New Details on Rogers Takeover of theScore

The CRTC has released new details of the Rogers takeover of the Rogers takeover of theScore Television Network from Score Media. Rogers has petitioned a few changes to the channel’s license to the CRTC. theScore now has to break for sports highlights every 15 minutes (which soccer fans know is awkward). Rogers proposes to change this restriction to an hour during live sports, especially when there is no natural break in action. Rogers is also asking the CRTC to allow 15% of theScore’s quarterly broadcast schedule (or just over 100 hours a month, on average) to come from the “analysis and interpretation” and “long form documentary” categories. This is an increase of 5% from theScore’s current license. This would allow theScore to broadcast more talk shows (such as Live @ theScore) than it can now.

Rogers is also promising to create a “Sportsnet Winter Games”, which will apparently be similar to the Winter X Games. My opinion, if they put this in the right venue, it could become massive. Canada is a force in freestyle skiing and snowboardcross. If they can get more high-profile athletes than FIS World Cup and the Canadian Open halfpipe events, then it could easily become the top skiing/snowboarding event in Canada. This is just another example of networks creating and managing their own original programming. Both TSN (Skins Game) and Sportsnet (Grand Slam) have already done this with curling.

59 thoughts on “New Details on Rogers Takeover of theScore

  1. Did someone new take over theScore’s twitter account over the last few days? Some of their tweets have been borderline offensive. If the tweets were coming from a TV personality or blogger or something, I’d have no problem with it. But coming from the verified “theScore” account, I don’t like it. A couple of the tweets:

    “While you were on your bike busting your ass six hours a day, Lance Armstrong was at home learning how to fake cry.”

    “Say what you will about Manti Te’o doing an off camera interview, he has done more for guys with fake girlfriends than anyone before him.”

    To me, those just aren’t things that account should be tweeting.

    • If those tweets are true while yes maybe there a bit much but i would not call them offensive.

      • The tweets are par for the course for what passes for wit on twitter, but i wouldn’t say they are offensive.

        • Alright, you’re right. Offensive was probably not the right word choice. I was not “offended” by those tweets. It was just unexpected to see them tweeted from that account, which is an account that normally just posts links to stories.

    • theScore’s Twitter account is run by the mobile side of things, which is completely separate from the TV network. I have no idea who runs it and I haven’t paid attention in months since the division happened.

      • I’m positive it’s a staffer and not an intern; I know CTV wouldn’t let me anywhere near their twitter. I’m also pretty sure The Score’s editorial department handles their Twitter, but things might have changed from when I interviewed there.

        • Lots has changed in even the past six months. The likes of Sansone, Sharman etc. have nothing to do with the online properties anymore. Same reason The Basketball Jones guys can’t appear on TV.

          I saw someone asked Sansone about theScore Twitter account the other week. Here was his response.

    • Those tweets aren’t offensive but typical biting stuff you see on twitter on sports radio. And given those 2 issues, they’re actually quite lame tweets.

  2. To those who post here on a regular basis: do you think that the CRTC will approve the transaction with or without conditions or will they reject Rogers’ takeover of The Score outright? I posted this in the summer on here and it is still my hope that the CRTC will reject Rogers’ takeover of The Score. Less diverse voices in the media is not positive.

    • The thing is if they don’t ok it what will happen will they just go off the air or will another big company try and buy it so not matter what happens its a lose lose.

    • It will be allowed to happen. Otherwise the station will probably shut down. Rogers wouldn’t put out so many forward speaking statements if they weren’t certain. The digital properties have already been spun-off into a new company. Its only CRTC red tape holding up the sale of the television network.

      As far as the new things Rogers is asking for, my guess is they will be allowed to happen. With more and more sports highlights being consumed online it makes sense to show more documentaries and analysis-type shows. Same goes for the 15 minute updates since Rogers basically said they’d continue to do them every 15 minutes except during soccer.

      • I doubt The Score would be shut down. Rogers wants to pay a lot of money for the channel, so I’m sure it would have value to someone else.

