Canada Day Weekend Brings in New Era for Canadian Sports

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.

16 thoughts on “Canada Day Weekend Brings in New Era for Canadian Sports

  1. Welcome back Josh!

  2. Great to see that you are back Josh! We missed you!

  3. What’s going to happen to the Score mobile app?

    • Nothing. The Score’s digital properties (apps, blogs, etc) are now a separate company and have nothing to do with Sportsnet.

  4. Fox one sports will be trying to boost such a highlight sports center ESPN Show on the now brnded Fox 1 sports as NBC SN has taken some thunder away from Fox Sports Networks with its full NHL schedule that is also combined with Comcast Sportsnet regional networks being part of the NBC sports family showing major pro sports teams in big sports markets, New England, Chicago, Northwest US, Philly etc.
    They will bring along with them also a promise to continue to show CFL highlights and storylines. Hopefully it is something that Fox will embrace

    • “They will bring along with them also a promise to continue to show CFL highlights and storylines. Hopefully it is something that Fox will embrace”

      I would be really surprised if Fox Sports One shows any highlights & storylines from the CFL. You can correct me if I’m wrong, though I don’t believe that I have ever heard discussion about the CFL on Fox Sports Radio for example.

      • Does Sportscenter have any CFL highlights or stories outside of the Grey Cup? I know they have a few games on ESPN2 to fill in the summer gaps but I’d still be suprised if it makes the news shows.

      • although what you said is true these two guys have been brought in from TSN Canada’s version of ESPN Sports Centre. They may have already asked for such a small favor being a 2 minute highlight segment once a week to connect with there roots

        • Did they actually promise this anywhere? Or is this some serious wishful thinking on your part?

          • It was actually a comment that Rod Pederson made on the Sports Cage as something these two guys said they would do while they were at a Rider function.
            Now whether Fox gives them the time to do this who knows but they are Big CFL fans so it could be something that can be part of their routine of sports that are off the beaten path in the US.

            Now this next statementis my opinion. Fox has a sports Network that is specific for Soccer and at this time of year in is mostly filled with Re Runs of Europa Soccer league and EPL league with the Euro schedule being different. Showing Live CFL football games there could not hurt any.
            I do not know what there swchedule if like on that Network for friday nights in the Fall but CFL football is getting some good ratings but both ESPN and NBC SN limit there coverage come the fall US season. So there would be room for a network to show the marquee Friday Night CFL football game. Thursday nights has NFL action and on ESPN NCAA action on Friday night ESPN continues with College football action and NBC SN switches to friday nights as its main night for MLS. So a slot for a network with availble air space on a friday night could make this a nice fit.
            I could be going too far but they could rebrand the Network and call it Fox International Football Network

            • Except that the CFL doesn’t at all fit in with the identity or brand of that station. Other than sharing the name “football” the two sports are nothing alike and wouldn’t have much overlap of fans.

              Oh, and the station is scheduled to be shut down at the end of summer. The soccer content is being merged into FS1 when it launches.

            • Fox Soccer is being shutdown at the end of August and turned into FXX. Any programming that featured on Fox Soccer will be moved to Fox Sports 1.

  5. Hey, I just got a response from Bell about Speed TV as of 08/17/13 from their Facebook page and here is what they told me:

    “Bell Canada Hi Frank – just received word that Speed TV will only be re-branding in the States and will remain unchanged in Canada. Thanks for inquiring!”

    Does that mean we will be getting the Australia feed? I don’t think Fox would create a separate feed only for Canada.

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