Onrait and O’Toole A Good Hire for Fox

Onrait and O'Toole with the Prime Minister at last November's Grey Cup (credit: PMO/Jason Ransom)

Onrait and O’Toole with the Prime Minister at last November’s Grey Cup (credit: PMO/Jason Ransom)

Fox aims to do the unthinkable when it launches Fox Sports 1 this August, overtake ESPN as the most watched sports channel in America. And it certainly has a chance. At launch it has MLB (beginning in 2014), NASCAR (including Sprint Cup races in 2015), college football and hoops, just like ESPN. Fox Sports also has UEFA Champions League and FIFA tournaments beginning in 2015. All Fox is missing out on are the big events (minus the World Cup) that ESPN and Turner’s TNT have. ESPN has the BCS, Turner has March Madness. ESPN has weekday coverage of three of golf’s majors, TNT has the other. ESPN also has all four tennis Grand Slams.

Due to the long-term nature of broadcast contracts, there isn’t a lot more Fox can do to compete with ESPN. They can compete with ESPN’s highlight programs though. Late Friday news came that the faces of TSN’s SportsCentre, Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, were leaving TSN for new jobs in Los Angeles along with “Producer Tim”. It was quickly confirmed, as I initially speculated, that these jobs were at Fox for the new nightly news show “Fox Sports Live”, which will air weeknights from from 11pm until 2am Eastern. The new program will compete directly with ESPN’s SportsCenter, something that sports channels in the US are usually reluctant to do.

While SportsCenter is incredibly popular, it does have its faults. There is certainly a base in American looking for something new and refreshing. Fox is known for going against the establishment and trying new things, and gimmicks, in sports broadcasting. Some, like the FoxBox, have stuck. Others, like the glowing puck, not so much. Onrait and O’Toole certainly fit the Fox ideal of different, and yes, at times gimmicky. Not that it usually detracts from their broadcasts. After Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick, who also called their SportsCenter “The Big Show”, ESPN would never go for a duo potentially bigger than the network like Onrait and O’Toole.

Last year The Wall Street Journal wrote an article on Onrait and O’Toole asking “Why Can’t We Have Canada’s SportsCentre?”. Now you do, America. And before anyone asks, no I do not know if Fox Sports 1 will be available in Canada.

theScore to Rogers… Last Tuesday the CRTC finalized the sale of theScore Television Network to Rogers. Sportsnet immediately took control of it, although it will go by theScore until a rebrand on Canada Day. Live @ theScore and the Footy Show both ended Monday, without so much as a goodbye. You can read Kristian Jack and James Sharman’s final thoughts on the Footy Show here. A new “Hockey Central Xtra” replaced Live @, airing from 5-6pm Eastern on weeknights with a mix of theScore and Sportsnet on-air talent. Tim and Sid returned to theScore with a simulcast of their Fan 590 radio show on Wednesday. In other immediate changes Monday Night Raw is now live and theScore will have 8 Toronto FC matches this season.

Rogers valued the transaction at $172 million, while Rogers will contribute $17.1 million to a tangible-benefits package for amateur sports in Canada. The CRTC did deny Rogers’ idea of using the tangible benefits package to create a Canadian version of the X Games. The CRTC’s main problem is that in the broadcasting community, Rogers would exclusively benefit from the “Sportsnet Winter Games”. I agree. What’s the point in a required investment to improve amateur sports and broadcasting in Canada if the company paying is the lone company to benefit? As a result, Rogers must submit an alternative plan by the end of the month.

What interests me are the interventions put forward by other media companies. Eastlink asked the CRTC to reclassify theScore as a “mainstream sports service”, similar to TSN, TSN2 or Sportsnet ONE. The CRTC opened up this sector to Canadian competition a few years ago. Previously TSN had protection. theScore enjoys similar protection as a sports news service. Unless Eastlink plans on launching a sports news channel, which seems unlikely, I find this is an odd intervention. Bell’s intervention was also interesting. Bell wanted the new license to include a condition to prevent theScore from tape-delaying programming by 15 minutes to get around live-programming rules imposed on it. theScore has previously done this with Serie A soccer and WWE.

