2015 IIHF World Championship on TSN Begins Friday

With their additional channels feeds, TSN will be broadcasting more games than ever from the annual Ice Hockey World Championship which begins Friday. Canadians will see 58 games from the tournament, more than double from last year. The broadcast crew is as follows:

TSN’s acclaimed broadcast team of play-by-play commentator Gord Miller and analyst Ray Ferraro call all Team Canada and Group A games from Prague. They are joined by Bryan Mudryk, who delivers rink-side reporting throughout the tournament, and former Swiss Team National coach Sean Simpson, who will provide colour commentary for select Group A games. Play-by-play commentator Dennis Beyak and analyst Shane Hnidy call Group B games from the broadcast booth in Ostrava.

Hosting the network’s coverage from the TSN Studio is Rod Black. He is joined throughout the tournament by analysts Bob Errey and Dave Reid and TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Button.

All Canada games will get a primetime encore presentation and TSN GO users can watch them live and/or on demand.

Schedule is as follows below. All times are Eastern. Continue reading

World Juniors Begin Boxing Day

I probably don’t really need to tell anyone that the World Junior Hockey Championship starts in one week. Fans who can’t make it out to their local rink have been waiting since June for meaningful hockey. Undoubtedly Canadians will wake up at 5:30am (that’s for those in the maritimes) and earlier to watch Canada obliterate Germany on Boxing Day. This is the first time since 2008 (no that is not a typo) that the tournament has taken place outside of North America. And it isn’t just in Europe, but its in Ufa, Russia; 11 hours ahead of Toronto. While that should result in lower ratings for TSN, I’m still betting they will do just fine.

TSN is producing the world feed for the 2013 World Juniors. That, in itself, is not odd. However, this is the first time ever that TSN has produced the world feed for an event taking place in Russia. You can see TSN producer Paul Graham talk more about this below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn2ulaqNxJc]

TSN will broadcast sixteen games from Russia, along with four pre-competition games this week from Finland. TSN will also have pre and post game shows for all Team Canada games. Encores will air later in the day as well. A sixty minute preview show will air on Christmas Eve. James Duthie and Bob McKenzie will host TSN’s World Juniors coverage from Toronto, while Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro will provide play-by-play from Ufa.

TSN.ca is also offering live streaming; however, it is pay-per-view. I’m disappointed that TSN is doing this. For years they have offered free live streaming of the World Juniors. At the cost of $4 a game, or $20 for the entire tournament, paying for TSN itself is a cheaper option. With most of Canada’s games on before people go to work (and again at night), I have to wonder how many will be willing to pay the steep price.

Continue after the break for the complete schedule.

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TSN to Re-broadcast 1987 Canada Cup Final Series

Lemieux and Gretzky celebrate the famous goal in the ’87 Canada Cup Final.

Those, like myself, who aren’t old enough to have lived the 1987 Canada Cup will get a second chance to see the series that many have dubbed the greatest hockey ever played. Those who were lucky enough to see it live will get a second chance. TSN is re-broadcasting each game of the 1987 Canada Cup Final between Canada and the Soviet Union this week.

Each broadcast will air in a three hour window, from 7:30pm until 10:30pm Eastern. Game 1 airs on Tuesday, September 11; Game 2 on Wednesday, September 12 and Game 3 on Thursday, September 14. For those who don’t know the results, I won’t spoil them. Game 1 was played at the Montreal Forum, with the 2nd and 3rd games at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.

Both teams were lined with stars. Canada included Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Doug Gilmour, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr. The Soviet team included future NHL stars (Soviets didn’t play in the NHL at the time) such as Viacheslav Fetisov, Igor Kravchuk, Igor Larionov, Valeri Kamensky, Sergei Makarov, Anatoli Semenov and Vladimir Krutov.

The games were originally broadcast on CTV with commentators Dan Kelly and Ron Reusch. Of note, Kelly died only two years later due to lung cancer. He is considered one of the greatest hockey commentators in history. TSN will supplant CTV’s original coverage with their own studio segments hosted by Mike Johnson. Mike Keenan (Canadian head coach), Larry Murphy (Canadian player) and Igor Larionov (Soviet player) will join Johnson in studio for analysis.

The coverage will be shown in re-mastered 4:3, it’s original picture format. TSN will also add a scorebug to their coverage.

2012 World Hockey Championships: Begin This Morning on TSN

If anyone is looking for a Canadian team of NHL players to cheer for now that the Canucks and Senators are eliminated from the playoffs, here is your answer. The national men’s team at the World Championships in Finland and Sweden. TSN and RDS are showing the tournament.

Here is Bell’s press release.

Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Dion Phaneuf join Olympic gold medallists Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Duncan Keith as Team Canada hits the ice at the 2012 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP taking place in Finland and Sweden from May 4-20. TSN’s exclusive live coverage begins Friday, May 4 at 5 a.m. ET with U.S.A. vs. France followed by Canada’s opening game against Slovakia at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage includes all of Canada and U.S.A.’s preliminary round match-ups, plus the playoffs and Gold Medal Game (see complete broadcast schedule below).

The world rankings following the 2012 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP will be used to determine groupings for Sochi 2014.

All 2012 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP games broadcast on TSN can also be seen live on TSN Mobile TV. In addition, Team Canada games are available on-demand on TSN.ca and live on TSN Radio in Toronto (AM 1050) and nationally online on TSN.ca/Radio. French-language coverage of the tournament is available on RDS.

TSN’s Dave Randorf handles play-by-play duties alongside colour commentator Mike Johnson, while TSN’s Rod Black is joined in studio by former NHL player Bob Errey, a two-time Stanley Cup champion and World Champion.

The 2012 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP features the top men’s hockey teams from 16 countries with players not participating in the NHL playoffs, including Team Russia’s Evgeni Malkin, Finland’s Jussi Jokinen and Sweden’s Henrik Zetterberg. Team Canada is led by a young roster of all-stars including Eberle, Kane, Nugent-Hopkins, and John Tavares, along with veterans Phaneuf, Getzlaf, Perry, Keith, and Patrick Sharp. Team Canada head coach Brent Sutter is joined by associate coaches Kirk Muller of the Carolina Hurricanes and Guy Boucher of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Continue after the break for the broadcast schedule.

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World U18 Hockey Championship Starts Tomorrow on TSN

The 2012 World Under-18 Hockey Championship starts tomorrow in the Czech Republic. TSN and RDS will broadcast it in Canada. Here is TSN’s press release.

As Canada’s next generation of hockey stars go for gold at the 2012 IIHF WORLD UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIP, TSN delivers live coverage of the tournament from the Czech Republic beginning Tuesday, April 17.

TSN’s coverage of the 2012 IIHF WORLD UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIP features at least four games, including Team Canada’s final preliminary round match-up against the United States along with one quarter-final and one semifinal game, and the Gold Medal final (see broadcast schedule below).

All games are also available live on TSN Mobile TV and on-demand at TSN.ca. French-language coverage of the 2012 IIHF WORLD UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIP is available on RDS, RDS2 and RDS INFO.

TSN’s Dave Randorf calls the action from the broadcast booth alongside game analyst Craig Button. Nabil Karim hosts the coverage and is joined in the TSN studio by analyst Dave Reid.

Team Canada is headlined by a host of elite 2012 NHL Draft prospects including defenceman Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels and forward Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls. Dumba serves as captain of this year’s squad as it looks to improve on its fourth place finish at last year’s tournament in Germany. Canada is a two-time gold medallist at World Under-18 Championship, winning in 2003 and 2008.

TSN is the official broadcaster of all Hockey Canada events.

Here is the broadcast schedule. All times ET. All games are on TSN. RDS will show every game except the final, as far as I can tell.

Tuesday 4/17, 2:00pm – Canada vs. United States
Thursday 4/19, 9:00am – Quarterfinal
Friday 4/20, 1:00pm – Semifinal
Sunday 4/22, 6:00am – Bronze Medal Game*
Sunday 4/22, 10:00am – Championship Game

*TSN will only show the bronze medal game is Canada is playing in it.

2012 World Women’s Hockey Championship: Starts Saturday on TSN

The World Women’s Hockey Championship is taking place in Burlington, VT beginning this weekend. TSN will show Canada’s group stage games, plus a quarterfinal, semifinal and the championship game.

Here is their press release.

With a roster led by veterans Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford, Team Canada is on the hunt for gold at the 2012 IIHF WORLD WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP taking place April 7-14 in Burlington, Vermont. TSN’s exclusive live coverage begins this Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. ET with Canada’s opening game against USA. Coverage includes all of Canada’s preliminary round games, plus semifinal #1 and the Gold Medal Game (see complete broadcast schedule below).

All games on TSN can be seen live on TSN Mobile TV and on-demand on TSN.ca. French-language coverage of the tournament is available on RDS.

TSN’s Rod Black handles play-by-play duties alongside colour commentator Cheryl Pounder, a five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, while TSN’s Kate Beirness is joined in studio by Jennifer Botterill, a five-time World Champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist.

Canada has appeared in every world championship final since the tournament’s inception, winning a total of nine world titles. Canada’s last world championship victory was in 2007 when the squad defeated USA to win the gold.

