Weekend Roundup, Habs on TSN, NBA TV Skeds and More

It was a busy weekend in the world of sports.  I am going to skip Good Insight, Bad Comments for the weekend because I have more important things to write about today.

Thumbs up to TSN2 who are finally beginning to air ESPN’s College Football Primetime Saturday game beginning next Saturday night. TSN2 will have Michigan-Penn State in a matchup between two of the most historic teams in the Big Ten. It looks like TSN2 will have the Saturday night ESPN game for the rest of the season, which is great news for college football fans.

Another thumbs up to TSN for picking up a package of 24 Montreal Canadiens games which will air regionally. You can read more here. As of now it looks like these games will only air on Bell; however, people who have Videotron tell me that NHL: Phoenix @ Montreal is showing up on their guide for the regular TSN channel tonight from 7-9:30, with Monday Night Football being joined in progress at 9:30pm ET. I honestly can’t see how the NFL would let TSN pre-empt Monday Night Football for hockey, so I doubt this is correct information from Videotron, but I guess we will have to wait and see. I fully expect other providers to add these games, but maybe not in time for tonight’s game against the Coyotes.

Thumbs down to CBC, who decided that the majority of the country wanted to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, instead of an all Canadian matchup from Ottawa between the Senators and the Canadiens. Even viewers in Atlantic Canada, where both the Senators and the Canadiens are considered the “home” teams by the NHL got stuck with the Toronto game. CBC thought that the Leafs game was so important that they took their HD truck down to Philly so that the Leafs game could air in HD. That left Habs and Senators fans to watch their game in 16:9 SD even though CBC services both markets with an OTA HD transmitter. Now I’m not one of those people who thinks CBC should never air the Leafs, because they should considering that the Leafs bring in good ratings. However, I think that Canadiens-Senators would have brought in just as good ratings, and probably would have had better ratings in Atlantic Canada. Plus there is no excuse for not airing the game in HD.

Speaking of the Leafs, 1.09 million viewers watched their game against the New York Rangers on Thursday night on TSN. That means that the average for Leafs games on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet so far this season (not including Saturday night’s game) is at 1.5 million. Every Leafs game on national TV so far has cracked 1 million viewers.

Well I guess I already covered the Habs earlier, so now on to some NBA TV schedule news. Rogers Sportsnet tells me that their NBA TV schedule will be available later today. As soon as it is I will post it. That only leaves the schedule for NBA TV Canada to be released. I expect that it will be today or tomorrow, and once again as soon as it is I will post it.

Some good news for those who have Shaw Cable or Shaw Direct, it looks like they will be adding NBA TV Canada HD in November. I know that many readers are looking for Shaw Direct to add Setanta HD and Euroworld Sports too. I believe that Setanta HD will eventually be added, but it might not be until at least the start of next season. Shaw Direct doesn’t have a lot of room for more HD channels now. As for Euroworld Sports, it almost certainly will not be added to Shaw Direct or Shaw Cable anytime soon. As part of Shaw’s deal to takeover Canwest they agreed not to add any channels that they have an ownership stake in (any owned by Corus or Canwest) until 2013. Euroworld Sports is owned by TLN, which is part of the Corus family. This deal has to do with the rules for satellite providers only being allowed to offer a certain amount of channels that they own compared to channels that they don’t own, and now Shaw has way too many Corus and Canwest channels compared to everything else. As a result everything they add for the next couple years will have to be channels that aren’t Canwest or Corus channels.

For more up to date information on Sports on Canadian Television, please follow me on Twitter. You will be the first to know when Sportsnet and NBA TV Canada release their NBA broadcast schedules.

5 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup, Habs on TSN, NBA TV Skeds and More

  1. I guess CBC could have used the Leafs better-than-expected start as an excuse for showing the game in Atlantic Canada. I agree that they should have gone the other way, but (and I say this as someone who is usually quite quick to criticize the CBC for airing the Leafs nationally) this time, there was at least a valid case to be made to show the Leafs across the country.

  2. Totally agree about the Sens-Habs game, but I can see how the CBC pretty much had a toss-up on this one. Turned out alright though because the game in Ottawa was garbage.

    FINALLY TSN is getting their shit together when it comes to NCAAF. There is a bigger market up here than they think and I’d be interested to know what the figures will be for this weekend’s game. That said, it is UM v PSU so the numbers won’t be as good as a marquee SEC matchup.

    • You might be surprised about the drawing power of Michigan and Penn State. Even though neither is great this year, a lot of people will watch them just because they are Michigan and Penn State. However, I doubt the numbers will be very good. Less than 50 000 is what I would expect, but we will probably never see the numbers. Things that are more popular than NCAA football, such as Sunday Night Baseball and the Barclays Premier League struggle to bring in ratings that are much better than that.

    • I live in the Toronto area and michigan has big following in this area. I know 2 people who have season tickets the wolverines, and I think it will be a big draw to fans in the gta and ontario

      • Agreed – in any given year Michigan will garner more interest than 90% of BCS teams. Aside from the obvious draw of Denard Robinson, Michigan doesn’t have much to offer this year from a spectator’s standpoint. While this game will surely get some attention from Canadian college fans, you’d better believe that most will be watching USC/Oregon.

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