Sports on TV: Week in Review

Sorry everyone, I just haven’t had the time to post what I’ve wanted to post over the past ten days. So, here is everything I have wanted to write over the past ten days.

  • ESPN’s coverage of the BCS football games was great. A lot of people like to complain about ESPN, but I think most can agree that they do a great job at college football. They gave the games a big game feel, without overhyping them (during the broadcast at least, I’m sure they were overhyped on SportsCenter).
  • TSN does get credit for airing all five games between the main network and TSN2; however, they decided that going to SportsCentre at 12:20 was more important than sticking around for the the BCS trophy presentation. This would be like not showing the Stanley Cup, Grey Cup, Super Bowl, World Series or World Cup trophy presentation. Everyone knows that I usually think TSN does a great job at almost everything, but they simply screwed this up. It is unacceptable.
  • Setanta Sports picked up the Setanta Ireland feed for three FA Cup games last weekend. They deserve credit for this because it resulted in Canadian viewers getting pre and post game studio coverage for these three games. I think that many agree that it would be nice if Setanta picked up the Setanta Ireland feed for the Saturday 10am ET Premier League games.
  • I haven’t  really taken the time to talk about TSN’s coverage of the World Juniors. As usual I thought it was great; overhyped, but great. Gord Miller does his best work at the World Juniors and I believe that Pierre McGuire is the best hockey analyst around. Ryan Rishaug has really grown as a rinkside reporter over the past year covering big events like the World Juniors (in 2010 and 2011) and hockey at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. TSN’s new scorebar looks like a square version of CTV’s Olympic hockey scorebar, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago. TSN has yet to bring this graphic into their NHL broadcasts, so I’m still betting that we see a completely new TSN graphics package in April.
  • The Australian Open begins tomorrow on TSN2, with overnight and early morning coverage every day over the next two weeks on TSN and TSN2. TSN will once again be picking up ESPN’s coverage, and it is expected that ESPN will introduce a new tennis graphics package for this tournament, to fall in line with their football, basketball and baseball graphics.
  • TSN2 is airing NCAA hoops games every Saturday afternoon again this season. Conferences highlighted include the Big East, ACC and Big 12 on most Saturdays. They had a doubleheader last week, will have a singleheader today and a tripleheader next week. There should be 2-3 games every Saturday on TSN2.
  • Sportsnet is also airing CHL games again this season, culminating with the Memorial Cup in May. There is just something about all Sportsnet broadcasts, including the Memorial Cup, that makes them seem unimportant. This is especially true of regular season CHL games where games are produced in 4:3 SD. I understand that there aren’t enough HD trucks in Canada to cover all NHL teams, the Raptors and the CHL, but there is no excuse to not produce coverage in 16:9 SD at least. I’m trying to remember the last time that I saw any TSN produced (or US produced) coverage in 4:3.

New Year’s Sports Ratings

Tuesday 1/4, Red Wings @ Oilers on TSN: 517, 000

World Juniors
Sunday 1/2, Canada vs. Switzerland on TSN: 3.1 million
Monday 1/3, Sweden vs. Russia on TSN: 1.25 million
Monday 1/3, Canada vs. USA on TSN: 6.03 million
Wednesday 1/5, USA vs. Sweden on TSN: ~1 million
Wednesday 1/5, Canada vs. Russia on TSN: 6.23 million

Unfortunately I still haven’t came across numbers for the Winter Classic on CBC or last weekend’s NFL playoff games on CTV. If anyone has, let me know.

4 thoughts on “Sports on TV: Week in Review

  1. I share your opinion about the lack airtime for trophy presentation by TSN, totally minor league. I really wish we could view the whole of ESPN family (and Fox Sports) in Canada. No reason not too now that TSN is doing so well

    • The problem with that is that TSN wouldn’t be doing so well if that happened. Personally, I’d be more than fine with shutting down every Canada sports station except TSN and Sportsnet to bring in ESPN and ESPN2, but I don’t ever see it happening. The thing that would have to happen though, is for the leagues that sell rights to ESPN (especially MLB, NBA and NFL) would have to sell North American rights to them. In order or that to happen ESPN and ESPN2 would have to be able to make money by selling their feeds to Canadian cable companies. As soon as they bought Canadian rights to anything, then all of a sudden it might become possible to see them in Canada.

      Personally I’d like to see Canada work like Ireland does. We could get American specialty channels, but not OTA channels. This way big events would still be sold to Canadian TV, while smaller things would be available though US channels. I know a lot of people wouldn’t be happy with this either though.

  2. I just saw a promo on SportsCentre for the new TSN2 nightly hockey show with Steve Kouleas. It’s called “That’s Hockey 2Nite” and starts on February 1st. I’m looking forward to this show, I enjoyed his “Hardcore Hockey Talk” show on The Score.

  3. I 100% agree that the world juniors are over hyped – TSN promotes the hell out of that tournament every year and for some reason or another, consumers listen and love every minute of it. I’d much rather watch the Spengler.

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