        Since the CRTC rejected Bell’s Astral takeover I have a slight hope that they won’t approve this, but it would be a surprise. The CRTC is accepting public comments until February 20.

  3. Hey, folks. That Score twitter you guys are referring to is in fact run by Score Digital, the new offshoot company that formed when theScore Television Network was sold to Rogers. The official twitter account of theScore TV is now @CheckTheTicker.

  4. will Rogers continue the coverage of University Rush and OUA football game of the week. It would be great to extend the OUA coverage of CIS football to a double header with an early 1:00 game followed by a second 4:00-4:30 start for the second game on saturday afternoons.

    • I haven’t heard anything confirming it, but considering their commitment to amateur sports outlined in the CRTC report, I think they will. Wouldn’t be shocked if Micallef returns to do play-by-play either; it seems he really loves it.

      As far as a second game, not only would that require a time commitment on busy Saturdays, but also double the resources in terms of a broadcast truck, commentators, producers, directors, cameramen etc. I think instead they’d prefer to branch out into other amateur sports that are less expensive to produce, where there is a world feed. Sportsnet has already kind of did this with skiing, snowboarding, cycling and bobsleigh. Maybe if they could get Canada West games it’d be worth it, otherwise, I don’t see it happening.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but Micallef’s a Rogers employee anyway at Sportsnet Radio, right? Can’t see why they wouldn’t keep him there.

      • just a thought and maybe something to look into as the ratings and attendance for the CIS playoffs were very good culminating with all kinds of records for the Vanier. I suspect that a lot of the attendance and TV viewers were OUA football students and fans.
        I agree they would have to make sure that it would be a plus financially for the broadcast as I think the viewers are no longer just from the schools that are playing but from the schools for every game.
        I guess checking the ratings for the game of the week along with the OUA playoffs and National playoffs and Vanier with the game most likely being at Guelph with an OUA team a good bet ti be one of the two teams there could be a standing room overflow crowd with only about 15,000 seats.
        TSN also seems to becoming more and more interested in CIS football expanding there playoff coverage into the Hardy Cup.
        I could see TSN looking for some regular season CIS games for TSN2 and RDS2

        • This fall i had the Espn player now last week i got a notice last week saying Tsn now owns the rights so maybe there going big with university sports.

          • If TSN now own those rights, then they better go big with the university sports. TSN2 carrying some regular season CIS games with the main TSN feed carrying an NCAA College Football game or two during most fall weekends (when not conflicting with CFL, Curling or other events) wouldn’t be a bad idea. While I’m at it, showing the occasional NCAA College Football game either on TSN or TSN2 which begins at 10:30 pm et then showing College Football Final afterwards can’t hurt either.

            If everyone who posts on this website wants to see more CIS & NCAA coverage here in Canada, it would be best to give TSN a call and let them know.

            • I think that we will see TSN boadcasting CIS football on TSN2 and RDS2. They would need to negotiate and see where they would fit in the Broadcasting of CIS football. Right now the Score broadcasts OUA football, SHAWTV has CanWest, the French CBC has the Quebec conference and I think that RDS or RDS2 covers home Laval games but I am not sure what the deal is with that, and Eastlink has the AUS.
              Each of those networks has an agreement to show one game a week.
              I am not sure how TSN2 would fit into that picture but I am sure the CIS would be all in for games covered on TSN2 as well.
              maybe TSN2 can do something like ESPN does and coordinate with the schedule makers to have a prime time thursday night games of the week. Negotiate with the CIS and select the best matchup of the week in any of the conferences. TSN shows CFL games on Thurdays in the summer but after the week before Labor day they only had one thursday night Broadcast in week 19. It would be the only CIS game being played and in prime time could raise the interest and awareness of CIS football. I believe that SMU plays at U Montreal in the interlock game this year would be an example of a great game to show nationally on a Prime Time Thursday for both TSN2 and RDS2.
              The other networks can continue to show their game of the week each saturday.
              A Mac and Western matchup should draw quite a bit of interest. Regina or Calgary at U Saskatchewan. Sherby or Montreal at Laval. SMU vs Acadia have had quite a rivalry the last few years. These games would also have nice crowds in the stands and at modern stadiums giving the CIS credibility for those who do not usually watch CIS football will see good games at modern venues with lots of people in the stands.

              • Going head-to-head with NFL on Thursday nights probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

                • That could be true but sometimes you need to try something different even if the NFL does have a game on thursday night. A top Canadian University game could be something that CIS fans would be something that may grab the interest. Even ESPN still has a college game on Thursday night and that is in the US.
                  A saturday night game could also be an option but then it would be going head to head with Hockey Night
                  Wednesday wold be too early in the week.
                  TSN has gotten the CFL to become top sports programing. They could do the same with CIS especially after last years Vanier Cup.
                  I say be bold and go for it. TSN has the resources and other top programing in which to promote it.
                  They could play it safe and go with a saturday 4:30 start after the 1:00 OUA game on the score and go against a CanWest game on SHAWTV

                  • Yeah, but let’s be honest, college football is way bigger in the US than CIS is here. And ESPN has a larger reach than NFL Network (compared to Canada where Sportsnet’s reach is as big as any cable channel). And ESPN’s Thursday night college games pre-date any Thursday night pro games.

                    ESPN still usually has a top 5 cable program in Thursday Night Football, only behind NFL, NBA, Burn Notice and Jersey Shore. Even on the worst weeks with ACC teams who have no relevance to the national picture it is a top 10 cable program.

                    I think there are a few key differences between CFL and CIS. CFL has always had good ratings, and TSN was a new network when they began airing it (similar to curling, really). They had to take chances. They don’t have to now. Producing original programming for TSN2 is expensive, considering the returns (hence why most TSN2 original programming is things like curling where TSN is already setup to broadcast).

                    I know you’re a big Canadian football fan, but don’t let it blind you. If this were feasible, I’m sure one of the networks would have thought of it. It would probably make more sense for the Quebec league to sell two games per week, one for RDS and one for Radio-Canada. It’s more popular there than in the rest of Canada.

                    • CIS football looks like it will be something on the rise for television networks and TSN would most likley want it showcased as bigtime games. It may not be time for them yet to get involved but as other networks lay the groundwork TSN could be the Network that comes in and steals it away with a more lucrative deal like with the CFL

                    • You know the more I think about it college football in the NCAA is much bigger in the US than the CIS is in Canada but TSN is the Network that could change all of that with a prime time game of the week. I think that they could get the rights for a bag of beans and turn it into something big. Unless they already have something that is of big programming on TSN2 and RDS2 on a thursday night why not give it s shot.
                      Having it as a saturday 4:30 game east time with most games starting at 1:00 or 12:00 it would only lose fans from any CanWest teams that start at 4:00 eastern or any other late starting OUA/Q or AUS.

                    • I agree that CIS FB has potential, that’s one of the reasons I think Sportsnet would be more likely to have a go at it. They’ve done the same with CHL, cycling, tennis and other things trying to catch up with TSN in recent years. Obviously they have NFL on Thursday, so they’d have to find another day for it.

                    • well thanks for all the info. I suspect that TSN is looking to sink its teeth into more CIS football. It started with Vanier Cup and National semis then last year got the Hardy Cup away from the Canwest usual TV provider in SHAW TV. Not quite as interesting but for sure could also get the Loney Bowl with the AUS only TV provider being Eastlink in the Maritimes. It seems to me that CIS football is moving faster than those in charge of CIS football are equiped to take advantage of in ways of a weekly National game of the week that TSN could promote.
                      It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds over the next few years after getting record attendance and TV ratings for the Vanier.

                    • I know I seem stuck on this but I truly feel that TSN sees the potential and wants to get the jump on another Network for a prime Time CIS game of the week to help build up for the playoffs starting with the Hardy now to the semis and then the Vanier. before the regular hockey seaon begins a prime time sat night CIS game of the week on TSN2 and RDS2 giving the CIS a bit more than the score, shawTV or the french CBC to have its choice of the best CIS game on the schedule that week regardless of conferance or interlock and have it be the only 8:00 saturday night CIS game being played. Every team, coach, and CIS fans from other teams will want to see the best teams on Prime time to gage themselves against

                    • One other logistical problem with that, the conferences control regular season games. So, in order for the CIS to sell such a package they’d have to get the conferences to sell them something like 2-4 #1 picks each, which would also devalue their regional packages (and theScore’s OUA) package.

                    • Yea I thought about that but money talks TSN has got it and CIS football needs it. TSN is slowly working towards this. This season for example TSN got the Hardy CUP and not SHAWTV.
                      Plus the effect of TSN networks showing a prime time saturday night game similar to Sunday Night NFL on NBC on a much smaller scale obviously. The CIS in number of teams and games each saturday are very similar to the NFL. I think there would be enough games to go around. It may actually work in the favor of the current Networks; SHAWTV, The Score, CBC French, and Eastlink; in that seeing a conference game in Prime time on TSN may lead to new fans tuning into the Afternoon games on the regular conferences Networks

  5. The Footy Show is the best football show I have ever seen on Canadian TVs. The SMFC is an app for soccer scores and news from almost every league around the world but I guess now they are part of the Score media not the TV and I hope they keep running the app not like Goltv which stopped their mobile app.

  6. This may be slightly off topic but there is a rumor gaining steam about Brian Burke’s dismissal from the Leafs due to a relationship with a Rogers staffer. Since said staffer is well known in the Canadian media landscape, will you be addressing the story?

  7. In looking for cheap programing I wonder if Rogers would look into televising Arena Football on the score. Last year the NFL Network produced a game every friday night. This season CBS sports net will b taking over the weekly National Broadcast on saturday nights. A deal to simulcast the CBSSN Broadcast I am sure would be something that both CBS and the AFL would love to have. Saturday night is Hockey night in Canada and nothing will beat that in the Ratings but showing an alternative sport at a very small cost could not be all that bad for the score.
    CFL teams scout pretty heavily in the Arena Football League. having Arena football in Canada has been rumored but the possibility of having some Canadian Cities expand into the Current Arena League could be a possibility. Certainly better than the LFL.

    • I thought there was some sort of WWE broadcast on Saturdays (I could be wrong, I don’t follow it at all). No way they’d move a ratings earner in WWE for arena football.

      • You are correct. The Score shows vintage WWE matches on Saturdays.

        • well that covers that then. The Arena League does play games on sunday and friday nights also I beleive. CBSSN has the right to the one game a week on staurday night. The rest of the teams have a local netoek to carry there cames. For example the Philly Soul broadcast its comes on Concst sportsnet Philadelphia same as the other 4 top sports as well as MLS. SO they would have to get the simulcast for each teams local carrier if they were looking for fri or sunday games. I think Comcast sportsnet has regional for each area which many teams use. A deal to show teams that are produced by comcast could be an idea

          • The problem with what you are suggesting is that Comcast owns NBC and CBS Sports Network is a direct competitor. I don’t think that a deal for the CBS Sports Network to show Arena Football teams where production is handled by Comcast / NBC Universial would get anywhere for this reason. It would be a non starter.

            • oh I agree with you it would have to be a straight deal with CBSSN for their package otherwise they would have to deal with each induvidual team.
              It is ashame that the network deal is on the same night that the score has prime programming already. Just out of curiousity if the National game were still on friday nights would it have worked for the score?

              • “Just out of curiousity if the National game were still on friday nights would it have worked for the score?”

                No. From 6 pm to 10 pm et, The Score airs three different WWE programs. Then they usually repeat WWE Smackdown at Midnight.

                Here’s The Score’s schedule for this Friday:


          • Of course things could change at theScore when Rogers gets control, but right now they’re tape delaying college hockey by 24 hours (to Sunday night) to show WWE on Saturdays.

            • The same could be done with the Arena Football league. Tape delaying the CBSSN game and showing it on a traditional sunday afternoon football time. The new Arena football League is a different set up and is truly minor league to NFL and CFL.
              The Af2 is now has bought the Arena League and the goal is to get the players to the next level where as before in Toronto competing with the CFL.
              The Current Arena league also assigns players to a team in a region in which that player is connected.
              If an Arena team were to be placed in a Canadian City it could be arranged that would make it a Canadian only roster or Dominate Canadian roster.
              Many Canadian players who are the CFL bubble have no place to go to sharpen their skills.
              Right now a few players come to mind that could benefit from having Arena teams in Canadian Cities. Ismael Bamba just released from the Riders after staying with the riders on their practice squad all year after being drafted. Kyle Graves a Canadian QB and punter has yet to be singed by a CFL team. Billy Greene former Hec winner will be making a move to FB/TE has not been signed by anyone.
              Saskatoon was mentioned back right before the Arena change over. Credit Union Centre was and still is a perfect venue for the new Arena. Travel would be a concern with spokane being the closest team
              The set up now includes room and board and a small $450 paycheck per game.
              Quebec City would be a perfect place with a dominant of Laval and other Franco Players from the province filling the roster. Would be a nice extention of the Tanguay, Remparts, and Laval football corp with the Pepsi Arena right there but unlikley to happen as that group seems very happy with the set up they have now.
              London and the John Labatt centre would be a perfect place and fit nicely in the eastern conference of Phila, Pitts, and Clevland.
              Non CFL cities, with Canadian rosters, small operating budget, and plenty of CFL bubble players transitioning from the CIS to CFL could be a nice combination. Also smaller production costs if the Score would choose to telecast Canadian teams much like TSN/RDS does with Canadian City MLS teams

  8. so they have WWE on friday night smackdown and saturday night vintage WWE both in prime time. there muct be a big following to have WWE on back to back nights FRI and SAT.

  9. Rogers has announced recently that it will use the score to develop more Amateur Sports programming with the Score. That could be good news for the CIS. I do not know how much college basketball is shown on the score but that was one of the first things that ESPN made huge when it started. I do not know how popular NCAA college basketball is in Canada but if they are looking to supplement their own production of CIS basketball There is a ton of networks producing NCAA college basketball games. On this saturday afternoon for example there are currently 10 live NCAA mens college basketball on live. Games have started about noon and will go all night. So if they are looking for some inexpensive programing simulcast of other networks productions they could have there pick of a network or Networks to make a deal with.
    Although the Score may not have had the resources to broadcast a 1:00 and 4:00 CIS football doubleheader every saturday Rogers would most likely have the resources to do so.
    I have also discussed the possibility of simulcasting Arena Football. Although CBSSN has the National TV deal with a weekly saturday night game it could certainly be re broadcast on a sunday afternoon not to interfere with their WWE Programing. Plus Comcast sports network is part of NBC sports now many of the teams use CSN as there local provider.
    Arena could catch some attention as many CFL imports are coming from the Arena League now.
    The Arena League expanding into Canadian cities could be a logical step with roster filled with Canadian players who have been Bubble CFL players and a place where Canadian QBs could get their shot to play. the Arena League owns i believe 50% of each team and assign top players to teams in in regions in which the player is from or played University ball. BC GM Wally B has a pipeline with the nearby spokane Shock and Chris Jones and the Argos had three key starters all who came from the arena league.
    Something similar to what the MLS has done in expanding to Canada could work well for the Arena League.

    • NCAA basketball is reasonably popular I’d say, at least for March Madness. Right now TSN2 usually shows one ESPN game on Saturday and theScore shows one on Wednesday. AFAIK TSN has rights to all of the ESPN games, then sells most of them to the Super Sports Pak and theScore. theScore has rights to FOX games, but doesn’t show any for some reason.

      I think MLS is different to the Arena League in the sense that Montreal and Vancouver have had popular semi-pro teams for years. And Toronto has a large immigrant population (and a large pop. in general), so there’s lots of people to draw on there. CFL (and CIS in cities like London) is already established in Canada. I think its a stretch for any football other than NFL, CFL and college/university to ever take hold in North America personally.