I expect theScore will continue to air mostly basketball, soccer, WWE and college/university/amateur sports. The channel has found a niche with these sports, and I think for the most part Rogers will continue this. Rogers has already bought rights to FIBA basketball tournaments for theScore. Sportsnet has rights to CIS football and basketball games that air on Fox and Fox Sports 1 in the US. The CIS Hockey Championship would also make sense for theScore. There’s also always more room for UEFA Champions League group stage matches. WWE will continue to anchor theScore’s line-up on Monday and Friday. Regardless of whether it’s a sport, it is theScore’s highest-rated program. It consistently competes with Monday Night Football for the best cable ratings on Mondays in the fall. Limitations on the amount of live sports broadcasts will limit how many live games can air on theScore.

One thing I think Sportsnet really needs to capitalize on is the Footy Show’s popularity, even if it is gone. James Sharman, Kristian Jack, Brendan Dunlop, John Molinaro, and Thomas Dobby are all working for the same company again. The best time period for the podcast is when they were on it, in my opinion. Either a podcast or radio show would be great.

Late Starts… Anyone reading this live in St. Louis, Chicago or Minnesota? I hate the idea of 8:30pm local starts in the playoffs just for TV. The NBA does it regularly, but the NHL only started this year. I think one reason for this, aside from pleasing CBC and NBC, is to test the waters for next season when the divisional playoff format begins. One or two series in next year’s first round will feature two Central Time teams. That will create headaches for the NHL with three-quarters of all playoff games in the Eastern or Central time zones. Moving to an NBA-style schedule is one way to fix it. In other news, puckdrop of game 5 of the Kings-Blues series will be at 9pm Eastern, which means CBC will have to miss the first period since it conflicts with the Leafs-Bruins game. No word if cable/satellite providers will make this game available on an alternate channel yet.

Dowbiggin GoneToronto Sports Media is reporting that the Globe & Mail will not re-new Bruce Dowbiggin’s contract. I have heard the same thing. While Bruce could, at times, write a good piece on sports media, I thought his columns took a sharp dive when he began writing mostly about hockey and sports in general. Since Dowbiggin does love to include Tweets in his columns, here’s one to prove my point:

Now before I get into a rant defending Gryba (not on the hit, but in general), I just want to say he had a +28 rating in the minors this year. He was -3 logging 20 minutes a game for the Senators during the regular season. He blocked more than a shot a game, good enough for tenth among rookies. As this Ottawa Citizen article points out, you can’t judge Gryba (or many other defensemen) by their offensive output. Seems obvious, but isn’t to everyone I guess.

The Globe will have other writers write about sports media when needed. Media columnist Steve Ladurantaye already writes about sports media from time to time, while soccer columnist John Doyle has written about Fox Soccer Report and (the lack of) beIN Sport in Canada. While it is sad to see the last regular sports media in a mainstream paper, it wasn’t the same since Bill Houston retired and the Star axed Chris Zelkovich’s column anyway.

53 thoughts on “Onrait and O’Toole A Good Hire for Fox

  1. Re: Dowbiggin — And nothing of value was lost.

  2. Just had an idea: if The Score already has rights for some Fox 1 programming, think there’s a chance they’ll try and land rights to air the new O’Toole/Onrait show?

    • Why do you people want to hear bad jokes so much? You can tune into the Comedy Channel and hear much better ones. I think Dan O’Toole was a serious reporter until Jay Onrait came along and influenced him to make a mockery of sports.

      • Because its nice to have sports highlights taken a bit lightly.The same dry show is too normal in sports broadcasting.

      • The “schtick” of the hosts may be the only reason some still watch these outdated Sports Centre or Connected type of shows. I think it’s been at least ten years since I stopped watching them. They’re an extended version of the sports segments on 1970s local TV newscasts with the “Anchor Man” guy in a plaid jacket. Surely most people have one or two teams or sports they follow, right? The internet and smartphones have given us better and more specific sources of information and on-demand video clips. Who wants to wait for 11 pm to sit through maybe a half hour of stuff you don’t care about, until the minute or two you do want to see, if they show it at all?

  3. Hopefully with theScore being under Rogers now, Martine Gaillard and Greg Sansone are reunited. They were Onrait and O’Toole before Onrait and O’Toole and weren’t as forced.

  4. I am pretty sure I have seen that SPEED Network will be rebranded Fox Sports 1. Whether the same thing happens in Canada (and if there is a God, it will happen), I have no idea. Good get for Fox though to acquire O&O. There are enough ESPN-haters out there that FS1 will get at least a foothold into the sports highlight show landscape and having Onrait & O’Toole will only help there.

