… 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 NHL.com and Sportsnet.ca 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 CanadaSoccer.com.
… 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.
- CBC ‘handcuffs’ itself with decision to air Rogers’ NHL playoff games
- Hockey ratings are down, but Sportsnet is up
- Toronto’s The Fan struggles with Dean Blundell’s new morning show
- Rogers chided for lack of representation on baseball broadcast team
— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV