Breaking: Sportsnet, TSN, RDS Partner with CBC for 2014 Olympics

The 2014 Olympics begin in 365 days in Sochi, Russia. Today Sportsnet announced that they are the official cable broadcaster of the Games in Canada. This is just the latest partnership between the two networks which also includes the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I’ll have a lot more on this later, but for now here is a statement from Sportsnet.

Today marks the official one-year countdown to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and Sportsnet is pleased to announce it has reached a sub-licensing deal with CBC to provide Canadians with comprehensive coverage of the Games.

Further platform distribution announcements are to come, but under the agreement Sportsnet is now an official cable broadcaster of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

As part of the sub-licensing deal, Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE will carry approximately 200 hours of 2014 Olympic Winter Games coverage, including coverage in prime time

And as did TSN and RDS, evidently. Somehow I missed this. Worth noting that TSN and RDS have shown every Olympics since 1998. Very impressive.

TSN and RDS are partnering with CBC/Radio-Canada to provide coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Through the partnership, both networks will be able to bring viewers access to live events and coverage across TSN and RDS’s sports, news, and entertainment platforms.

TSN and RDS have been part of Canada’s Olympic tradition for the past three decades, setting the standard of excellence for delivering Olympic coverage during the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Games.

TSN and RDS will provide more details on this partnership and broadcast information in the near future.

And here is CBC’s press release with all that news and more. Read the bolded section closely. What’s coming next? Netflix for highlights?

Today marks the official one-year countdown to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and CBC/Radio-Canada is thrilled to bring the Olympic Games home to Canadians. As Canada’s Official Broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada brings Canadians cross-platform coverage of the top news and stories in the year leading up to Sochi 2014, running from February 7 – 23, 2014. With exclusive license arrangements, TSN, RDS, and Sportsnet will also present coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Stay tuned – more platform distribution announcements to come.

“We’re incredibly proud to be the official home of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games,” said Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice-President, English Services, CBC. “As we count down to Sochi 2014, we are committed to sharing the inspirational stories of our athletes, while providing Canadians with a robust Olympic Games experience, across all platforms.”
Louis Lalande, Executive Vice-President, Radio-Canada, added: “The Olympic Games have been part of Radio-Canada’s DNA for over fifty years. It is with great anticipation that we prepare for Sochi 2014. We aim to offer viewers from coast to coast a distinct coverage that will allow them to live and breathe with our athletes on this most prestigious stage.”
Click here for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games English Promo.
CBC/Radio-Canada is the place to be as we count down to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. With coverage across all platforms – including TV, radio, online, and mobile – Canadians can connect with the biggest stories and the latest content whenever and wherever they want it. Through world-class storytelling and the best performance coverage available, CBC/Radio-Canada will introduce viewers to Canadian athletes poised to take on the world in 2014. Canadians can engage with CBC/Radio-Canada leading up to and throughout the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games online in English at and in French at, as well as on Twitter in English at @cbcolympics (#cbcolympics), and in French at @RC_Sports (#RColympiques).
The countdown to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in full-swing this week on CBC, with extensive programming on all platforms. Throughout the week, viewers have enjoyed extensive coverage, with stories from Sochi and beyond, as well as a look at Canada’s Olympians as they prepare for the Games.

40 thoughts on “Breaking: Sportsnet, TSN, RDS Partner with CBC for 2014 Olympics

  1. RDS & TSN’s press release won’t be far behind…

    The most exciting part of the Sportsnet’s press release is that they will be airing Olympic content in primetime. Something that we didn’t see when CBC gave TSN some content in 2008. All of TSN’s broadcasts happened during the day.

    • TSN had primetime broadcasts when they sub-licensed coverage from CBC. It was usually in the early evening in 2008 IIRC (before CBC had live broadcasts). In Torino it was usually long form coverage of curling though.

  2. Love that CBC has the Olympics again. Having TSN and Sportsnet as partners, even better.

  3. great news. I was worried we would get stuck watching stuff on Bold and artv

    • Bold isn’t even owned by CBC anymore, so I figured something was coming. Was mildly surprised that both Bell and Rogers got in on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s still another sublicense coming.

      • “Welcome to the 2014 Olympics on Sun News Net! Now here’s Ezra with the latest from the luge track. Ezra?”

        • Ha. Charles Adler and Theo Fleury would host their coverage for sure.

          I was thinking of digital, mobile, 3rd language and/or new media (like Netflix) rights. CBC partnering with TSN and Sportsnet shows they want to get all the money out of this they can so they can break even. A big reason for TSN and Sportsnet getting in was so they could show highlights on SportsCentre and Connected.

          • If the NHL sends players again, TSN and Sportsnet would be hooped without the Olympics. All that’s going otherwise is the NBA and European soccer, and we see how poorly those two coped during the lockout.

            Pretty good move for CBC too, as they not only get prominent partners with basic cable presence… but this also gives them access to Bell and Rogers for mobile coverage and whatnot that comes with that. All involved must be pretty happy at this point.