    As for The Score (or theScore I guess), it will be very interesting to see where they go. The talent that moved from there to other networks made it so some on-air talent got chances that may not have been ready. However, some of the on-air talent (Sansone comes to mind) definitely deserve a shot on the soon-to-be-rebranded theScore or on SN or SN1. Then again, I have a feeling Rogers may want to protect some of the current Sportsnet people and only poach who they believe they can use in the future and discard the rest (for lack of a better term).

    • Sansone has arguably made it as big as anyone else from theScore. He has had an executive job with the network for a few years now. Not sure if he’ll keep this with Rogers or not, but I thought he did great at getting different programming with the limited resources he had at theScore.

      SPEED is rebranding as Fox Sports 1. What is unknown is whether it will still be allowed to broadcast in Canada since it will directly compete with TSN and Sportsnet.

      • True. Other than (arguably) Friedman, Kouleas, Micallef & Seixeiro (recently), and Gaillard, I don’t see anyone who was more popular or more important to theScore than Greg Sansone.

        I sincerely hope FS1 gets a chance to broadcast in Canada. Then again, if somehow Sportsnet (or theScore) gets a fair amount of programming from FS1 (NCAA football (especially) plus NCAA hoops, NASCAR, and MLB)) then there may be no reason to have it here. Then again, O’Toole & Onrait in the morning compared to anything the other networks put out there now may be worth it.

        • Between SN1 and theScore mostly all of FX’s football (which is what FS1 will have) was on here. I’d guess theScore will have Big East hoops. TSN has every NASCAR race, but I guess practice/qualifying would be another issue. After SPEED lost F1 they added practice though, so maybe they’d do the same for NASCAR. I’d think Sportsnet will show many of FS1’s MLB games too since they are in an exclusive timeslot.

          • Plus theScore had all the Thursday night ESPN NCAA football games (plus some weekend NCAA hoops through ESPN as well). It’s not like we are talking about adding ESPN (and the Deuce, and the U, and even the Ocho….I love that movie) here where the amount of net new programming would be enormous. Adding FS1 to the lineup doesn’t do a whole lot for Canadian sports on TV except for that morning highlight show portion.

            • And I sort of figure someone (theScore?) will have the Regis show.

              theScore sub-licenses Thursday night games from TSN I believe, so I’m not sure that arrangement will continue. Then again Rogers sub-licenses the rest for the Super Sports Pak.

              • Does this mean these games end up on TSN2?

                Also, a very interesting point about the Super Sports Pak. I have just recently moved over to Bell (long story) but, and I know this is a bit off-topic, how does the coverage between Rogers and Bell in their premium sports channels differ? For example, since I love college football, is there a huge difference between Rogers and Bell or just a slight difference in games shown?

                • Not necessarily. I understand TSN2 can show any ESPN college football game, and so far they’ve only chosen to show 1 on a Saturday, some weeks. They could end up in the PPV packs, or stay on theScore. Remmeber TSN2 has TNT’s NBA games on Thursdays.

                  I think Bell’s NCAA package offers almost the exact same games as Rogers does.

                  • I know the lack of college football on TSN and TSN2 is due to the fact that the ratings don’t usually match that of other sports that aren’t one of the four major leagues (i.e. tennis, NASCAR, curling, etc.). I guess it may become a moot point as I had forgot that FS1 is planning on Thursday night games every week as well. So Sportsnet/SN1/theScore could pick those up seamlessly instead of the ESPN Thursday night telecasts. Then again, if I get Bell’s college football/basketball pack then it won’t matter to me. :)

                    • One thing I absolutely despise about Sportsnet’s NCAAFB coverage is that they tend to show games that are already appearing on one of the major US networks. What’s the point in that? And FYI Mike, Bell Fibe still doesn’t offer a US College sports pack (satelite does).

                    • The reply link doesn’t show up under your message Chuck. I do hate Sportsnet’s “coverage” of NCAA football. For the most part? Atrocious. Hopefully it changes with theScore.

                      Also, I signed up for Bell recently and I was told that the package will be coming to Fibe soon (I assume before the start of the season….correction, I HOPE before the start of the season).

