TSN and Sportsnet Win 2013-16 Premiership Rights in Canada

The new broadcast contracts with Bell and Rogers will ensure that Canadians will be able to see Canadian stars, such as Norwich’s Simeon Jackson, in the Premier League through 2016.

The Barclays Premier League announced a new rights deal for Canada this afternoon. TSN and Sportsnet, the current broadcasters of England’s top domestic football league, will continue to broadcast all games to Canadians. The biggest difference in the new contract is TSN and Sportsnet will each get 50% of the matches. Over the past three years Sportsnet has broadcast most matches, with TSN sub-licensing around 50 per season.

In the new deals the Premiership has sold two seperate 190 match packages. Rogers bought one, which will see 190 games air on Sportsnet, Sportsnet World, Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World Plus. TSN bought the other package, with matches set to air on TSN, TSN2, RDS and RDS2. It is unclear at this time just how TSN and Sportsnet will divide the 380 matches. However, both Rogers and Bell will get equal selections based on timeslots and/or matchups.

The Canadian announcement comes a day after NBCUniversal revealed that they have picked up American broadcast rights beginning next fall. The new US deal sees an end to ESPN’s Premiership broadcasts, which have set the gold standard for soccer broadcasting in North America. NBC will broadcast all 380 league matches per season, marking the first time every game is shown live in America.

Steaming will play an important role in the new broadcast contracts. NBC will use online streaming service to offer around four Saturday 10am eastern kickoffs per week. TSN also has stated that TSN.ca is part of the plan to deliver games to Canadians. Sportsnet World’s streaming service and mobile TV platforms for both Bell and Rogers will also play a role. This really is the first time that online rights have been considered an essential, valuable part of a Premiership broadcast contract. In the past they were just an afterthought.

Here is a quote from Navaid Mansuri, Vice-President of Finance & Sports Programming, Sportsnet.

Sportsnet is proud to continue our strong partnership with the Premiere League, furthering our commitment to providing Canadians with unparalleled access to world class soccer content. The BPL is one of the world’s most prominent soccer leagues and this new agreement has positioned Sportsnet to continue our already unprecedented schedule of soccer programming across multiple platforms in the years to come.

And Shawn Redmond, Vice-President of Programming, TSN.

The Premier League is home to the world’s most popular teams and biggest stars in soccer. With a dedicated and growing fan base in Canada we are looking forward to giving fans even more Premier League coverage with more games on TSN than ever before. The BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE package is a perfect complement to our slate of world-class soccer programming.

It is also unclear if beIN Sport, which doesn’t yet have distribution in the Canadian market, launched a serious bid for the Canadian rights. beIN Sport, owned by Qatar Media, was expected to challenge the status quo in the British and American markets as well. As it turns out, their bids fizzled towards the end in both of those markets. New broadcasters did take over Premiership broadcasting, but it was British Telecom and NBC, not beIN Sport.

This deal is probably about as good as this was going to turn out for Canadians. Between TSN, TSN2, Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World, it is possible to broadcast up to five games live at one time. The Premier League will use the following timeslots for matches over the next three seasons (all times Eastern and number of matches is approximate)

Saturday 7:45am – 28-30 matches
Saturday 10:00am – ~190 matches
Saturday 12:30pm – 28-30 matches
Sunday 8:30am – 32 matches
Sunday 11:00am – 33 matches
Monday 3:00pm – 18-20 matches

Usually a Premier League season consists 33 weekend rounds and 7 holiday/midweek rounds. The 33 weekend rounds will see around 140 matches played in unique timeslots. The other 190 matches played on the weekend will be on Saturday at 10:00am or Sunday at 10:00am (when a team plays in the Europa League the Thursday before).

Weekday rounds will account for the other 7 rounds, with a total of 70 matches. 12 of these matches are slated for television in the UK. Usually (when it’s not a holiday), the matches are split between Tuesday and Wednesday with consistant start times.

