Friday Rumours

A few things on my mind this Friday. None of this is concrete; however, I’ve made a few observations this week that interest me.

CBC and Sportsnet… It seems that CBC and Sportsnet have shared their hockey personalities more than usual lately. Glenn Healy and Elliotte Friedman are regulars on Primetime Sports, but it seems they’ve been on more than usual the past few months. On Monday Nick Kypreos appeared on CBC’s late night show The Hour, an appearance that was highly publicized by both the public broadcaster and Sportsnet. Then this morning Don Cherry was on Brady & Lang on The Fan 590 and Sportsnet One. Sportsnet even took the time to write what Grapes should Tweet now that he has joined Twitter. This could all mean nothing. Or it could mean that CBC and Sportsnet executives are trying cross-promotion with their on-air personalities before they bid on national NHL rights together. A CBC/Sportsnet combo is the only thing that could rival Bell Media acquiring exclusive NHL national broadcast rights, in English and French, over-the-air and on cable.

CTV Olympics… Many of CTV’s Olympic commentators have spent some of the past few weeks rehearsing. This past Monday marked five months to go until the Opening Ceremony. 1996 Olympic gold medallist in athletics Donovan Bailey has revealed he will work for CTV during the Games. When reached for comment he told me, “You’ll have to wait and see.” My best guess is he will have a studio role, similar to that he had with CBC in Beijing four years ago.

Fox Sports World… There are rumours that Fox Sports World Canada is shutting down on April 1st. Rogers will drop the struggling channel on that date. Bell TV has already dropped it. Shaw Direct’s public relations team tell me they don’t know of any plans for Shaw to drop it. Shaw owns Fox Sports World.

Leafs Numbers Dropping?… An average of 1.06 million Canadians watched Wednesday’s Leafs @ Blackhawks game on TSN. That raises the question, are some Leafs fans giving up on their team? Leafs games on Wednesday Night Hockey have almost always hit 1.2 to 1.5 million this season. I would expect, with the Leafs battling for their playoff lives, that the ratings would go up in late February. I’m interested to see what kind of ratings the Maple Leafs @ Canadiens game gets tomorrow night on CBC.

9 thoughts on “Friday Rumours

  1. I hope you’re right on that CBC/Sportsnet stuff, Josh. That setup would be just about perfect by me. Even if every Canadian team was playing on a Saturday night, everyone could be accommodated. It would

    Leafs game – CBC (national)
    Habs game – RDS (possibly CBC Quebec, RSNE or SN-ONE)
    Sens game – RSNE (or SN-Sens)
    Jets game – RSNW
    Canucks game – CBC (national)
    Oilers game – RSNW (or SN-Oilers)
    Flames game – RSNW (or SN-Flames)

    If the Nordiques came back, mind you, I don’t know how that would work. We might not be able to count on much English coverage if/when they return.

    • I think it would be more of a reverse mirror scenario. Using March 24 as an example (CBC has their max of 5 games that night)

      NYR @ TOR: CBC Ontario, BC. Atlantic; SN West
      MTL @ PHI: CBC Quebec; SN Ontario
      PIT @ OTT: CBC Ottawa; SN East
      WPG @ NSH: CBC Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta; SN Pacific

      VAN @ COL: CBC National

      Then, of course, Sportsnet would get their one weeknight of exclusivity, plus 1-3 other weekday games per week.

      • Fair enough, Josh, but I would really like to think that if Sportsnet and CBC teamed up like this, they would finally have some regional action in the 10ET window.

  2. TVA sports and sportsnet have a relationship as well. any chance they could also be included in the mix for French rights to games?

    • Can’t see TVA getting a sniff as long as Bell has a stake in the Canadiens. I think I’ve read where the French package is negotiated with both the Canadiens and the NHL and then they also do a deal with the Senators for a package of games. But SRC was forced out of hockey in 2002 because the Habs decided they wanted all their games on one channel and other events like the All-Star Game, playoffs, and Stanley Cup Finals went to RDS with them. I think TVA Sports was created with the eventual hope of Quebecor being able to bring a team back to Quebec City. Of course having a team back in Quebec City may result in the NHL having to look at the overall French TV situation and how it operates.

  3. It would be great if we could get the US version of Fox Soccer up here, who actually show good competitions from around the globe.

    If FSW Canada does shut down, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with ‘Fox Soccer Report’ which is produced by FSWC, but is the nightly studio show on it’s US counterpart.

    • Most Fox Soccer programming is on Sportsnet, TLN and theScore when you think about it. Sportsnet shows the 2 Saturday EPL games that Fox Soccer shows. theScore shows the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning Serie A games. TLN shows the Sunday afternoon Serie A game. Sportsnet shows the same amount of Champions League as Fox Soccer as well. So, arguably, we get the same programming on more widely available channels. That’s the biggest reason why Fox Sports World failed; theScore and Sportsnet bought all the programming that the US version shows.

      As for FSR, it also airs on Euroworld Sports. My guess is it will continue to air there. I’ve heard rumours of Fox Soccer dropping it too.

  4. I think that if a CBC/SportsNet package came to pass after the 2013/2014 season, I can expect Radio-Canada get French rights to a good number of the Habs & Senators games(mostly on Saturday night and Sunday afternoons).

    • The Montreal Canadiens sell the rights to their games themselves (as do the Senators). Bell owns a piece of the club, so I don’t see those going anywhere other than RDS. It probably wouldn’t be worth it for Radio-Canada to get back into hockey just to show Senators games.

      I believe the other games, including non-Canadiens playoff games, are sold by the NHL.

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