  5. Has anyone else noticed how much WORSE the Globe’s website has become since they put up the stupid paywall?
    Seems to me like a lot of the writers aren’t even trying anymore (i.e. Robert McLeod’s “stats” article last week on the Blue Jays’ playoff chances based solely on SportsClubStats.com and not, you know, real statistics) and their comment sections are horrible. A lot of the thoughtful posters are long gone and all that remains are the trolls or the completely clueless.
    Canning Doughboy was a good first step but they have a very long way to go before it’s worth $20/month in my books.

    • The thing I hate is that I can never find articles on it I want to read, even if I know the writer. It’s like they’ve completely removed the columnist pages that listed all articles by each writer.

  6. Sports media columns were a big part of Sun newspapers for many years (I did one in the Ottawa Sun for 14 years and later a daily blog. The Toronto Sun’s ran even longer with various people doing it). But they’ve all gone by the wayside over time and it’s too bad, yet another victim of Quebecor’s seemingly endless newsroom cuts. In today’s day and age, with the way the media world has exploded (and viewer choice along with it), I feel it’s more needed than ever. Fortunately, blogs such as this one have picked up the torch and continue to provide a necessary outlet for sports viewers. Steve Ladurantaye at the Globe also does an outstanding job in this area. He’s a must follow for me.

    • Agreed. The few columns Steve does on sports media are better than all Dowbiggin columns put together IMO (I know that’s probably not saying much, but he’s a great writer).

    • Hey Mr. Brodie,

      I remember your sports media columns very well. They started on Saturday’s when the Ottawa Sun began publishing seven days a week and then they moved to Friday’s. I miss your columns a lot because they were excellent and very informative.

    • I remember reading your stuff on sports media, and I used to read your blog regularly (like this one now), I really enjoyed reading your work.

  7. Bell and Rogers are going to have to make some decision eventually on the Speed/Fox Sports 1 situation. Doing nothing and allowing the channel to continue to be available in Canada after its August 17 programming format and name change might potentially allow Fox Sports to acquire Canadian TV rights to major sports without having to follow the CRTC licensing rules regarding Canadian content and ownership that restrict TSN and Sportsnet. NBC Sports and ESPN then might also want to be allowed in if Fox Sports stays. And I’d assume TSN may not be happy about the possibility of Canadian viewers following the two former TSN personalities to the Fox channel.

    It’s been more than a year since the story first arose that Fox was planning to reformat Speed to take on ESPN.


    While Bell’s purchase of Astral has left them at or near their limit for controlling the TV market in Canada, would it have been all that difficult for Rogers to have had the foresight to start planning to create their own Rogers MotorSportsnet to replace SpeedTV on Rogers cable and other systems in Canada? They would just have needed to produce a minimal amount of their own magazine or news type shows and cover some racing in Canada, and fill the rest of the time with racing that already gets shown in the U.S. and in Europe on Motors TV.

    • I don’t think FOX will buy Canadian programming rights in Canada since they can’t/don’t sell ads here. SPEED never bought Canadian rights to F1 and NASCAR anyway. You are right though, this could cause problems if it is still on the dial come August 17.

      I’m not sure that a racing TV station would actually work in Canada honestly. There’s a reason why SPEED was allowed in instead of a Canadian owner launching their own version.

      • Speed (or Speedvision as it was initially named) has been part of cable/satellite packages in Canada since 1997. Simply removing it without replacing it with another channel might lead to customers justifiably complaining unless the price of these packages is reduced. It opens up the possibility of easily sliding in a new channel to replace it and receive all the money each month that Speed/Fox has been getting for this channel in Canada, when otherwise it is now extremely difficult for any new channel to be placed into widely distributed channel packages.

        One possibility could be replacing Speed with Motors TV from Europe (and I think it may have separate English and French versions). But if you are Rogers, wouldn’t it have occurred to you to instead produce some very minimal amount of your own new shows in the Sportsnet facilities and fill the rest of the air time with much of the same programming as Motors TV, and get the money from the Canadian subscribers yourself instead of letting someone else do it?

        When the Canadian Association of Broadcasters wanted Spike TV, formerly The Nashville Network, to be removed from Canadian systems (although the CRTC eventually decided to allow it to stay because they judged it to not be directly competing with a Canadian channel), one argument that would also apply in this case is that the channel initially allowed into Canada, Speedvision, no longer exists since it has has changed its name, programming format, and ownership, so Fox Sports 1 is a completely new entity that must now apply to be allowed Canadian distribution.