            • Nothing has been confirmed for mobile yet, so I wouldn’t go that far. This gives them access for RDS, TSN and Sportsnet. Nothing more. Maybe CTV and City for highlights on the news (and I say maybe because that’s a nice exclusive for CBC to have).

  4. A Cbc-Sportsnet-Tsn deal will be great and my guess is wwe will get to see most if not all of the events.

  5. Great news, with 200 hours that means they’ll be showing over 10 hours a day, and I imagine TSN will be showing at least as much too. So coverage should be similar to what we had the last couple games, which has been excellent… and with CBC at the helm, hopefully the branding and editorializing will be scaled back.

    Hopefully CBC won’t be doing it on the cheap as they had been doing increasingly in ’06 and ’08. They’ve been all over Sochi this week, so that’s promising. Plus they’ve broken out the old Olympic theme of theirs, can never get enough of that tune.

    • Yeah I think this is the best of both worlds. CBC’s world class coverage and Sportsnet and TSN’s resources and hours available for content. Also if Sportsnet One’s involved, it stands to reason TSN2 may be as well.

      CBC surely went cheaper in 2006 and 2008 (I thought ’08 was better than ’06) because they were about to lose rights.

    • After the Buffalo-Montreal game this past Saturday, skiing and snowboarding from Blue Mountain was on and the CBC Olympic tune was played. I was glad to hear that and on Monday phoned the CBC to ask about it. I was told that it will be the music for the Sochi Olympics! Thank goodness none of that CTV garbage theme music.

    • FWIW, there are really 15 days of competition (assuming CBC has exclusive coverage of the ceremonies and hockey final). So that’s really about 13 hours a day. 3-4 in primetime and 7-8 in daytime.

  6. Great! I wholeheartedly agree that it’s the best of both worlds with CBC teaming up with TSN and Sportsnet for this. with the former’s world class presentation and coverage and the latter’s recent experience. I sincerely hope CBC was seriously taking notes on this from 2010-12. TSN2 has to be involved in this too as you say Josh as “it stands to reason”. For the French realm, we know Radio-Canada is going to do this as the anchor 4with RDS has to be involved and likely RDS2 and RDS INFO, Wonder is there any talk regarding TVA Sports getting involved in the Olympics for the first time since there’s an apparent alliance with Rogers Sportsnet (I still call it that)? One of the best things about Canada’s recent Olympic coverage was the involvement of the multilingual networks OMNI, APTN, and ATN. How about adding TLN for the growing Spanish population in Canada? Something tells me, with the way how things are shaping up rapidly, they’ll return. Can’t wait for the structuring revealing and the promotional campaign itself–won’t use the “I Believe” though, we’re in the CBC territory now!

    So the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium isn’t really dead at all.

    PS: For those wondering up in Canada about how we in the USA had our NBC–and it surely was far more than just NBC with its family of networks coverage–broadcasted the 2012 London Olympics, much of which you couldn’t see up there. Take a look at NBC’s comprehensive TV schedule with NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC (Olympic coverage from those two networks was blocked up there), the NBC Olympic Basketball and Soccer Channels, Bravo, and Telemundo. You’ll see where, for example, the bulk of those USA basketball games went when it wasn’t on NBC proper:

    Come visit the London Olympic Media Updates (and now with Sochi and Rio De Janeiro) like Josh does here!

  7. Sportsnet, TSN & RDS all partnering up to show the Olympics with the CBC is going to be awesome!

    How about some music to go with it. One year from now we will be hearing this great theme once again. :)

    • “No, I want to hear I Believe 100 times a day throughout the Olympics”, said absolutely no one. :)

      • My grandfather became so annoyed by that stupid “I Believe” theme that he didn’t even want to watch the Olympics last summer. Now that CTV is out and the CBC is back in, maybe he will want to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics and the next Summer Olympics in 2016! :)

        • Some people did not like the I Believe but some did your not going to keep everyone happy as for Ctv is out keep in mind Bell owns Ctv and Tsn also it would not shock me if City or Omni and Ctv are added.

          • Not happening. CBC is the exclusive “big network” broadcaster of the Olympics. They’re not paying all of that money to the IOC just to bring a competitor in. CBC,SNET (+SNET1) and TSN(+TSN2) should be able to cover almost if not all of the games.

            • Chris
              Well they have sub leased to Bell and Rogers so they have brought in the competitor as it is.

              • Yeah but there’s a difference in TSN, a channel you have to pay for, and CTV, a network everyone gets for free.

                • Ctv is not free as you do pay for it but i get your point however they could use Ctv for day recaps etc.

                  • You may pay for cable/satellite, but your cable/satellite company doesn’t pay the OTA broadcasters (CTV, CBC, Global, City)… actually, they don’t pay for the US OTA broadcasters either (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX,) for what it’s worth. So, you may pay for overall service, and those channels are included… but the channels themselves are technically free.

          • I don’t think CTV and City are terrible interested. Since they’re schedules are largely dependent on US network shows, the Winter Olympics really screws up their schedules as CBS, ABC and FOX keep pumping out shows over those two weeks.