Continue after the break for the broadcast schedule.

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TSN Shuns the Hockey Worlds

The World Hockey Championships have always been overshadowed by the NHL playoffs in Canada. They have even been laughed at by the public. Now TSN is taking it to a new level as the Final of the World Hockey Championships between Finland and Sweden will be seen only on tape delay because of the NLL Championship game between the Toronto Rock and Washington Stealth. Meanwhile TSN2 will air a NASCAR race, one that is also available on Fox.

While I love that TSN aired 18 games from the Worlds, including all the quarterfinals and semifinals, live, it really bothers me that they aren’t airing the final live. The IIHF Final will be played live at 2:30pm ET, which means it will just be finishing as TSN comes on the air to show it.

IIHF World Championship: Begins Friday on TSN

There is always one hockey tournament that takes a backseat (I’m almost thinking that analogy should be banned after Friday) to the NHL playoffs. Of course I’m talking about the IIHF World Championship which begins Friday afternoon in Slovakia. The Slovakia capital, Bratislava, and Košice, the second largest city in Slovakia will host the tournament. This is the first time that Slovakia has hosted the World Hockey Championships as an independent country. Bratislava previously hosted the World Championships in 1959 and 1992 along with Prague.

TSN will broadcast 20 games live throughout the tournament. Coverage features six preliminary round games (three feature Canada), six qualification round games, all four quarterfinals, both semifinals, the bronze medal game and the Championship game. Dave Randorf and Mike Johnson will be in Slovakia to call all the action. They will be joined by rinkside reporter Brent Wallace, who will also file daily reports for SportsCentre. Rod Black and Mike Keenan will host coverage from TSN studios in Toronto. While nothing has been confirmed, it is possible that TSN will use the Versus feed for three United States preliminary round games.

Here is the TSN broadcast schedule
Friday 4/29, 2:00pm – Belarus vs. Canada
Saturday 4/30, 10:00am – United States vs. Austria
Sunday 5/1, 10:00am – Canada vs. France
Monday 5/2, 10:00am – United States vs. Norway
Tuesday 5/3, 10:00am – Canada vs. Switzerland
Wednesday 5/4, 2:00pm – United States vs. Sweden
Friday 5/6, 10:00am – 1B vs. 2C*
Friday 5/6, 2:00pm – 1C vs. 2B
Saturday 5/7, 10:00am – 1B vs. 3C*
Sunday 5/8, 10:00am – 1C vs. 2B
Monday 5/9, 10:00am – 2B vs. 2C
Monday 5/9, 2:00pm – 1B vs. 1C*
Wednesday 5/11, 10:00am – Quarterfinal #1
Wednesday 5/11, 2:00pm – Quarterfinal #2
Thursday 5/12, 10:00am – Quarterfinal #3
Thursday 5/12, 2:00pm – Quarterfinal #4
Friday 5/13, 10:00am – Semifnal #1
Friday 5/13, 2:00pm – Semifinal #2
Sunday 5/15, 10:00am – Bronze Medal Game
Sunday 5/15, 2:30pm – Championship Game

New TSN Scorebugs

Like I expected, the scorebar that TSN was testing out during the Spengler Cup coverage on Monday and Tuesday is now being used for the World Juniors too. I expect it to be rolled out for things like the NHL in the near future (maybe as early as tonight) too. Here is a screen cap of both the new hockey scorebar and the new curling scorebar, which are part of TSN’s new graphics and animation package.

And here is the scorebar that CTV used for Olympic hockey in February, which is similar to the new TSN graphics.

Anything I Thought of Over Christmas

Okay, so I’m back from my self-imposed Christmas break. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. A lot has happened over the past few days. The Hawaii Bowl between Hawaii and Tulsa provided us with some of the most exciting football all year (or at least the 2nd half did, I didn’t see the first half), the NBA played 5 games on Christmas Day (of which I only saw part of one), Sunday Night Football was snowed out in Philly and, of course, the World Junior Hockey Championships began in Buffalo.

I’ll start with some NFL news. As you probably know Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Vikings was postponed because of concerns for fans safety when traveling to and from the game. At first it seemed like a bad idea, but by midnight ET the roads in Philly were shutdown to non-essential traffic, so by evening it proved to be the right decision. Now it was moved to Tuesday because ESPN has exclusivity on the Monday night timeslot, so if NBC wanted to air it, it had to be moved to Tuesday. This also gives the City of Philadelphia some time for snow removal as the storm wasn’t expected to finish until this evening.

