CSM News: October 2

Is Hockey Night in Kazan coming to a TV screen near you? The Kontinental Hockey League recently re-newed its online streaming deal with ESPN3 in America (contrary to other reports, ESPN has held rights in the past). ESPN3 will show 5 games in the first week and a half of the KHL season.

According to Russian/American hockey reporter Dmitry Chesnokov, the KHL is now shopping Canadian rights. Some would argue that Bell and Rogers (and CBC, for that matter) would hesitate to sign a deal with the rival league to the NHL considering they don’t want to sour relations ahead of the big national TV rights battle in the coming years. I disagree. KHL games rarely go head-to-head with NHL games anyway, due to the timezone difference. And, let’s be honest, is the NHL going to turn away millions from Bell or Rogers because they showed a couple KHL games in the past? I doubt it. Money talks.

TSN would benefit most from KHL rights. They have no major live hockey properties until the World Juniors and Spenger Cup in December. Sportsnet has the Canadian Hockey League and the CHL/Russia junior challenge.

While the KHL is an attractive property, I wonder if it is the most cost-efficient for a Canadian network. So far, few Canadians have committed to play in Russia. What might make more sense is the European Trophy. It features teams from across Europe. The round robin will continue on various dates in October and November. The playoff rounds all take place before Christmas.

Regardless of what other hockey TSN can acquire, they should gain big ratings come December if the NHL is still locked out. The World Junior team could become one of the best in history, even though the Juniors are taking place in Europe this year. Even the Spengler Cup features Joe Thornton and Rick Nash playing for the host HC Davos.

No El Classico… As the ugly battle between Bein Sports (the new rightsholders for La Liga and Serie A in Canada) and Canadian companies trying to sub-license rights to their matches continues, Canadians will likely miss out on two key matches this weekend. Both El Classico and the Milan Derby are not scheduled to air on Canadian television. In past seasons both would have been available live between GolTV and TLN. This year neither. Complain all you want about the lack of HD for TLN and GolTV, but their bad pictures were better than no pictures at all.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I really have a problem with a foreign company buying rights to these broadcasts with no clear intention of showing them in the Canadian market. Especially when there are other Canadian broadcasters who would have bid on the rights and broadcast the games.

Ryder Cup… “Yes sir, he’s done it. Oh that’s quite remarkable.” Those were the words uttered on Sky Sports as Martin Kaymer clinched the 2012 Ryder Cup. On NBC, Dan Hicks said, “Europe has pulled off the improbable. Oh, miracle at Medinah.” Both commentators honestly sounded shocked at what they saw. Hicks came off as a bit cheesy with his second remark though.

Paying attention… Sometimes a commentator says something that really makes you wonder how close they are watching the game they are working. There were two such examples during the Giants @ Eagles game Sunday night on NBC. First Michelle Tafoya reported that Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha had went to hospital due to an injury. No sooner did she report this and Asomugha was back on the field, leaving colour man Cris Collinsworth perplexed. Tafoya went on to explain Asomugha had not, in fact, left the stadium.

And then there was Bob Costas. I think most are aware of the Giants decision to kick on 3rd and 19 at the end of the game because they didn’t want the clock to run out (they were out of timeouts and couldn’t spike the ball on 4th down). Of course picking up 20 yards is no sure thing, and if they completed a pass in bounds for less than that, they would’ve ran out of time. So, as soon as the game ended, Costas asked Tony Dungy why the Giants didn’t run another play. At least Dungy was on his toes and immediately explained the situation to Costas.

Cruz’s TD… And if you thought those were bad elements of NBC’s broadcast, they were outshone by the cheesy moment when NBC played salsa music following a Victor Cruz touchdown. Cruz was born in New Jersey and is half Puerto Rican.

Sippin’ the Beaver Juice… No, it’s not the latest Snoop Dogg song. Just watch the video for yourself from ESPN’s College Game Day on Saturday (via SB Nation). The look on Chris Fowler’s face is priceless.

NFL.. CTV is showing two NFL games in the 1:00pm ET timeslot this Sunday. Most viewers will see Eagles @ Steelers, while those in Ottawa, Mantioba, Alberta and British Columbia will see Packers @ Colts. Also in the early timeslot, TSN2 has Browns @ Giants and RDS has Falcons @ Redskins. Later on it’s Bills @ 49ers (4:25pm, Citytv) and Broncos @ Patriots (4:45pm, Sportsnet/RDS).