            City didn’t seem to cover a whole lot in ’10 and ’12, or at least not anything that another channel already had covered… and as Bell didn’t seem terrible interested in going in alone, and CTV’s branding efforts weren’t terribly well received. So between messing up their normal schedule and not wanting to play second fiddle to CBC, I think they’re perfectly happy to sit out their main network, and TSN will probably be second in the pecking order anyway, so they kind of get their cake and to eat it too anyway.

            • City wasn’t owned by CTVGlobemedia or Rogers when the consortium was conceived, hence it wasn’t involved (nor was what became CTV Two).

              Who knows whether TSN will be number two. It and Sportsnet will probably play a similar role, showing a lot of hockey and curling.

          • I would be absolutely shocked if City or CTV are added. CBC wants to be the exclusive OTA broadcaster. They have 2 cable partners (and 5 channels between the 2). Why would they need any more for the Winter Olympics? Maybe OMNI would make sense if they want 3rd language coverage.

            • For a replay of a event i think Ctv or City could be used.

              • Why would they need them for replays? They have 5 channels (CBC, Radio-Canada, TSN, Sportsnet) to show primetime coverage on. Why would they need any more? That’s plenty for the Winter Olympics. Not to mention City and CTV both have high-rated daytime and primetime programming that, with the exception of NBC shows, probably won’t stop airing new episodes for a Winter Olympics on the other side of the world.

          • Absolutely not.
            CBC/Radio-Canada wants Bell Media and Rogers as strictly cable partners only, not OTA broadcast partners. CBC is likely not interested in having competing English Language over the air broadcast networks. Maybe OMNI (Rogers Media) could be involved in non-English/French coverage, but that’s unlikely and sounds expensive too,

            CTV and CITY-TV will be competing with CBC for ratings during the Olympic coverage.

            TVA Sports is also involved with French Language coverage for Sochi as well.

            CBC has big shoes to fill. CBC and the Broadcast Media Consortium’s coverage can only be compared on this next Olympic cycle (ie. 2010-12 vs. 2014-16). CBC’s coverage before was pre-HD, pre-social media, pre-streaming, pre-mobile, and pre-OBS too (The IOC’s in-house broadcasting infrastructure)

            The consortium set the standard for a unified marketing strategy and coverage availability in HD, across multiple platforms. CBC is going to have to try to at least meet that standard set, and hopefully exceed it.

  8. One thing I would really like to see is the broadcasters set up Olympic package ala NFL Sunday Ticket, or NHL Centre Ice where there is a dedicated channel to each OBS feed (basically like how the online streaming works, but in glorious HD). If they’re doing commentary great, but not required, just for Olympic junkies like myself who want to see everything live… I’d gladly pay a hefty premium for that kind of package.

    I imagine it’s not done as it would be a nightmare to sort that sort of thing out with the myriad of cable and satellite outfits for all of 17 days every other year… but it’s nice to dream. As streaming continues to improve I imagine it will be moot before long anyway.

    • They’ve more or less done it will Bell before. Maybe not everything, but a lot. The quality of the streams will only continue to improve though, as you said. I think Silverlight does a decent job with the streaming quality.

  9. With CBC Subleasing coverage to TSN & Sportsnet. The Question is will the CBC use some TSN & Sportsnet sportscasters for instance Curling. Will they use Vic Rauter, Russ Howard & Linda Moore as primiarly commentators for Curling or will they use Mark Lee, Mike Harris & Joan McCusker (or Sportsnet’s Rob Faulds) on the Grandslam coverage?

    Will CBC use on broadcast Team for Hockey from TSN i.e Gord Miller & Ray Farrerro???

    • I’d say yes and no. They may use some TSN and Sportsnet personalities, but I don’t think they will on big sports like hockey and curling. The final of the 2014 Scotties is on day 3 of the Olympics, so that basically rules out TSN curling commentators. I don’t see why they wouldn’t use Harris and McCusker, probably with Rainnie or Lee. For hockey CBC’s problem is they have too many, so I don’t see any need for TSN’s. They’ll have Hughson/Simpson and Cole (or Brown or Lee)/Galley (or Hrudey) plus Lee or Rainnie/Campbell for women’s.

      I could see someone like Brian Stemmle showing up on alpine skiing with Scott Oake and Kerrin Lee-Gartner. Other than that, Rod Black and Rob Faulds are among the few that I could see included. They’ll need someone to do figure skating. And maybe Faulds on bobsleigh since he was well received last time and CBC doesn’t show the sport often.

      From 2006 they’ll need someone to replace Russell on nordic events (since he’ll likely host), Lee on figure skating (since he’ll probably do hockey or curling) and Wittman on curling. Otherwise I think the main commentators will stay the same. Probably will see the same analysts they use for sports weekend (ex. Groves on speed skating and Heil on freestyle skiing).

  10. Any news on other CBC sublicing deals yet? Netflix? Xbox360? Streaming sport by sport coverage with local cable companies?

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