thompson, most commonly known as they guy who made all those opening HNIC montages for CBC, has been let go by Sportsnet for an unknown ridiculous reason. Thompson tweeted, “Unfortunately, I won’t be working for Hockey Night In Canada anymore. I was let go today. I’ll be back at CBC Sports & am excited about it.”

• The New York Times reports that Bell Media will only pay four percent more as a result of being given the World Cup rights for another cycle until 2026, but that will increase to ten percent should the United States hold the tournament. Bell will allegedly pay $40 million for the 2022 rights. This is a steal compared to Fox in the U.S. who will be paying a ten percent increase no matter where the tournament takes place. The generous offer from FIFA is to avoid the North American networks from suing FIFA due to the 2022 Qatar World Cup being moved from the traditional summer slot to a November-December timeframe due to the Qatari weather.

Toronto Blue Jays And MLB Network Spring Training Coverage

Another MLB season is just around the corner and Sportsnet will have the Toronto Blue Jays spring training games covered across multiple platforms – all 30 games on either Sportsnet 590 The Fan or sportsnet.ca and 10 games on television. Coverage will include the last two pre-season games from the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

On the TV side, Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler and Joe Siddall will be in the broadcast booth and Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun hosting two special editions of Jays Central in Montreal. In the radio booth, Jerry Howarth, Joe Siddall and Mike Wilner will call the action. Jeff Blair will broadcast his show from Dunedin the week of March 16.

For the 57 of you who are able to get the MLB Network, you can find a list of the 200-ish games they will be showing during spring training here.

Full Jays spring training schedule is below. All times are ET.

Continue reading

TSN’s Multi-Sheet Coverage of 2015 Tim Hortons Brier

TSN’s multiple feeds will be used for multiple curling draws for the first time with the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier that begins this weekend. TSN will broadcast two different draws during the preliminary round’s afternoon and prime-time coverage which gives viewers over 100 hours of Brier action, double the amount from last year.

Four-time Brier champion and three-time world champion David Nedohin will deliver analysis along with Bryan Mudryk on play-by-play and Cathy Gauthier. Vic Rauter and analyst Russ Howard, a two-time Brier champion and 2006 Olympic gold medallist, call afternoon and evening feature draws alongside guest analyst and Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard.

Broadcast schedule is below. Draws will air live across TSN. Feature draw matches and channel listings will be updated daily, visit tsn.ca/curling for the most up-to-date schedule. Continue reading

NHL Canadian TV Schedule: February 25–March 3

Last week’s early HNIC broadcast was slightly down from the previous two weeks but still the most-watched sporting event in Canada for the week. 2.2 million for Leafs-Jets, Jackets-Habs, Panthers-Sens, and Ducks-Oilers versus 2.6 m and 2.4 m the past two weeks, both record highs for the season. The other games for the week: Sun VAN-NYI City 514k, Sat LA-SJ CBC 505k (outdoor game), Fri TOR-CAR SNO 500k, Sat HNIC pre-game Rogers 498k, Fri VAN-NJD SNP 225k, Sat NYI-WAS SN 192k, Fri ANA-CAL SNW 162k.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25

7:30pm, Calgary at New Jersey: SN (Rick Ball, Kelly Hrudey, Elliotte Friedman)
8pm, Pittsburgh at Washington: SN1, TVA Sports (Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire)
10pm, Ottawa at Anaheim: TSN5*, RDS*

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26

7pm, Vancouver at Buffalo: Sabres TV*, SN Pacific*
7pm, Montreal at Columbus: SN East*, RDS*
7:30pm, Philadelphia at Toronto: TSN4*, TVA Sports
7:30pm, Chicago at Florida: SN Ontario/West
8pm, St. Louis at Winnipeg: TSN3*
10:30pm, Ottawa at Los Angeles: TSN5*, RDS*
10:30pm, Detroit at San Jose: SN360

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27

7pm, Calgary at NY Islanders: SN West*

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 28

3pm, Buffalo at Florida: Sabres TV*
3pm, Detroit at Nashville: SN
7pm, Toronto at Montreal: CBC, TVA Sports (Jim Hughson, Glenn Healy, Craig Simpson, Scott Oake)
8pm, NY Rangers at Philadelphia: NBC, City (Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire)
10pm, St. Louis at Edmonton: CBC (Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Cassie Campbell-Pascall)
10pm, Ottawa at San Jose: SN, TVA Sports 2 (John Bartlett, Greg Millen, Christine Simpson)

SUNDAY MARCH 1

4pm, Los Angeles at Winnipeg: TSN3*
7pm, Toronto at Washington: City, TVA Sports (Dave Randorf, Garry Galley, David Amber)
9:30pm, St. Louis at Vancouver: 9:30pm SN Pacific*

MONDAY MARCH 2

7pm, Nashville at NY Rangers: SN
10pm, Montreal at San Jose: SN East*, RDS*

TUESDAY MARCH 3

7pm, Calgary at Philadelphia: SN West*, TVA Sports
7pm, Washington at Columbus: SN East/Ontario/Pacific
7:30pm, Toronto at Florida: TSN4*
8pm, Ottawa at Minnesota: TSN5*, RDS*
9:30pm, Los Angeles at Edmonton: SN West*
10pm, San Jose at Vancouver: SN Pacific*

Speed Channel Returns To Canada Re-Branded as Fox Sports Racing

Rogers customers began noticing on Thursday that a new channel had appeared in place of the empty slot that was once filled by Speed, the 24-hour motor sports network that was removed one-by-one by Canadian providers from our systems as the parent version in the U.S. became extinct. In its place was a channel that looked remarkably similar to Speed, but instead was named Fox Sports Racing. Confirmation came later that night from Fox Sports that Fox Sports Racing was indeed as re-brand of Speed International.