College Football… Two NCAA football games are on Canadian television this Saturday. They are: Northwestern @ Penn State (12:00pm, TSN2), Iowa State @ TCU (3:30pm, SN1). TheScore is also simulcasting a couple FOX games.

Premier League on TSN… You may have noticed that TSN (not TSN2) broadcast the QPR vs. West Ham match Monday evening. This was a first in the current broadcast cycle, where TSN sub-licenses Premier League matches from Rogers. Manchester City vs. Sunderland is also slated for TSN on Saturday morning. No word on if this is a rare occurance or if it will continue throughout the season.

Canada Rewind… As long as the NHL isn’t playing and they don’t have KHL to show, TSN will continue to broadcast classic Canadian vs. Russia games. Next Wednesday’s choice, the 2009 World Juniors semifinal. Another 6-5 game between the Canadians and Russians. I’m noticing a trend.


  • NFC West Battle: I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but the best NFL matchup this weekend might be an NFC West rivalry. The Rams host the Cardinals (who used to play in St. Louis) in the Thursday night game this week (8:30pm, Sportsnet). The Cards are a surprise 4-0 to start the season. The 2-2 Rams are coming off a victory over Seattle.
  • MLB Wild Cards: Never before has Major League Baseball had pre-detirmined (non-tiebreaker) 1-game playoffs to decide postseason positions. I’m still not a fan of the idea (it messes with pitching rotations); however, Friday’s games are still worth watching. The match-ups are still not confirmed, but the games will likely air at 5:00pm ET and 8:30pm ET on Sportsnet. I will post the full Wild Card playoff schedule on Thursday.
  • NCAA FB: It’s a top-10 matchup featuring to southeast rivals as #4 LSU travels to Gainesville to play the #10 Florida Gators (3:30pm, CBS). Later on, #8 West Virginia @ #11 Texas (7:00pm, FOX) isn’t a bad matchup either. Both teams are top 10 nationwide in points for.
  • ICC T20 Final: Twenty20 cricket has revolutionized cricket TV viewing. While some purists hate it, I find it makes cricket a watchable sport. The biggest international T20 tournament is the ICc World Twenty20. The final of the 2012 edition is this Sunday in Sri Lanka (9:15am, Sportsnet). Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia and the West Indies (a collection of Caribbean nations) play in the semi finals later this week for spots in the final.
  • Thanksgiving Classics: Roughriders @ Argonauts (4:30pm, TSN) headlines Turkey Day Canadian football. Both teams currently sit in playoff positions and couple move up in the standings this weekend.

37 thoughts on “CSM News: October 2

  1. I said it on twitter, but I’ll repeat it here: I think TSN will snap up the KHL and stream it online. I can’t imagine showing it on tape-delay in primetime will draw many more people than stuff TSN already has, like movies or old hockey games, but it’d be a great fit for either TSN.ca or their mobile platforms, since they can air it live without interrupting anything.

    • If its on at 2:00 in the afternoon, might as well throw it on TSN2 if they are just showing fishing shows etc.

      Otherwise, I agree. Can’t imagine it would do better than junior repeats or movies. Maybe if it was Ovechkin v Malkin or something.

  2. I would just like to point out a typoL When you had your timbit about the ICC T20 Final the 4th last word should be Spots and not Sports.
    Other than that, I love the blog, and I look forward to the new format. Great job so far, Josh!

  3. since im gonna miss the el clasico and the milan derby, does anyone know any online sites that stream replays of the games not only just live but the replay of the full matches ?

    • There’s a guy (search in users: “footy” on The Pirate Bay) who uploads torrents of a lot of EPL and Champions League matches, and usually they download fairly quickly. He may have El Classico as well.

      Failing that, try Googling “free sports downloads” and try the first link. It is a bit harder to use, but always has every major soccer game.

    • Jimmy – you can watch the Milan derby on RAI Italia in Canada on Rogers channel 794, BEV 701, Shaw Direct 802, Shaw Cable 184, and Optik 561.

      It is in Italian and in 4:3 SD (requires stretchivision to restore it tp the original 16:9) but, as Josh says, it is way better than no picture at all!