        • Cable companies move channels around in packages all the time. If they were to do anything, some could easily slide a channel like GolTV or NBA TV into a higher package. I don’t think a new channel would be launched simply because cable providers are losing a channel. Especially one that won’t have things like NASCAR that drive Speed’s ratings. You’re making a big assumption that there’s actually demand for Motors TV. There isn’t much of a history of European channels being carried in Canada.

          • I’ve read that as of last year, Motors TV had reached 23 million subscribers and was still growing. I think some of the “stick and ball” (to use Erik Tomas’s phrase) type of sports people may be underestimating the popularity of motorsports and Speed. While Fox is hoping — perhaps being overly optimistic — to make more money by taking on ESPN, Speed was not a failure, in spite of the incorrect assumptions some writers have recently made. Speed became one of the most successful and fastest growing niche channels when it started, and it was on Rogers analogue cable for several years here in the Toronto area. After Fox bought the channel they gradually started moving away from most racing except Nascar, and it turned off many viewers, and the Fox switch was also somewhat prompted by them losing U.S. F1 TV rights.

            Obviously a motorsports channel would never draw ratings like TSN, but maybe the best comparison is to the Golf Channel. Most of the big golf events are on other channels, and you don’t watch the channel at all if you have no interest in golf. But there’s enough viewers to make having a Golf Channel worthwhile, and it attracts cable subscribers who are golf fans and not satisfied with the general sports channels. And BTW, Rogers removed the Golf Channel from analogue service first, I think at least several months before they did the same with Speed.

            • True, but Golf Channel is American, so I don’t think you can compare to a Rogers-owned service. And like I said, I’ll believe in a European English-language channel getting carriage in Canada when I see it.

              • Have you looked at the CRTC list of allowed non-Canadian channels?


                There are a lot of channels on it from places other than the U.S., and some are English-language, including Eurosport News, although I don’t think anyone actually carries it here. I don’t know what technical problems may be involved, how long it may take to apply and be approved, or even if Motors TV is interested in attempting to provide a Canadian feed, but it doesn’t appear to be all that difficult to get added to the list if they want in, and their application gets supported by just one Canadian provider. It’s the same way that Speed and the Golf Channel got into Canada, and from what I can see it makes no diference in the CRTC process if the channel is based in the U.S. or somewhere else outside of Canada. Likely the only type of objection that could stop it would be a Canadian broadcaster claiming they intend to start their own channel with the same programming format.

            • I think the plan for quite a while was that Speed would become Fox’s new national sports channel which is why I suspect they didn’t make more of an effort to keep Formula 1 rights. Plus from what I’ve read elsewhere it’s not a coincidence that a number of the non-NASCAR (or general motorsports) personalities that appear on Speed were/are only signed to contracts through about 2012-2013. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bob Varsha move to NBC next year and take over the F1 seat which will allow Leigh Diffey to focus on IndyCar duties.

  8. Has anyone ever done less with more than Bruce Dowbiggin?

    He had the entire Canadian sports media analysis market essentially all to himself for several years. Instead of picking up the torch from the excellent Bill Houston, Bruce wrote self-indulgent crap that rarely provided actual analysis of sports media. Given the gigantic shifts in the industry over the last several years, anyone with a modicum of talent + drive could have done great things with that column.

    Glad to see that the Globe came to their senses. I hope they devote more space to media analysis going forward. In today’s convergence era a clear voice is needed more than ever.

  9. First of all, good riddance to Dowbiggin. A terrible writer who would not correct his information even after many people commented about the errors.

    Secondly, CHEX should televise the beginning of the Kings-Bues game five. It is disappointing that this has not been confirmed by the CBC and CHEX. The Peterborough station has done this before with other game conflicts.

  10. Maybe theScore could be like an ESPNU channel with a focus on more CIS sports and some of the amateur sports shown on CBC and Sportsnet. In fact, I expect SN to dump most of there world cup skiing and other olympic sport coverage on thescore to match up with their plan to create the Sportsnet Winter Games.

    • I think Sportsnet Winter Games has been scrapped since the CRTC decided it doesn’t qualify for the tangible benefits package.

