Regional Toronto FC Games Exclusively on GolTV in 2011

You heard it here first, I have very solid reason to believe (although it hasn’t been confirmed yet) that all Toronto FC games, except for those on TSN and TSN2, will air on GolTV Canada in 2011. That would mean that 21 Toronto FC games will air on GolTV Canada this season. GolTV Canada is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the same company that owns Toronto FC. In the past, CBC, Sportsnet Ontario and GolTV split regional Toronto FC rights. Most people knew that CBC was on the way out, but many, myself included, thought that Sportsnet Ontario would be back. All games, including those on TSN and TSN2, will be preceded by a 30 minute pregame show on GolTV Canada.

This means that people who don’t have digital cable will be shut out of the majority of Toronto FC games in 2011. The broadcasts will be carried on GolTV Canada HD. It is still unknown whether GolTV Canada HD will be a full-time channel, or if it will be a part-time channel for Toronto FC games only. In the past GolTV Canada has only used a part-time HD channel for Toronto FC games; however, it has been long rumoured that a full-time HD channel is coming. GolTV Canada has told me that the full-time HD channel will be launched soon. If it is, that will mean La Liga and Bundesliga, among other leagues, will be available in HD in Canada.

It isn’t clear yet who will call the games as former GolTV commentators Luke Wileman and Jason deVos have been hired by TSN. Wileman has already stated that he no longer works for MLSE. We can assume deVos doesn’t either because it would create a conflict of interest when they call Toronto FC matches. I think that CBC commentator Nigel Reed would be a good hire for GolTV Canada considering that CBC no longer has MLS rights. I don’t know who they will go with as a co-commentator, but I think former Toronto FC player Jim Brennan would be a good choice, if available. Brennan worked as a studio analyst for some UEFA Champions League games on TSN in 2010.

Here is the complete Toronto FC on GolTV Canada schedule for the 2011 season.

Saturday 4/9, 10:30pm – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Toronto FC
Wednesday 4/13, 8:00pm – Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy
Saturday 4/16, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. DC United
Saturday 4/23, 4:00pm – Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew
Saturday 4/30, 10:00pm – Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC

Saturday 5/7, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo
Wednesday 5/11, 9:00pm – FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 5/14, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire
Sunday 5/22, 7:00pm – Colorado Rapids vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 5/28, 12:30pm – Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Saturday 6/11, 10:30pm – LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 6/18, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Saturday 6/25, 9:00pm – Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC

Saturday 7/9, 8:30pm – Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 7/23, 7:30pm – Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 7/30, 11:00pm – Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC

Saturday 8/13, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire
Sunday 8/21, 7:00pm – Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 8/27, 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday 9/10, 7:30pm – Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC
Saturday 9/24, 10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Toronto FC

I will update the MLS on GolTV Canada schedule to include these games sometime later today. Thanks to Andy Pereira, the editor of Soccer on Canadian TV, for the tip on this.

7 thoughts on “Regional Toronto FC Games Exclusively on GolTV in 2011

  1. Hi Josh,

    For me this is a step back because a lot of casual fans will not get GOL TV just for Toronto FC games. I’ve read on Toronto FC forums that a lot of fans are not happy with this and they can’t understand why 21 Whitecaps games are on Rogers Sportsnet and none for TFC games. It’s not right. I hope someone like Paul Beirne reads those comments on the Red Patch Boys Forums and gets some games on Rogers Sportsnet or CBC. There’s still time. If those 21 games are on GOL TV, I hope it’s just for one year.

    P.S. Jim Brennan will not be joining GOL TV’s broadcast crew because he is Toronto FC’s U-17 Academy coach.

    • I agree Pedro. I guess since MLSE owns TFC they figure they can make more money by forcing people to subscribe to their channel than by selling rights to someone else. They have always did this to a degree, with TFC on GolTV, the Leafs on Leafs TV and the Raptors on Raptors TV. But, I don’t think they have ever put all of a team’s games on Leafs TV (except the Marlies maybe).

      You are right about Brennan. I had forgot about that. Still, if he was willing to give up his role with the TFC Academy, he is a great analyst. Better than Forrest and almost as good as deVos in my opinion.

  2. How many of the games would conflict with the Jays? I think there’s your answer to why not on SNET Ontario.

    • I did some research earlier in the year and I found about half of them would. GolTV could have sold 10 games to Sportsnet if they wanted to (Sportsnet had 10 games last year), but they just chose to keep them all for themselves.

  3. I am sort of torn on this goltv deal on one hand i don’t think its fair to force people to sub to goltv however on the other hand people sign up for these channels to get what you don’t get on a basic channel.

    • If it means we see a full time GolTV HD channel, then I will be happy. I think it would be a lot worse if they did this in the past when Toronto FC controlled rights to all of their games. Now the MLS control 12 (or whatever TSN airs).

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