News & Notes: September 27, 2011

I was busy on Sunday and Monday, so there is no Monday Morning Commentator this week. However, there are a number of things I need to mention, so I’ll attempt to sum everything up here.

  • Firstly, a couple good pieces of news for baseball fans. I understand that Rogers Sportsnet will show four games across its five channels tomorrow night. Three of these four games are last-minute changes. The broadcast schedule has Red Sox vs. Orioles at 7:00pm on Sportsnet One, Philles vs. Braves at 7:00pm on Sportsnet East, Yankees vs. Rays at 7:00pm on Sportsnet Ontario and Cardinals vs. Astros at 8:00pm ET on Sportsnet West. The Red Sox vs. Orioles game will also be shown on RDS.
  • Major League Baseball has also announced the start times for Friday’s playoff games. The Yankees series will begin at 8:30pm Eastern, while the other American League series begins at 5:00pm ET. Both games are on Sportsnet in Canada. Major League Baseball and TBS will release the rest of the Division Series schedule tomorrow night or Thursday morning.
  • In ratings news, an average of 193, 000 viewers watched the Canada vs. Japan game at the Rugby World Cup last night. Those numbers are comparable to Raptors regular season games. This shows that while rugby hasn’t joined the ranks of the major sports in Canada yet, it is making progress. An average of 148, 000 viewers watched the Jets first game last Tuesday on TSN in the Jets broadcast territory.
  • TSN will show the ESPN documentary on the Chicago Cubs and Steve Bartman entitled “Catching Hell” on Thursday October 6 at 8:00pm ET.
  • Stephen Brunt has joined Rogers Sportsnet on all platforms. He will continue to co-host Primetime Sports and appear on Connected; now he will also write for and Sportsnet Magazine, something he couldn’t do when he was a Globe & Mail employee. One of his columns will also appear in the Globe each week. This is a great addition for; I believe that Brunt is Canada’s best sports writer.
  • The other columnists for Sportsnet Magizine will be Bob McCown, Scott Feschuk, Greg Brady and Jim Lang. A surprising omission is Michael Grange. Damien Cox isn’t available to write for Sportsnet Magazine due to his job at The Star.
  • Look for some big changes at Rogers Sportsnet next week. On October 3 Setanta Sports will re-brand as Sportsnet World. I understand that no major changes in programming will happen. The five existing Sportsnet channels will re-brand from “Rogers Sportsnet” to simply “Sportsnet” according to Toronto Sports Media. Look for new logos and graphics on Sportsnet as well.
  • Another of Sportsnet’s changes next week: The Fan590 show Brady & Lang in the Morning will be simulcast on Sportsnet One. This show airs weekdays from 6-9am ET.
  • Red Bull Crashed Ice is returning to TVA next year, and Rogers is tagging along as they have taken English rights from TSN. Crashed Ice is still a fringe sport, but it fits with Sportsnet’s profile of extreme winter sports. This is the second time that Bell has lost out on a rights package because of the new Rogers/Quebecor partnership; last month RDS lost Canadian Hockey League rights.
  • Sportsnet has also picked up rights to the American Hockey League. The All Star Game and Skills Competition will be on Sportsnet for the next 5 seasons, beginning this January. Sportsnet will also show an AHL outside game between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies on Saturday January 21. Look for CBC and the AHL to possibly finalize an agreement for over-the-air Canadian rights soon.
  • If you haven’t seen it yet, this picture of Ron MacLean is pure gold. The picture comes from a party on the weekend in Newfoundland, where MacLean was covering the Kraft Hockeyville game. Embarrassing might be an understatement for Canada’s most well-known presenter. I don’t think CBC will take any action, nor should they, but MacLean is going to have to live with people referencing this for years to come.
  • Like I said, I’ve been busy of late. I will have a few press releases tomorrow. Also I will post this weekend’s college football Canadian TV guide tomorrow evening.

14 thoughts on “News & Notes: September 27, 2011

  1. Catching hell is showing up on my guide this Friday at midnite ET (thursday 9 pm pac) on TSN

    crashed ice is awesome

  2. Great news about the MLB games tomorrow! I was hoping Sportsnet would show a couple games, but they hadn’t shown any on the regional channels all year, so I was doubting it. Great news though.

    A little disappointed that Crashed Ice will be on Sportsnet this year. TSN did a pretty good job, but I still thought CBC’s was the best. It will probably get lower ratings on Sportsnet than TSN.

    Regarding Sportsnet Magazine, at first I thought it was a dumb idea to start this now, in the age of digital news, but now I am opening up to the idea. After seeing endless amounts of promos on Sportsnet during Jays games, I think I will actually pick up the first issue to try it out, and maybe even place a subscription if I like it. It is rather inexpensive; I can’t remember the exact amount, but it’s something like $35/year for a bi-weekly magazine. Pretty good value. Also, Shi Davidi will be a regular columnist, according to the promos during Jays games.

  3. No worries about not having the Monday commentator. Just do it Tuesday morning. You do a great job and you’re busy so no need to apologize. Great move by Sportsnet to have all the important basball games on their channels. The Pacific channel will have the Canucks-Ducks game instead. One last thing, RIS now has their schedule on the NHL website.

    • Are you sure that Pacific is showing Canucks-Ducks instead? Because on Connected this evening, they were promoting the Phillies-Braves being on the Pacific channel. Plus the Canucks game wouldn’t start ’till 10 ET.

      • You could be right. The Sportsnet site is now showing it will televise the Yankees-Rays game for SN Pacific. An hour ago it was showing PrimeTime sports, SN Connected and Ultimate fighting during the baseball times.

  4. SN Pacifc could be nervous if the baseball game goes into extra innings.

    • Or if the game just takes a long time to play. The Red Sox game last night didn’t end until 10:45pm ET and it was only 9 innings. I kind of assumed that Pacific had hockey too, but I guess there was another change of plans.

      • Haha looked like that plan worked out well for Sportsnet…(sarcasm). I couldn’t believe the amount of complaints I saw regarding Sportsnet showing an extremely entertaining, down-to-the-wire game with HUGE playoff implications over meaningless pre-season hockey. I hate Canadians that seem to think that hockey is the only sport that exists.

        What a great night for baseball though. Maybe not for you though. Haha. But I don’t think I left my TV from 5-10:15pm MST. 3 of the best regular season games I’ve ever seen.

    • Let’s hope that the NBA & NBPA work together and solve their differences. There’s some decent games on TSN’s schedule.

    • I think 4 of those games could be replaced with Versus hockey games that are not being simulcasted on TSN2 because of the Raptors.

  5. Watched the Bartman doc online last night, very well done a must watch.

  6. Any news on the ratings for Touchdown Atlantic? You were at the game, weren’t you? I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t a sell-out, but it still looked like Moncton put on a good show. I was also not as impressed this year as last with TSN’s coverage. Last year I remember it being a 12ET start and it had a pregame show and a feature from Brian Williams and everything. This year, with a start time of 1ET, it was preceded by 3 hours of Sunday NFL Countdown… That’s one way to hype up “This is Our League”…

    • Yeah I was at the game. I didn’t see any of TSN’s coverage so I can’t really comment on that. I haven’t heard anything about ratings, but I will look into it.

      While it wasn’t a sellout, it was close. I think that all of the permanent seating was sold out. The endzone bleachers weren’t quite sold out. The attendance was only about 600 less people than last year. I thought it would be a sellout for sure though with the weather; it felt like June on Sunday.

      I sat in the north endzone, which meant I saw the Marcus Thigpen 118 yard kick return for a touchdown from behind. Easily the best angle at the stadium. One of the most exciting CFL plays of the season for sure.

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