25 thoughts on “TSN and Sportsnet Win 2013-16 Premiership Rights in Canada

  1. This is absolutely fantastic news to hear. I’m so glad that TSN and sportsnet are making the agreement, really didnt think they wouldn’t but pretty sweet that so many games will be broadcasted now and a split with tsn and sportsnet. Really should be interesting how tsn does it but I’m happy they are and I love sportsnet for all they have done too and shoul be great turning the TV on the next few years for Chelsea games and all other epl games with alot more on TV now. Should be great to see and excited. The more football(soccer) on Canadian TV the better, especially champions league and EPL. Great stuff and I’m excited!

  2. good news for tsn and sportsnet

  3. Pretty unhappy with this. TSN has done a poor job in recent memory. There were a bunch of matches last season that they had the rights on a Monday afternoon but didn’t even bother showing. I hope they don’t do anything like that again. I also don’t want to see multiple matches all shown at the same time. I watch as many as I can in a weekend and I wont be able to if they all get played at the same time than rather on tape delay.

    • TSN will show them this time. Their commitment is to show 190 games. In the past they sub-licensed from Rogers and were able to sell back games they didn’t want to show. Their reason for not showing matches was because ESPN wasn’t in the US. They will no longer rely on ESPN for feeds, so that’s not an issue anymore. You can’t really compare anything TSN has done the past three years because these are completely different situations.

      Showing matches on tape delay is a thing of the past. Many people want everything live now. Sportsnet World will probably continue to replay some of their matches later in the day. Even if not, that’s what a PVR is for.

      Just wondering, how would have you preferred it?

  4. Great news for Canadian’s who love their EPL but I am little disappointed as a Rogers customer. To get TSN HD I would have to fork out 10 more dollars a month just to obtain it, being able to watch soccer in HD has always been a huge thing for me. Better view of the pitch and crisper images have always made it more enjoyable.

    Last Sunday of the season will be interesting w/ being able to broadcast so many games on so many channels.

    As for NBC, I wonder if they will have their own broadcast of the games or if they will just broadcast the EPL’s existing broadcast like Sportsnet already does.

    • I’ve always hated Rogers for that reason (and many others).

      I think NBC will do some of both. Maybe get their own commentators for 1-2 big matches per weekend, then use the international feed for the rest.

  5. Josh, do you know how the games will be divided up between sportsnet and tsn?

  6. Great news. I was about to request Shaw to add NBC Sports channel to their lineup, now not necessary.

    Also, no reason to subscribe to Sportsnet World @ $16 per month!!!!

  7. Well, This is not looking good at all. TSN is amazing channel but remember how terrible they were with UEFA Championship? Since Sportsnet took over the UEFA games, wow, I get to watch every single match because I have sportsnet world online. Also, I get 9 premier league games out of 10 (live or on demand) every weekend.

    Now, will TSN2 have the games? Because getting TSN2 just costs more and so far they don’t have an online option like sportsnet does. Who has Sunday games? I dont like this guys, It will cost us more to watch EPL. Lets face it, besides Euro and World Cup games, TSN is a north American channel and sportsnet world is doing way better job for soccer fans.

    • By UEFA Championship, do you mean Champions League or EURO 2012? A lot has changed since they had Champions League. I thought they did a fine job with EURO 2012.

      TSN2 will almost certainly have some matches. TSN will probably have most of them though, except when they conflict with F1, tennis majors etc. They will provide some sort of streaming option, but its unclear whether it will include all games, or just some Saturday 10am games not live on TSN or TSN2. Its also unclear whether it will be free or paid.

      Sunday games will probably air on all channels at different points. It can’t really be thought of like it is now where TSN2 gets Saturday morning, Sportsnet World gets Sunday etc. I don’t think it will be consistent like that.

      Sportsnet World is a great channel for those willing to pay $15 + for it. This may actually save consumers money because now five games per week will be on TSN. Two will probably be on Sportsnet or Sportsnet ONE. That leaves just three for Sportset World. Some will drop the package simply because its not worth it to them anymore. Demand will drop, chances are the price will drop for everyone else.

      • I meant CL and I do agree that TSN does an amazing job with FIFA world Cup or Euro Cups. But I strongly suggest that everyone who loves EPL and UEFA Championship, try sportsnet world online.

