News & Notes: Keith Pelley, NHL Draft Lottery, Ratings, Formula 1, NASL, TNA Wrestling

… Rogers Media President Keith Pelley announced he was leaving the telecommunications giant to become commissioner and CEO of the European golf tour. Pelley was the main man behind Rogers securing their 12-year broadcast deal with the NHL. While Pelley has a history of only holding down the same job for a few years at a time, many people wonder whether the underperforming NHL deal has anything to do with his move. Granted, it is only year one of the deal, but Rogers have seen ratings and profits drop from last season, strong audience backlash, as well as revenue from the deal not likely to meet pre-season expectations.

… The NHL Draft Lottery goes tonight, but don’t expect to be able to watch any of the “exciting” action. In the past few years when TSN held the rights, the lottery has been shown in prime-time on a slow playoff night and had a couple hours dedicated to it. No more. Tonight, you’ll get an in-studio interview with top prospects Connor McDavid, Noah Hanifin and Dylan Strome during Hockey Central on CBC at 7:30pm ET and then just before the beginning of the Penguins-Rangers at 8pm ET, the results will be announced live in the Hockey Central studio. That’s it. Video of the live draw will be available online at and once the draw has been completed.

… Game one of the Habs-Sens series gave Rogers a huge ratings number of 3.02 millions viewers on CBC while TVA Sports got 1.37 million for a total Canadian average audience of 4.39 million, while 9.4 million of us watched at least part of the game. The Canucks-Flames game one also on Wednesday night attracted an average audience of 1.98 million.

… The Toronto Blue Jays are back for another season and their season opener got an average audience of 777,000 – the most-watched away opener ever for Sportsnet. The Jays home opener on Monday night was a solid 1.22 million, making it the second highest watched sporting event of the week… Numbers for the final round of The Masters were up in the U.S. and here. Global got 1.19 million viewers watching Jordan Spieth take the green jacket last Sunday.

… TSN’s Formula 1 coverage has been terrible for a number of years now, mostly due to very little coverage of pre- or post-race activities. Now they have done something slightly to improve this, adding the BBC pre-race grid walk before select races this season, hosted by David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan. Sadly, the remaining races not covered by BBC will have zero build-up. The grid walk will feature at the following grand prix races: Bahrain (April 19), Canada (June 7), Great Britain (July 5), Hungary (July 26), Belgium (Aug. 23), Japan (Sept. 27), Russia (Oct. 11), Brazil (Nov. 15), Abu Dhabi (Nov. 29). Yes, TSN will be taking pre-race coverage from England for a grand prix held in their own backyard. Pathetic, really.

… TSN will have coverage on Monday of the Boston Marathon. Action begins at 9:30am ET on TSN2.

… If you’re a fan of lower league soccer in North America, a new television deal announced by NASL (North American Soccer League) a few weeks back should have you somewhat happy — all games are being streamed live online this season. Ottawa Fury games will stream live on their website while FC Edmonton games will be available online on CityTV Edmonton’s website. All matches featuring U.S. teams will be available via TSN GO. Both legs between these teams on April 22 and 29 as part of the Amway Canadian Championship will be streamed at

… Fight Network has added TNA Impact wrestling programming to its schedule beginning the first week of April. TNA’s flagship program IMPACT will screen Fridays at 9pm ET while premiering on Saturday nights at 11pm ET is TNA Xplosion, featuring exclusive matches, recaps and historical matches. Other TNA specialty programming will also be broadcast as part of the multi-year agreement.


— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

17 thoughts on “News & Notes: Keith Pelley, NHL Draft Lottery, Ratings, Formula 1, NASL, TNA Wrestling

  1. Does anyone know who has the rights in Canada and if they are going to show the IPL(Indian Premier League)? Rogers held it the past few years but they messed up the coverage as usual. Thanks

  2. I still dont understand why there are 2 soccer professional leagues below MLS. Might be better to join NASL & USL Pro.

  3. “Yes, TSN will be taking pre-race coverage from England for a grand prix held in their own backyard. Pathetic, really.”

