The NHL trade deadline is an annual flash point when TSN and Sportsnet try to prove they are superior to one another. On Monday both networks will bring out their hosts, NHL analysts, “insiders” (for whatever that word is worth), western experts (thank Sportsnet for that one), reporters panels and the latest invention, social media reporters. Both networks follow potential trades closely leading up to the deadline, promoting their coverage for the month between the All Star Break and the deadline. Some get annoyed by the coverage, while others (such as Toronto Sports Media) love it. The ratings, in fact, show that many love it.
That is why I think TSN is missing out on an opportunity Sunday night. NBC Sports Network is showing a Blackhawks @ Canucks game at 7:00pm ET on Sunday night. TSN2 usually shows NBC Sports Network’s NHL broadcasts. Instead TSN2 is showing the World Sledge Hockey Challenge on tape delay Sunday night at the same time as the NHL game is on in the States. TSN should have taken full advantage of the trade deadline hype to show an NHL game on a dead night in television – for those who don’t want to watch the Oscars or a meaningless basketball game. Not to mention the Ducks are 6 points out of the playoffs, while the Blackhawks are only 5 points ahead of 8th placed Dallas.
TSN could have even used their own studio crew for the game to give updates on the latest rumours. Sure it wouldn’t be worth it to bring in Duthie or McKenzie the night before the deadline, but the That’s Hockey 2 Nite crew is already working Sunday night. Steve Kouleas and Jamie McLennan are hosting a one hour pre-TradeCentre special at midnight on Sunday night. Surely they could do a couple of intermission segments earlier in the evening as well.
If the game was broadcast in Canada, I would watch. I’m sure others would too. I’d rather watch an actual NHL game than the hours of talk on Monday. Maybe TSN has reasons for not showing the game that I’m not aware of, but if not, I don’t know why they wouldn’t show the game.
Flyers-Sharks… On the other hand, TSN2 has added a Flyers-Sharks game to their schedule on Tuesday. NBC Sports Network is showing the game in the US; however, they will likely just use the local broadcast of the Flyers or the Sharks. Puck drop is at 10:30pm ET. TSN2 also has Kings-Wild at 7:30pm ET. It also looks like TSN2 will show NBC’s studio show between the two games.
Comparing Deadline Coverage… Confused by the length of the TSN and Sportsnet trade deadline press releases? Puck the Media compares them.
Formula One coverage not confirmed… A few readers have asked about TSN’s 2012 Formula 1 schedule. The Canadian Grand Prix is mysteriously missing. TSN’s programming department tells me this is not a typo and they “will know where and what time coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix will start in the coming weeks.”
TSN’s schedule conflict stems from the EURO 2012 game between Ireland and Croatia that is on at the same time. The Canadian Grand Prix goes green at 2pm ET this year, an hour later than the usual 1pm ET start time. This is because, as Kristian Jack remarked, Formula 1 likely wants to avoid competing with the Italy vs. Spain EURO 2012 game from 12-2pm ET. A soccer game between two world powers would negatively affect Formula 1’s viewership in Europe and Asia, especially in Formula 1 hotbeds like Italy and Spain.
Sky or BBC… In related news, TSN’s programming department also tells me that they will decide on whether to use the Sky or BBC commentary in the coming weeks. Sky takes over as the main broadcaster of Formula 1 in Britain this year, showing every race live. BBC One will also show 10 races live, but will record commentary live for every race as part of their highlights program. BBC has hired Ben Edwards to join David Clouthard in the commentary box for 2012. Sky’s commentary team has a BBC flair to it as former radio play-by-play David Croft will describe the action alongside former TV commentator Martin Brundle, who moves back to his traditional analyst role this year. Natalie Pinkham (from BBC Radio) and Ted Kravitz (from BBC TV) are Sky’s pitlane reporters.
No IndyCar on TV in 2012?… The Star’s Norris McDonald reports that with only a month to go until the start of the new IndyCar season, the sanctioning body doesn’t have a Canadian TV deal yet. TSN has conflicts with about 4 of the 16 races, by my quick estimation.
TFC Return to Sportsnet… Many Toronto FC fans were upset that many of their games were broadcast on GolTV Canada, a digital only channel that isn’t part of basic cable last season. The club has come to an agreement with Sportsnet where Sportsnet will show six games this season. GolTV will show ten.