Its rare that there is a weekend that brings noticeable change across two different broadcasting corporations in one weekend; however, this weekend is one of the biggest for Canadian sports broadcasting in recent memory. Tonight is Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole’s last as the hosts of TSN’s SportsCentre before they begin at Fox Sports 1 in August. theScore defined “different” for sports viewers since it launched in May, 1996 as Headline Sports. And while it become more generic under the Sportsnet brand, it will maintain the flagship programming it is known for.
First for Onrait and O’Toole. They followed The Score’s duos of Martine Gaillard and Greg Sansone, and Sid Seixeiro and Tim Micallef as the popular faces of sports broadcasting in Canada, putting TSN firmly at the top of the pack for sports highlights. Their last broadcast is at 1am ET tonight, with encores continuing until 7am ET Saturday morning. The last encore will air at noon Eastern Saturday afternoon on TSN2. I wrote an article on their departure when it was announced in May. Read it for more information on their move to Fox Sports. Their move leaves a big gap in Canadian sports broadcasting. Who will fill the hole left by Jay and Dan? Surely someone will just as they did when the last episode of Score Tonight aired four years ago.
Speaking of theScore, it will rebrand as Sportsnet 360 on Canada Day with a live broadcast of the Tigers @ Blue Jays game at 12:30pm Eastern. Following the game of the first episode of Jays Xpress, a new Monday-Friday Jays post-game show, will air. The flagship WWE show, Raw, will also air on SN360’s launch day. Of note all UFC programming will now air on SN360 in Canada, including The Ultimate Fighter, which previously aired on FX. Wednesday (The Ultimate Fighter and other taped programs) and Saturdays (live broadcasts) are main nights for UFC on SN360. WWE will continue to air on Mondays and Fridays. SN360 will also air Toronto FC matches, FIBA basketball tournaments, NCAA hoops and football and all CIS events including the men’s hockey championship and Vanier Cup.