    Is it pathetic that NBCSN has used TSN for its NHL draft coverage each year or is it smart and a good use of resources since TSN’s coverage was elite and impossible to beat for quality and talent?

    • Yes it is pathetic since TSN and other Cdn networks does this quite frequently across all types of sports held in Canada or where one of the teams is Cdn based while NBCSN does it selectively.

      • I want the best broadcast production with the most knowledgable talent possible even if it is foreign. I’d rather watch US production of NBA games than Canadian production for example.

        • production will be the same since the cameras used are 90% the same. While some US announcers are better, they can be tone deaf about the Canadian perspective. I will take a British announcer over Canadian for footy & F1 as I favour their style vs the fill the air at all costs with gabblededook of North America.

          • For most sports, less 20% cameras are the same. IE Rogers & NBC have their own trucks. But, ya I was referring to overall production which includes announcers, etc.

  4. Will Sportsnet produce all4 of the series in the next round? If so would it be safe to say the same broadcast crews will be used other than Ball/Garrett?

    • Pretty sure Rogers will be producing all 4 series in round 2.

      I would expect the winner of the Canucks/Flames who face the Ducks, will have Romanuk and Johnson on the call if its the Flames, but will retain Hughson/Simpson if the Canucks come back to win.

      I think the matchup between Blues/Wild vs Hawks/Preds will have Randorf and Galley on the call. Though there is a outside chance Cole/Millen will be shuffled to this series. It may depend on who it is again like the other series. So for example if its Wild/Preds i would suspect Cole/Millen to be sent to do this series. But a Blues/Hawks series would definitely have some appeal and thus Randorf/Galley will likely stay west.

      For the Habs/Sens winner, likely to be Montreal, if so, and the Flames are on to the 2nd round, I can see Hughson/Simpson, will join Healy for this series against the TB/Det winner. But again, if its the Canucks who move on, Romanuk and Johnson will stay east.

      For the Rags/Pens vs Isles/Caps series, I think it will be Cole/Millen. But if the central division final is “weak” that team then will go out there and Randorf/Galley will call this Metro matchup. If its NY vs NY though, i really really hope its Bob Cole doing the call because that would be epic.

      • I tend to think that Hughson/Simpson stay with the Flames and Romanuk/Johnson stay with the Habs/Sens into the next round. Sportsnet doesn’t really seem to have much of a hierarchy, so I don’t think Hughson/Simpson are guaranteed the ‘top’ series.

        Agree that Cole does the Rangers series and Randorf does the Blackhawks series likely, but I could see those crews flipped.

  5. Anyone know who is doing play by play and colour for the world’s?

  6. With no hockey tonight, one would assume Jays-Red Sox moves from One to the main Sportsnet channels tonight and tomorrow, with game 7 of DET-TB on CBC.

    • I dont understand why Montreal Impact’s final game wont be on the main four channels! How big should soccer get for media to start caring.

      Its the final game in front of a sold out crow of 61,000 in montreal and between 2 countries for the first time ever. Actually 3 countries will be watching, Canada, US and Mexico.

      • Well, the first leg was on Sportsnet World, where they used the Fox Sports feed (not complaining about the feed, the FS commentators beat anything SN has for soccer anymore), so even Sportsnet One is a step up. It’s also on free preview, so even more of a step up.

        I do agree that Sportsnet could have done a LOT more with the Impact’s run. They had an excellent opportunity to promote them nationally, as they’ve been promoted in the US, and perhaps snag regional English rights to them on the cheap to fill out their summer programming. But, given Sportsnet’s track record, I’m hardly surprised…

        Anyone happen to know if TSN will be taking over CONCACAF Champions League next year, to go along with their newly acquired UEFA properties? With the Whitecaps in that competition, TSN has a vested interest in promoting it properly, as TVA Sports had a vested interest in promoting it this year.

        • I seem to recall that SN signed a new deal with CONCACAF in the past couple of years, so I think that’s still going.

          Truthfully the CONCACAF CL would only work on SN World (or beIN, I suppose) with the exception of a few games featuring Canadian teams. Even MLS gets lower ratings than the Raptors and regional hockey.

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