Fox Sports on Thursday announced the re-branding of SPEED International, its motor sports and automotive network in Canada and the Caribbean, as FOX Sports Racing. The new network will be on the air Friday and will bolster the high-octane programming lineup to deliver additional motor sports and big-event competition programming for 2015 and beyond.

FOX Sports Racing returns to Rogers in Canada just in time for a live airing of Friday’s season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona International Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, FOX Sports Racing continues to be available to pay-TV subscribers in the Caribbean.

With a 2015 schedule that includes 785 events and nearly 900 hours of competition-driven programming, the FOX Sports Racing lineup is highlighted by a full season of live NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing, practice and qualifying sessions from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series events; the MotoGP World Championship and its support series Moto2 and Moto3; Monster Energy Supercross; Tudor United Sportscar Championship; ARCA Racing Series; and the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship, which makes its North American debut on March 14 in Miami.

At this time, it appears Fox Sports Racing is only available to Rogers customers according to the press release above and online forums. I contacted Bell support and they seemed to know nothing about the channel. Rogers was one of the first providers to drop Speed, allegedly due to Fox Sports increasing the price it wanted for the channel despite the channel being stripped of its programming after the US version was killed.

There is nothing new really here to see other than a different shade of lipstick on a watered-down pig. Fox Sports Racing will carry all the same niche motor sports programming Speed carried and features the same crappy commercials and the same crappy realty programming. Live programming includes:

  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Practice and qualifying)
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series (Practice and qualifying)
  • Monster Energy Supercross
  • ARCA Racing Series
  • ASMOIL A Renacross
  • TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
  • MotoGP
  • FIA Formula E Championship
  • Jockey Club Racing Tour
  • Masters At Westminster
  • Street League Skateboarding
  • Burton Snowboarding Events

The only interesting note is whether Fox Sports Racing will be blacked out when TSN is showing the same programming. For instance, next Friday afternoon TSN will be broadcasting NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying, as is FS Racing. It wouldn’t be the first time the channel would be blacked out, as it regularly occurred during Formula 1 coverage when Speed held the U.S. rights.

NHL Canadian TV Schedule: February 18–24

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18

7pm, Montreal at Ottawa: SN, RDS*
7:30pm, Detroit at Chicago: TVA Sports
9:30pm, Minnesota at Calgary: SN1
10pm, Boston at Edmonton: SN

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 19

7pm, Vancouver at NY Rangers: SN Pacific*, TVA Sports
7pm, Buffalo at Philadelphia: Sabres TV*
7pm, Columbus at Pittsburgh: SN360/Ontario/West
7pm, Winnipeg at Washington: TSN3*
7:30pm, Florida at Montreal: SN East*, RDS*

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 20

7pm, NY Rangers at Buffalo: Sabres TV*
7pm, Vancouver at New Jersey: SN Pacific*
7pm, Toronto at Carolina: SN Ontario*
9pm, Anaheim at Calgary: SN West*
9pm, Minnesota at Edmonton: SN Oilers*

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21

12:30pm, NY Islanders at Washington: SN
7pm, Winnipeg at Toronto: CBC (Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy, Scott Oake)
7pm, Columbus at Montreal: City, TVA Sports (Dave Randorf, Jason York, David Amber)
7pm, Florida at Ottawa: SN, TVA Sports 2 (Bob Cole, Greg Millen, Arash Madani)
7pm, Anaheim at Edmonton: SN1 (Kevin Quinn, Garry Galley, Gene Principe)
10pm, Los Angeles at San Jose: CBC, TVA Sports 2 (Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Kelly Hrudey, Cassie Campbell-Pascall)

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 22

12:30pm, Washington at Philadelphia: NBC, SN
3pm, Boston at Chicago: SN360
6pm, Nashville at Buffalo: Sabres TV*
6pm, Vancouver at NY Islanders: City, TVA Sports (John Shorthouse, John Garrett, Dan Murphy)

MONDAY FEBRUARY 23

7pm, Arizona at New Jersey: TVA Sports
10pm, Detroit at Anaheim: SN

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 24

7pm, Vancouver at Boston: SN360/Ontario/Pacific
7pm, Calgary at NY Rangers: SN West*
7pm, Buffalo at Columbus: Sabres TV*
8pm, Montreal at St. Louis: SN East*, RDS*
8pm, Colorado at Nashville: TVA Sports
8pm, Edmonton at Minnesota: SN Oilers*
8pm, Dallas at Winnipeg: TSN3*
10:30pm, Detroit at Los Angeles: SN