Sportsnet Coverage of the 49th Vanier Cup

CISI’ve haven’t watched a CIS game in my life, so I figure rather than potential getting something wrong by typing up a post, I’d go for the safe option of just copying and pasting the press release below.

The other thing I wonder though is why Sportsnet is showing this on their four regional channels as well as 360. I understand CIS games have been on SN 360 all season, but surely people aren’t so stupid they would go to 360, see something that wasn’t the Vanier Cup (such as NCAA football, which Sportsnet seems to have forgotten all about lately, but I digress), and change to another sports network? Are they? I’m sure that’s the thinking anyway. Continue reading

The Vanier Cup: Friday on TSN

This Friday TSN will show live coverage of the 47th Vanier Cup from B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver. The game features the Quebec University Football League champion Laval Rouge et Or facing the Ontario University Athletics champion McMaster Marauders. Here is TSN’s press release.

With decisive victories this past weekend, the McMaster Marauders and Laval Rouge et Or head to BC Place in Vancouver for the highly-anticipated 2011 Vanier Cup. TSN’s live prime time coverage of the biggest football game in Canadian Interuniversity Sport touches down on Friday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

With the game being held at BC Place just before the 99th Grey Cup (airing Sunday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. ET on TSN), TSN’s special coverage of the 2011 Vanier Cup includes an overhead cable camera that gives fans the best possible views of the game and stadium. This marks the first time ever that an overhead cable camera will be used in a Vanier Cup broadcast.

Rod Black handles the play-by-play duties in the broadcast booth alongside analyst Duane Forde, while Lee Jones reports live from the field level. Rod Smith hosts the live coverage on-site from BC Place alongside analyst Mike Morreale, Saint Mary’s University Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah and University of Manitoba Bisons head coach Brian Dobie.

Vancouver’s Team 1410 will carry the 2011 Vanier Cup live locally and nationally online on, with Jim Mullin doing play-by-play, Jerome Erdman handling colour commentary and Moe Khan and Matt Baker reporting from the sidelines. Team 1410’s live broadcast of the game will also be available on TSN Radio 990 in Montreal.

As the #1-ranked team in CIS football this season and reigning national champion, the Laval Rouge et Or are competing for their record-setting seventh Vanier Cup title – all won in the past 13 years. The powerhouse football program defeated the #2-ranked Calgary Dinos 41-10 during last Friday’s Mitchell Bowl held on the Dinos’ home turf. With a perfect 6-0 record in the national finals, Laval hits the gridiron in Vancouver determined to walk away with the 2011 Vanier Cup title.

The #4-ranked McMaster Marauders toppled the #9-ranked Acadia Axemen 45-21 in last Friday’s Uteck Bowl held in Moncton, NB. Anchored by quarterback Kyle Quinlan and a dynamic offence, McMaster is on an incredible nine-game winning streak. Making their first Vanier Cup appearance since 1967, McMaster heads to BC Place in hopes of ending Laval’s dreams of making CIS football history.

It’s nice to see that TSN will use a completely separate on-air crew for the Vanier Cup, compared to the Grey Cup. Morreale, Sumarah and Dobie all have specific knowledge of university football. This should improve coverage from previous seasons, when the Vanier Cup was part of TSN’s Grey Cup Saturday broadcast, which resulted in more Grey Cup talk than Vanier Cup talk.

CIS Football Semifinals: Friday on TSN

I’m quite busy today; however, I do have time to post a couple press releases and the usual Thursday schedules.

Friday night playoff football continues on TSN with a CIS doubleheader featuring the UTECK BOWL and MITCHELL BOWL live and in prime time on Friday, Nov. 18. The UTECK BOWL featuring McMaster vs. Acadia airs live at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by Laval and Calgary squaring off in the MITCHELL BOWL live at 9:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be available live on TSN Mobile TV, and can also be viewed on-demand at following the live television broadcasts.

Rod Black calls the action for the UTECK BOWL alongside analyst Duane Forde and Paul Hollingsworth reporting from the sidelines. Rod Smith handles play-by-play duties for the MITCHELL BOWL, and is joined in the booth by analyst Mike Morreale and Lee Jones reporting from field level.

All of the action kicks off Friday with the UTECK BOWL, as the #4-ranked McMaster Marauders (9-1) take on the #9-ranked Acadia Axemen (8-1) at Moncton Stadium, marking the first-ever CIS semifinal played in New Brunswick. The Marauders are coming off a dominating 41-19 win on the road against #3-ranked Western in the Yates Cup final, while the Axemen ended the Saint Mary’s Huskies four-year championship run with a 39-20 win in last weekend’s Loney Bowl final.

Friday’s second CIS playoff match-up, the MITCHELL BOWL, features two of the country’s premier football programs with the #1-ranked Laval Rouge et Or (10-1) taking on the #2-ranked Calgary Dinos (9-1) at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. This marks the third time in four years that these two elite teams have met in the post-season. The Dinos have a 6-0 home record in 2011 and are undefeated in 12 straight games dating back to last season, while the Rouge et Or lead the country in fewest points allowed (12.0 ppg) for the fourth consecutive year.

The winners of Friday’s games will advance to the 2011 VANIER CUP at BC Place in Vancouver, airing live on TSN on Friday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET as part of GREY CUP WEEKEND.

2011 University Football TV Schedule

Just so I don’t forget to post this, and then be accused of an anti-CIS football bias, here is the 2011 CIS Football on theScore schedule. TheScore didn’t issue a press release, but Tim Micallef and DJ Bennett will call the action (at least until Micallef is signed by Rogers). Here is the schedule.

