EDIT!! I forgot to include one news item. This is why you shouldn’t blog at six in the morning. See point below.
• It is becoming more and more common to see bloggers slowly moving their way up in the digital world, from no-names living in their parents’ basement to B-list television stars. The biggest Canadian names to make this transition happened last week when The Basketball Jones finally broke their summer silence and announced they have joined NBA TV in Atlanta under the new name of The Starters. I became a fan way back when J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas were filming daily podcasts in their apartment (even before that, it was audio only). Along with producers JD and Matt Osten, they joined The Score in 2010 where their daily videos were professionally filmed/produced and they co-hosted Court Surfing each week. Along the way, Trey Kirby joined them from Yahoo Sports and Score employee Leigh Ellis made up the sixth member. With Rogers buying The Score, their future seemed up in the air and hence the move to greener pastures occurred. Here’s the video announcement from the NBA on TNT crew:
• If you’re a Buffalo Sabres fan and happen to live within 50 miles of the city, Bell TV has some good news for you as they will show 50 games during the regular season on a free specialty “Sabres TV” channel on both Bell Fibe and Bell Satellite. The 50-mile radius is from Fort Erie and Niagara to Stoney Creek just south of Hamilton. I’m sure all the folks in Windsor would love to see a similar deal made with the Detroit Red Wings, which has a much larger fan base on this side of the border than Buffalo.
• Bell has also made a deal with the NBA that will allow Bell customers to watch new weekly NBA content on their phones and tablets, featuring player profiles, rookie features and courtside content; and Bell Mobile TV will have daily NBA highlights during the regular season and playoffs. Sadly, there is no mention of NBA League Pass finally being available to Bell customers, which I’m sure NBA fans would rather have than the new lame options listed.
• Fox Sports in the US have acquired the rights to the German Bundesliga and DFL-Cup competitions beginning in the 2015-16 season. GolTV in the US and Canada are both the current rights holders, so this change down south could also see a change of rights holders in Canada (hopefully going to Sportsnet and not beIN Sport), and will turn GolTV Canada into an even sadder and more pathetic channel than it currently is.
• In a sign of how bad the Canadian men’s soccer team currently is, their international friendly against Australia (in England) at 3pm ET today (Tuesday) will be streamed live on sportsnet.ca and replayed on Sportsnet 360 at Midnight ET. France/Finland, Spain/Georgia, and England/Poland are showing on the Sportsnet family of channels, and I don’t doubt that all three could garner better ratings than the CMNT match.
• For those missing watching former Sportscentre anchor Jay Onrait on their screens every night (though it appears Fox Sports Live is doing a pretty good job of posting highlights of Jay and Dan most nights), Onrait has a new book coming out next month which should tide you over. Anchorboy: True Tales From The World of Sportscasting is currently available for pre-order from HarperCollins Canada and will no doubt be a hilarious read… presuming you’re a fan of that type of humour.
• And finally, Sportsnet continues to piss off two fan bases. Firstly, college football fans by showing duplicate programming on Sportsnet One and SN 360 on Thursday nights instead of the NCAA game of the night, as well as removing Saturday night games from their schedule at the last minute. SN spouted about their extensive NCAA coverage after picking up ESPN’s College Game Day, but have failed miserably so far. TSN on the other hand, after getting off to a slow start, showed more games this past weekend than SN has all season.
SN also is making viewers’ eyes and ears bleed for another MLB post-season as they subject us to the awful MLB International feed for the NLCS series instead of TBS as we endure the ramblings of the always-terrible Rick Sutcliffe. Combined with the graphics and production values of an early 90s high school broadcast, it’s almost enough to make you want to find an illegal stream online. SN even knows how bad it is as they use the TBS feed when showing highlights during the game.