  4. I think you’re reading too much into what happened during the Giants-Eagles game. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Costas asking that question. Considering it was a primetime nationally broadcast game that means a lot of fairweather fans were watching the game and I felt for them it was worth explaining. And what was so bad about playing music after Cruz’s touchdown? They’ve done it before and it was just fun. I don’t see why it’s important to bring up where he’s from or his ethnic heritage.

    • I thought Michaels and Collinsworth explained it fairly well. Perhaps Costas should have worded his question better.

      Everything was bad (cheesy is a better word) about it. From what I’ve read, I’m not alone in this opinion. It just seemed like one of those unprofessional things FOX usually does to spice up their broadcasts.

      I mentioned his background only because that type of music is generally popular among Puerto Ricans in NYC.

  5. What do you mean the Wildcard game messes with pitching rotation? I think it’s great. It has restored meaning into winning the division.

    • Well yes, and I’ve kind of realized that and changed my opinion watching TEX-OAK earlier today.

      And it messes with the rotation because STL, for example, will start their best pitcher (Lohse) on Friday. Then he won’t be available again until game 3 (on regular rest). Washington will be able to start Gonzalez in games 1 and 5, if they choose. Probably hurts STL, who have a solid rotation top to bottom, less than some others.

      But let’s use NYY. If they had to play a tiebreaker tomorrow and Texas on Friday. Their rotation for the series v Boston and playoffs would look something like this:

      Monday v BOS: Sabathia
      Tuesday v BOS: Phelps
      Wednesday v BOS: Kuroda
      Thursday v BAL: Pettitte
      Friday v TEX: Sabathia (I’m assuming they’d start him on short rest)
      Sunday v OAK: Hughes
      Monday v OAK: Kuroda
      Wednesday v OAK: Pettite
      Thursday v OAK: Sabathia
      Friday v OAK: Hughes

      I’m guessing Hughes isn’t the guy they would want to start twice in a 5 game series. And it wouldn’t happen under the old format. But, doesn’t look like this situation will play out anyway.

      • Fair enough. But what you’re saying about it messing with pitching rotations kind of just agrees with what I said – It makes teams have more desire to actually win the division. Putting the worse team at a disadvantage is a good thing.

  6. Talk about a limited selection of football games on CTV. Just two games offered? That’s terrible because the first 4 weeks have had 4 games on (week 3 had 5 games). The Eagles @ Steelers game CTV picked is a good one but the Packers @ Colts looks to be one sided. The Browns @ Giants also appears to be one sided and that is the wrong game for TSN2 to choose. It isn’t attractive and it’s going to be on all CBS border affiliates too. Good on RDS showing the Falcons @ Redskins game, that should also be on CTV or TSN2. The remaining games aren’t great either but CTV should have at least 3 games on. The Dolphins @ Bengals or Ravens @ Chiefs, take the Bengals game. Can’t fault Sportsnet and City TV for the two games they are picking.

  7. Isn’t the Premier League on TSN only because ESPN is broadcasting all of these games?

  8. Do you think there will be any online streaming of the MLB playoffs here in Canada?

  9. The Broncos @ Patriots game begins at 4:25 pm and not 4:45 pm. To Solanges point, CTV should absolutely show a third game this weekend… pathetic that CTV has to go for the almighty simsub dollar instead of more variety this Sunday.

    • I’d hardly call it the “simsub dollar”. They are showing the games that will garner the most ratings. Ratings mean both $ for them, and that they are showing what the majority of viewers want to see. Never understood any argument otherwise.

      If I was scheduling CTV’s games, I’d have put CLE-NYG on in Alberta and BC. With ATL-WSH on TSN2

      • LOL, putting the Browns @ Giants in the 2 most western provinces would be wrong. I agree with you on the Falcons @ Redskins or like I said earlier, it could be on 1 or 2 CTV channels with the Ravens or Bengals on TSN2.

        • “LOL, putting the Browns @ Giants in the 2 most western provinces would be wrong”

          Care to explain why? You can’t just say it is the wrong choice without a reason. CLE-NYG is the only game CTV can simulcast in Western Canada (its on CBS in Seattle and Spokane). That would make it the “right” choice in terms of viewers. Certainly as good as choice as GB-IND, which isn’t a great matchup either.

          I don’t think ATL-WSH has enough traction to warrant a CTV broadcast anywhere. Makes a lot more sense to put it on TSN2 where all the real fans can see it in HD considering it isn’t on any affiliates that are available in Canada.