Between theScore and TSN, 14 CIS football games will air nationally on English language channels this year. Shaw will also distribute 9 Canada West games on their cable and satellite services. Radio-Canada will show 11 games for the LFUQ in Quebec. Those schedules are available in this post after the break.

Now here is the 2011 CIS football on theScore schedule; all times are ET.

Saturday 9/10, 1:00pm – Western @ McMaster
Saturday 9/17, 1:00pm – Guelph @ Toronto
Saturday 9/24, 1:00pm – McMaster @ Guelph
Saturday 10/1, 1:00pm – Ottawa @ Laurier
Saturday 10/15, 1:00pm – McMaster @ Laurier
Saturday 10/22, 1:00pm – Matchup TBA
Saturday 10/29, 1:00pm – OUA Quarterfinal
Saturday 11/5, 1:00pm – OUA Semifinal #1
Saturday 11/5, 4:30pm – OUA Semifinal #2
Saturday 11/12, 1:00pm – 104th Yates Cup

Continue reading

TSN To Air Vanier Cup For Next 3 Years

TSN has announced that it has signed a new broadcast deal with Canadian Interuniversity Sports to televise Canada university football over the next 3 seasons. As part of the agreement TSN will show the Vanier Cup (CIS Championship), Uteck Bowl and Mitchell Bowl (CIS semifinals), and the Hardy Cup (Canada West Championship game). TSN will continue Friday Night Football once the CFL season is done, showing the CIS games in November. The Hardy Cup will air on Friday November 11, the Uteck and Mitchell Bowls will air on Friday November 18 and the Vanier Cup will air on Friday November 25.

Here is a quote from Shawn Redmond, Vice President of Programming, TSN

CIS football has never been stronger, with solid programs established in schools across the country delivering some outstanding football. We are looking forward to working with the CIS in continuing to build the profile of the league by showcasing its championship game and star athletes with prime time coverage on TSN this fall.

And a quote from Peter Metuzals, Director of Marketing, Canadian Interuniversity Sport

CIS is extremely pleased to have our games broadcast on Friday night prime time, with the Vanier Cup broadcast from the same venue, and the same broadcaster as the Grey Cup. This is good for Canadian University football and a great opportunity for our fans, our players and the teams.

My first thoughts on this are that it is great for the CIS, TSN and Canadians in general. When the CIS games got shoved to Saturday afternoon, I usually didn’t bother watching. I’d prefer to watch NCAA football over CIS anytime. However, with the games on Friday night, it is possible I might watch them if I’m home (well actually, I might be at the Uteck Bowl, but regardless).

CFL Playoff Divisional Semifinal Ratings

TSN has released the  BBM Canada viewership numbers for this past weekend’s CFL Divisional Semifinal playoff games. An average of 1.1 million viewers tuned into the Battle of Ontario as the Toronto Argonauts beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at 1pm on Sunday. Then in the late game, which started at 4:30pm, an average of 2 million viewers tuned into the West Semifinal between the BC Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as the Riders won in a thrilling game that went to overtime. This makes the BC-Saskatchewan game the most watched CFL Division Semifinal in league history. The Toronto-Hamilton audience peaked at 2 million viewers, while the BC-Saskatchewan audience peaked at 3.3 million viewers when the game was in overtime. Also, some 30, 000 people watched part of the games online at

This weekend’s CFL playoff schedule is as follows (both games on TSN, and RDS)
Sunday 11/21, 1:00pm – East Championship: Toronto Argonauts @ Montreal Alouettes (likely commentators Rod Black, Duane Forde and sideline reporter Sara Orlesky)
Sunday 11/21, 4:30pm – West Championship: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Calgary Roughriders (likely commentators Chris Cuthbert, Glen Suitor and sideline reporter Farhan Lalji)

The CFL on TSN panal will be on location at McMahon Stadium as the Stampeders try to clinch their spot in what would be a home Grey Cup on Sunday November 28. TSN has also released their Grey Cup weekend programming, the schedule is:

Saturday November 27 (Grey Cup Saturday)
11:00am – Grey Cup Saturday
11:30am – 2010 Vanier Cup
3:00pm – Grey Cup Saturday
3:30pm – SC Top 10: Grey Cup Memorable Moments
4:00pm – Grey Cup Saturday
4:30pm – CFL Player Awards
5:00pm – Grey Cup Saturday
5:30pm – SC Top 10: 2010 CFL Plays of the Year
7-10pm – Grey Cup Saturday encores

Sunday November 28 (Grey Cup Sunday)
10:00am – TSN The Reporters (1 hour special)
11:00am – NFL Countdown (yes I know, not CFL related at all)
1:00pm – Grey Cup Sunday Pregame Show
6:00pm – Grey Cup Countdown to Kickoff
6:30pm – 98th Grey Cup Championship
10:00pm – Grey Cup Postgame Show
10:30pm – SportsCentre (including Grey Cup postgame reaction)

CIS Football Bowls on TSN

The national semifinals in Canadian college football take place this Saturday on TSN (to any Americans, yes we actually have a playoff system for our college football!!!). First #1 Lavel plays #2 Western in a showdown of the two best teams in Canadian college football in the Uteck Bowl at 12pm ET, then #5 Calgary takes on #9 St. Mary’s in the Mitchell Bowl at 3:30pm ET.

The Uteck Bowl will be called by Rod Black and Duane Forde, with Katherine Dolan on the sidelines, while the Mitchell Bowl will be called by Rod Smith and Mike Morreale (who also does OUA games for The Score, for thos wondering), with Farham Lalji reporting from the sidelines.

The winners advance to the 2010 Vanier Cup on November 27.