Post-Long Weekend News and Notes

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 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.

23 thoughts on “Post-Long Weekend News and Notes

  1. Hopefully we will finally get the Bundesliga in HD. What do you think is more likely, Fox Sports opening up a channel in Canada to show the games or they leasing the rights out to a current station like Sportsnet? I’m hoping we get something like how Sportsnet does with EPL and Champions league i.e. multiple games on overflow channels and online content to watch games delayed.

    • I don’t see Fox Sports ever opening up a channel in Canada. If beIN can’t get it, I doubt Fox will be able to. I’m sure Fox only purchased US rights, not North American, so I can only presume the Canadian rights will be up for grabs also as I doubt GolTV will be a channel for much longer.

      • The release said they bought the rights for all countries in North and Latin America, most of Asia, and some European nations. So Fox has the rights for the Bundesliga in Canada from the 2015-2016 season.

        I’m guessing they can resell the rights to a Canadian station then? If GolTV doesn’t exist anymore it just leaves Sportsnet or TSN both of which have the EPL currently for Sat/Sun. Where will the Bundesliga fit? I definitely hope what happened with La Liga and Seria A in Canada doesn’t happen to the Bundesliga as well.

        • So it does, I completely missed that. Thanks. No doubt they will try to sell them as they have no way of showing them in Canada, unless, heaven forbid, we get another beIN Sport situation on our hands.

  2. I thought I heard something about a lot of people in that Niagara region with cable (not Bell TV) being annoyed because they could now no longer see Buffalo Sabres games on the NHL Centre Ice package they had paid for.

    The last thing I saw about Canada’s FIFA World ranking was that it had dropped to 106, lowest since the system had began.

    Surely there must be some kind of changes coming in the next year or two for Gol TV Canada and possibly the other MLSE-owned TV channels? Rogers owns 37.5% of MLSE, yet still does not carry the available HD version of Gol TV Canada. The general trend for television, certainly in the US and to some extent in Canada although CRTC regulations somewhat restrict it, is a move away from the specialized niche channels towards channels that have a broader general audience. It makes sense because of the internet having become a way to see the more obscure and specialized things. And with the government in Canada making noise about forcing the TV providers to give us a more “pick and pay” system, it would seem unavoidable that some of the more obscure niche channels may fall away and some consolidation would occur. And it would also provide them with an excuse to greatly increase what they charge us for the remaining channels, particularly the sports channels that have some of the few remaining TV events people want to watch live.

    • NBA TV Canada seems to be the only MLSE-owned channel worth keeping around. Sure, it’s a sad and lame version compared to the US version, but it at least shows other games from around the league (since it was rebranded from Raptors TV anyway). Leafs TV is barely worth having during the season, even if you’re a Leafs fan, with only a smattering of games shown live. GolTV no longer shows live TFC games, just whatever random game GolTV USA also shows.

      • Leafs TV allegedly has more subscribers and brings in more money than the other MLSE channels. It will be interesting to see what happens to these MLSE channels once their contracts expire. If it could make money, you’d think they would want to keep one MLSE channel (or maybe two — one regional and one national) going in some form, and there should be enough content for it. But they said any plans for a mainstream general ‘Real Sports’ MLSE channel were canceled when the Bell and Rogers purchase happened.
        If Bell and Rogers are going to split the regional TV rights as they’ve said they will (and have already done with radio rights), presumably Bell will have to create a new Ontario regional TSN channel to be their equivalent of Rogers Sportsnet Ontario.

  3. I spouted off about the same thing on my blog and Twitter feed about the college football situation on Sportsnet. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to cover their so-called “robust coverage” of NCAA football. They obviously have a raging hard-on for baseball there. Which is fine but then don’t put college football on the schedule and then change it to baseball at the last minute. At first it pissed me off; now I just expect it from them.

  4. What is exactly IS the reason for Sportsnet using the International feed for the NLCS instead of TBS?

  5. Great news about the Bundesliga, it’s just too bad that I have to wait one more season. I hope sportsnet pick up the right as they already show DFB Pokal. Sportsnet got the right to Argentina Premier league so GolTV Canada will have to change their name to Toronto FC TV!!!

    I live in Niagara Falls but I dont watch any NFL, nonetheless I recommend everyone to come down and see the Buffallo Sabres game as I did 7 years ago, wow Americans love their football. The best part is the barbeque and beer before the game lol.

  6. And in other weekend news, the NFL and their Prada tv arms showed there are truly a League of Denial with nary a mention of the elephant on the field.

  7. good post! hope to see more like this in the future

  8. Here are the most-watched shows from last weekend, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings.

    1. NHL, Oilers at Leafs, Saturday, CBC: 2,258,000

    2. NHL, Habs at Canucks, Saturday, CBC: 1,374,000

    3. CFL. Argos at Ticats, Monday, TSN: 956,000

    4. CFL, Eskimos at Riders, Saturday, TSN: 778,000

    5. NFL, 1 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 712,000

    6. CFL, Bombers at Alouettes, Monday, TSN: 686,000

    7. CFL, Lions at Stamps, Friday, TSN: 659,000

    8. NFL, Colts at Chargers, Monday, TSN: 545,000

    9. MLB, Tigers at Red Sox, Sunday, Sportsnet: 509,000 (Fox ratings not calculated)

    10. NFL, Redskins at Cowboys, Sunday, TSN: 455,000 (NBC ratings not calculated)

    11. MLB, Dodgers at Cardinals, Friday, Sportsnet: 317,000

    12. NFL, 4 p.m. games, Sportsnet: 292,000

    13. MLB, Dodgers at Cardinals, Saturday, Sportsnet: 285,000

    14. MLB, Tigers at Red Sox, Saturday, Sporsnet: 278,000 (Fox ratings not calculated)

    15. Soccer, England vs. Montenegro, Saturday, Sportsnet: 167,000

  9. Sportsnet is going to annoy its viewers even more. With the baseball post-season, they are going to air Thursday Night Football 3 weeks in a row (at least) on SN360, with its annoying bottom ticker. I have no idea why they do not just do that on SN1.

    • I don’t mind the Thursday Night Football games next week and Halloween night airing on SN360. Even though they have the ticker running on the bottom of the screen 24/7/365, at least I get to see those games. When I choose a provider (Rogers, Bell or Shaw Direct) before this year is over, it won’t be a problem for me regardless. I only have Rogers analog at the moment.

    • that is pretty rich commentary given that NFL telecasts are the most graphic intensive sports telecasts. and on Sunday telecasts, Fox & CBS have a ticker running non-stop.

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