          • I don’t think the majority of viewers want to watch the Browns-Giants, especially in the west. It’s also not a great matchup with the pathetic Browns at 0-4. Like you said with simulcasting, it’s also on CBS in Minneapolis, Detroit, Buffalo, Burlington, and Boston. CTV could show it in most of Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. Still it doesn’t make it the right choice if viewers don’t watch it.

            The Falcons-Redskins game is good enough to be on CTV, the Falcons are 4-0 and fans like to watch undefeated teams.

            • Yeah, but Eagles-Steelers is available to be simulcast in those markets as well, not so in Alberta/BC.

              I’d say people (especially average fans) like to see the defending Super Bowl champions as much as a 4-0 team. ATL-WSH is going to a very small part of America. The guys who do programming for the major nets are smart. If it was a game that would draw in the average fan, it would be on in more areas.

              • Undefeated team or defending Super Bowl champion, it can go either way. The Giants are also a well known team in comparison to the Falcons. The tie breaker is the opponent for each team. The Redskins have the better record which makes for a supposedly better game and I think they are more popular than the Browns. It also appears that the Giants could win easily. Here in BC, I know some people without Sunday ticket that have added RDS to their TV package for this weekend to watch that game as they are not interested in the Giants game. I have done the same myself.

                Listening to Seattle sports radio, many callers are wondering why KIRO-TV (CBS Seattle) is showing the Browns @ Giants game. Most would prefer the Baltimore-KC game. I can understand that there is not much to choose from with 6 teams on a bye week. The late game on CBS, Broncos @ Patriots, is the best game, yet there were some fans that would have wanted the Bills at 49ers game due to the home team being in the same division as the Seahawks and the Phoenix market will see the 49ers game. In some ways it’s surprising that the Falcons game on FOX is not being shown to many areas in the USA when comparing it to the Packers at Colts game. The Eagles at Steelers game is definitely the primary game.

                I agree that the people who do the programming decisions are smart and well educated. The problem is that they lack or do not use common sense very often. Surfing around the internet, many american fans wonder what FOX was thinking when it came to baseball from mid August to the end of the regular season. For the NFL games on CBS and FOX, the same questions are asked.

                • I don’t think they’d usually (won’t say ever) knowingly schedule a game that would get less viewers.

                  As it turns out, neither of the 4pm CBS games were really that great.

                  • That’s for sure, the 49ers game was over by half time and the Patriots game wasn’t that close. For those in Manitoba and NW Ont, even the 3rd CBS game had the Vikings cruising at half time.

  10. In my opinion the NHL should hardly be in a position to be ticked off with any broadcaster if they decide to pick up games from the KHL or wherever this winter. In fact it seems damn arrogant since it is in fact the NHL by locking out its players that is denying the networks their hockey programming this winter so who could hardly blame the networks if they sought out alternatives until the NHL can get its act together.

  11. It looks like CBC is going to air a classic HNIC game on Saturday evenings at 8pm local that is voted on by viewers from 5 choices.
    The choices for Oct 13 are
    – 1979 Boston vs Montreal (Too Many Men game)
    – 1992 Montreal vs Ottawa (Sens first game back)
    – 1993 Toronto vs Detroit (Leafs defeat Wings in game 7)
    – 1994 NY Rangers vs New Jersey (Messier guarantees win)
    – 2000 Toronto vs Pittsburgh (Mario returns)

    • And Sportsnet has announced they will show Saturday night AHL games. I doubt I’ll watch them until baseball (and maybe even college football) are over, but its nice to know they are there.

      It’d be really nice to have CBC re-broadcast Ottawa’s first game considering it was 20 years ago. I doubt it will win though. My money is on TOR-DET from ’93.

    • I think the Leafs-Penguins with Mario’s return will be the winner.

      • Looks like it will be MTL-BOS or TOR-DET, surprise, surprise. The others are all 25% + back.

        • I picked the 1992 MTL-OTT game. The 1979 BOS-MTL game has been played many times already on ESPN Classic Canada plus it’s on the Canadiens 100th anniversary DVD box set of their greatest games. Likewise the TOR-DET game from 93 had played many times on LeafsTV for those who get it. And I’ve seen the NYR-NJ series from 94 featured on NHL Network’s classic series every now and then.

  12. No La Liga and Serie A on Canadian TV

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