        You don’t have to subscribe to sportsnet, sportsnet One or sportsnet world with your cable or satellite provider. With Sportsnet World Online, I get to watch every EPL games that other sportsnet channels show plus more (same with CL), but SN World channel only shows certain games and sometime not the big ones.

        Now, you see why I dont like EPL being divided to 2 channels.

  8. To everyone, it’s great news, to be individual from NBC is a relief and seriously we get a lot more live games here than back in England, I live in Vancouver and love getting up in the middle of the night for 3 consecutive live games. Get in there. Up the Boro beating Sunderland last night.

    • Exactly. As great as ESPN’s coverage is, TSN was always tied to them. So when ESPN couldn’t air a match, TSN couldn’t really either. That won’t be an issue now since both will probably be using the international feed.

  9. New season is almost upon us and as I searched for coverage I found this. And this appears to be bad news for cord cutters like me. I have no cable or satellite TV sub. Don’t need one as Netflix is enough. I was delighted when roger consolidated setanta. that meant that sportnet world online only package was providing me nearly all the coverage I needed. The only games I missed were the ones on TSN since TSN (following ESPN’s lead) appear to be completely anti cord cutter. They force u to pay for content you don’t want and on top pay extra to get the content you want.

    Hopefully TSN will become more young consumer friendly and offer a online only subscription package thus offering us a reasonable alternative to not so legal streams.

  10. Just found out about this today. I cannot say that I am happy. As Rogers customer who just has basic cable and a Sportsnet World subscription, I would need to fork out 40 extra dollars to get the 2 TSN channels (for a VIP-Plus package). Last year SNW was the cat’s meow as they supported multiple sub-channels to allow you to pick which game you wanted (and the online options are even better).

    If I didn’t care what game I was watching this would not be so bad, but I follow a particular team so now it feels like it will be a crap shoot if i can see them or not.

    • I guess that’s the problem when you have Rogers, they make you pay a lot for many of the channels they don’t own. I have Shaw and get TSN, Sportsnet and Sportsnet One in the basic package. Get to see most of the games I want to without SN World or TSN2.

  11. Does anyone know if the Sunday games on TSN will be the feed from Sky? one of the best things about having them on SN World in year’s past was the pre-game and in between game feed from Sky with John what’s his name, Andy Townsend and the ex-manager whose name i can’t remember. It will be a real shame if TSN is going to be providing their own talking heads……

    • It wasn’t Sky, it was Premier League Productions. I believe TSN’s studio may include the likes of Luke Wileman, Jason de Vos and Kristian Jack, so no complaints from me to be honest (this is just a guess, but I’m fairly certain KJ is involved, the other 2 depends on MLS games).

      I know a lot of people (in Britain especially) who absolutely hate Townsend.

  12. Any reason why the Saturday games weren’t shown on Sportsnet World Plus?

  13. I have been a Setanta/SportsnetWorld subscriber on Shaw TV for several years. However, with each successive year, the programming has deteriorated. What was once a predominantly English Premier League (EPL) soccer channel, now shows mostly rugby and cricket.

    – Saturdays and Sundays used to be filled with EPL programming, but now only a few games are shown.
    – On weekday evenings they used to show interesting and informative round-table discussion programs (like Football Today) but now that too has been cancelled.
    – What remains is the SoccerCentral programe; however, now the content of the SoccerCentral has been slashed (now a 1/2hr show with only one host, and no discussion group) and, to fill the programming content void, SoccerCentral is shown repeatedly, like 20x/day! ..

    In popularity, Soccer is the fastest-growing sport in North America. But, instead of taking advantage of this trend, for the 2013-14 season, Sportsnet have taken what was arguably the best soccer channel in Canada and basically killed it. WHY? Why have they done this? And do they really expect that fans (like me) will continue to pay extra?

    • I think its popularity actually has a lot to do with Sportsnet World losing programming. Mainstream channels are picking up more matches now. I remember for a while Sportsnet and theScore each had 1 PL game per week, Setanta had the rest. Now lucky if SN World has 2 per week, TSN and Sportsnet have the rest.

      Soccer Central is also on Sportsnet 1 most nights at 7pm ET, so World is hardly even worth it for that anymore.

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