    • One thing I would like to see theScore do is perhaps acquire the TV rights for the National Basketball League of Canada while focusing on the CIS and amateur sports and have the winter Olympic sports. Makes sense since Rogers is a primary sponsor of the Halifax Rainmen, Saint John Mill Rats, Moncton Miracles, and likely the Mississauga (formerly Oshawa) Power. Basketball holds tremendous upside there in Canada, and it would fit into whatever CTRC indigenous Canadian sports content it possibly requires.

  11. Fox Sports Live Just Might Be Better Than SportsCenter

  12. Sportsnet is doing everything right at the moment. They’re really taking pages out of ESPN’s book, with the flashy new set and graphics, the magazine, and an increasing number of channels and platforms. The thing that I like about connected is that the set isn’t just one desk like sportscentre, and the anchors do stand ups for some features. SportsCentre is just the same, boring, two people talking at a desk every show.

    • What will make or break how far sportsnet goes is whether or not they get the NHL rights that are coming up. The extra network means they are totally built to go all in on 1 or both packages. If they get them alot of personalities comeover and they may catch tsn. Not mention the much wider multi-platform media company they have become to promote such an aquisition. You build it they will come.

  13. I would be shocked if FS1 is allowed in canada mainly based on the fact that much of their live programming such as MLB, Nascar and NCAA is already picked up by canadian networks in which case if it was allowed those broadcasts would likely be blacked out similar to TNF on NFL-Network.

    Secondly I believe Greg Sansone will likely play some sort of on-air role on SN he is as good or better than most of their current on-air personalities. I also hope Sharman and KJ get a chance in the soccer central studio alongside dobson and forrest, two more very educated opinions will totally save that show.

    I also believe thescore will become the home of amateur sports but not as a “dumping ground” but more of a building block. The interest in OUA football in ontario has grown exponentially since university rush began. Formerly empty stadiums are now nearly full (for top schools anyway). More exposure of amateur/olympic sports and CIS is only beneficial for them and the country to inspire more young athletes. Think when ESPN highly invested in NCAA fb and bb……it took off. This could end up similar.

    • I think also if FS1 is allowed in, what would be the reason to keep something like NBC Sports Network out? As long as many of FS1’s live content (NCAA FB, MLB, NASCAR, etc.) ends up on Sportsnet/SN1/theScore then I would be happier with that.

      Sansone might be one of the very few current Score personalities I would even allow on SN shows. I think it would be very interested to see Sharman and Jack paired with Dobson and Forrest (either that or have them present other Premier League highlights and other soccer highlights in a separate segment). Again, they would be a case of too good of a talent not to use in some capacity.

      I think having theScore be the home of CIS, NCAA, other amateur/Olympic sports would be great except for possible limitations on live programming. It will be very interesting to see which way Sportsnet goes with basically a whole new channel at their disposal.

      • I still feel like Sansone’s job may be behind the scenes.

        Sharman is already doing Fox Soccer Tonight (which is another issue with Fox Soccer closing at the end of August). I’m not even sure KJ knows what he’s doing yet, but I think he’d fit well with Gerry and Craig.

  14. Speed has jettisoned or lost most of its major motorsports properties the last couple of years anyway. SpeedCenter and Wind Tunnel which I would usually make a habit of watching have been cut back, F1 Debrief was good but it disappeared when they lost F1 to NBC. The only things left I make a point of watching are the Rolex Sports Cars and Barrett Jackson auctions. I also like the Australian V8 Supercars but they don’t seem to air at consistent times. I’ll casually watch NASCAR stuff but I’m not a avid follower like I am with F1. Hopefully Canadians still have a way of watching some of this programming though when Speed disappears.
    Kind of off topic but if FS1 is going to be based in Los Angeles, what will they do with Speed’s facilities in Charlotte? Weren’t they constructed for Speed back around 2002 after Fox bought SpeedVision and moved them from Stamford CT.

  15. Hey, @nationscapital and @ChrisS … thanks for your kinds words about my former column with the Sun. It was one of the most enjoyable things I did during my years there and people like you were a big reason why. Have always had a fascination with the TV business which is why — as I mentioned earlier — I’m glad blogs like this one exist. The interest I see from readers here also reinforces my belief that newspapers (in Canada, at least) dropped the ball by turning their backs on this genre. Tons of people watch sports on TV and we all have opinions about what we see. Neither is changing.

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