      • NBS Sports and CBS sports also have a slew of college basketball games also if the Score chose to go to another Network than ESPN. The Big 10 has its own Channel for big ten sports incuding a full schedule of Big 10 basketball. Could be a good angle with the Big Ten Universities being close to the border.
        As for the Arena Football it is different than soccer I agree when it comes to fan base. I think it may be close to that time where Canada offers an alternative football option with Arena football teams that will include Canadian rosters to play in the Arena league.
        The cost of running an Arena football league under its current format is very cost effecient and the CFL uses it to catch imports that slip through the cracks or need a bit more seasoning but there is nowhere for Canadian players to go. It is basically room and board and $450 a week. A good place for a lot of 5th year CIS players to get some exposure before CFL camps begin or for players who just missed in the previous season to play that coming spring.
        Just tossing some ideas around. It would most likely be much more popular then the fledging NBL of Canada at this point. The OSEG could add this to its enterprises for play in the new Civic center. Gee Gee or Raven coaches could probably coach in the off season to supplement their salaries as many University coaches already do that with provincial teams, Canadian National teams etc.

        • CBS Sports Network and Big Ten Network are both available in Canada, so as long as those companies want to collect $ from Canadian subscribers, they won’t sell their games to Canadian networks. Considering the Big Ten doesn’t even do a regional OTA package anymore (as SEC, Big East, ACC do), I don’t think they’re interested in selling to any third party. NBC SN’s package is okay, but ESPN and FOX have more games with bigger conferences.

          There are lots of sports organizations run cost efficiently, but that doesn’t mean there is enough interest to broadcast their games on TV.

          One thing I would like to see, speaking of college, is the NCAA Frozen Four championship on Canadian TV again. theScore used to show it, but it hasn’t been on live in a few years (I think TSN2 has shown it on tape delay the next day).

          CIS hoops and hockey have some potential if Rogers were to organize an NCAA-style 4-team regular season tournament with the biggest/most popular teams. That way they could do 3-4 games from the same site which would make costs lower.

          • In looking at the schedule of NCAA mens DI hockey their is a full slate of regular season games available for regular season games with CBS SN and the score with live and tape delay games but none when it come to the NCAA tournament in which ESPN has all the rights to. A little shocked that someone has not picked up at least the Frozen four. Kind of empty schedule to get a full slate of regular season games and none of the NCAA tournament. With Rogers taking over the Score and there vision to show more amatuar sports you may see the new Score programing include the some tournament games and live coverage of the frozen four.

          • As I have just found out CBS Sports Networks is available in Canada so there would be no reason for CBSSN would not need to sell simulcast to the score. The score, however, could be the home network to a Canadian Franchise, with an all Canadian roster
            The score already has a football Broadcast Team that could be transfered to the Arena League in the Spring after the OUA season. They could use a traditional sunday afternoon scheduled to schedule their home games and could use the feed from the away teams local market broadcasters. I Imagine that this is how the visiting team can currently broadcast away games on their Network to save on broadcast cost

  10. Arena football has been tried in Canada and did not work out that well.

    • The last attempt at the Arena Football in Canada was in a different ERA and in the wrong city in Toronto. Currently with the spike in Canadian talent those bubble players that get released have no where to land. I think if the OSEG were to take on a team in Ottawa the arena league would assign them players from Canadian Universities. The Salary Cap is at only 200K i believe and the players are provided with housing and Meals. It is almost like a college team in that regard so Canadian draft picks who are late releases or spend a season on a practice roster then released would have a stage to showcase themsevles against US university players in the same position during the spring after the regular season in which they were released.
      Just like the CFL will look to the Arena league to find players at a position for the import portion of their roster the same can be done for the NI portion of their roster. Ottawa would fit nicely in the east division for travel with Phila, Pitts, and Clevland as the league is looking for a fourth franchise for that division. The 10,000 seat Civic center would be a perfect size.

  11. New CIS CEO has announced that they will be looking for a National TV deal for the CIS. Rogers has stated that they will use the Score for more coverage of Amatuar sports. The new CEO has also stated that they are close to a deal with a Network for the CIS basketball final 8 tournament as well as for the CIS hockey final in Saskatoon.

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