The game will now air on TSN2 and NBC tomorrow night at 8:00pm ET. TSN2’s originally scheduled NHL game between the Bruins and Lightning has been pushed from the network’s schedule. It is unclear if it will be available on Centre Ice. Some people are probably wondering why TSN decided to air an encore of Canada-Russia instead of live coverage of Finland-USA last night to replace Sunday Night Football. The best reason that I can think of is that TSN still wanted to air Football Night in America (from 7-8:30pm ET),  and they wanted to keep the Finland-USA game on TSN2, where it was originally scheduled, to avoid confusion. This also allowed TSN2 to have the only major sports event on TV last night, which probably meant big ratings for them.

The NFL and NBC have also announced that the final Sunday Night Football game of the season next Sunday will be the win-and-your-in game between the Rams and Seahawks. Whoever wins will win the NFC West and get the 4th NFC seed in the playoffs. CBS’s headline games are Buffalo-NY Jets & Cincinnati-Baltimore at 1pm and Tennessee-Indianapolis & Jacksonville-Houston at 4:15pm. Fox has a more mouthwatering slate that includes Tampa Bay-New Orleans at 1pm and NY Giants-Washington, Dallas-Philadelphia & Chicago-Green Bay at 4:15pm.

I mentioned last week that it looked like TSN would debut a new graphics and animation package for the World Juniors. Well it appears I was half right. The new animation package did debut, with a new “wipe” for replays and a new opening sequence for the broadcast. However, the graphics were the same as before. However, anyone who watched Canada-Spartak Moscow from the Spengler Cup today would have noticed that TSN did have a new scorebar for this game. It kind of looked like a hybrid between the current TSN scorebar and the one that CTV used for the 2010 Olympic hockey coverage. I like it because it doesn’t stretch all the way across the screen. I’m not sure if they plan to use it for all broadcasts, but I would assume this isn’t a one-time thing for only the Spengler Cup. Also it resembles the new Curling on TSN scorebar, which you can see below.

I have to give Rogers Sportsnet a thumbs up for switching over to Newcastle United-Manchester City yesterday when their originally scheduled Premier League match between Blackpool and Liverpool was postponed. The Newcastle-Manchester City game was a better mathcup, but I understand that Liverpool bring in the big ratings. I wouldn’t be surprised if Manchester City are to the 2010s what Chelsea were to the 2000s though. Chelsea gained lots of fans in North America by spending lots of money and are now supported by as many, if not more in North America than the like or Arsenal and Liverpool. I could easily see Manchester City doing this over the next ten years. Speaking of Blackpool, they have now had to postpone three home games because their pitch doesn’t meet Premier League regulations as far as under-surface heating goes. If they don’t get relagated expect this to be a big issue in the offseason.

Finally, it is a busy week for many of the NHL on TSN personalities. Analyst Mike Johnson is juggling doing the World Juniors in Buffalo and Canadiens games for TSN. Last night Pierre McGuire covered for him in Buffalo so he could do the Habs game on Long Island. Because of the big snowstorm that has hit the northeastern United States, including New York City, Johnson is now unable to travel to Buffalo to do tomorrow night’s Sweden-Russia game. It will be interesting to see if he is able to make it upstate in time for the game tomorrow night. Also, McGuire will do World Junior games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon for TSN before heading to Pittsburgh to work the Winter Classic for NBC. The travel this year isn’t as bad as last year for him, when he had to do a New Year’s Eve night game in Saskatoon before heading to Boston for the Winter Classic the next morning.

World Juniors & Spengler Cup on TSN this Holiday Season

It’s almost Christmas, and that means one of the biggest Christmas traditions in Canada is just days away. Of course I’m talking about the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, which will be in Buffalo this year. Once again TSN and TSN2 will provide live, HD coverage of all of Canada’s games, as well as the playoff round and select other round robin games. The official tournament doesn’t start until Boxing Day, but Canada has pre-tournament warm-up games all of next week. James Duthie will host coverage live from Buffalo alongside analyst/insider Bob McKenzie. Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire will call coverage of all of Canada’s games, plus all the playoff round; Ryan Rishaug will report rinkside for these games. Dave Randorf and Mike Johnson will call the games that don’t involve Canada during the round robin. John Lu and Katherine Dolan will also be in Buffalo to file reports for SportsCentre and That’s Hockey.

What excites me the most is that TSN will introduce their new graphics package for this tournament. There will also be a new system that Pierre McGuire will use to breakdown plays. TSN’s current graphics are great, in fact they are probably my favourite of any US or Canadian network for sports, but they have used the same package for a while now, so it will be interesting to see what the re-vamp looks like.

A special tournament preview show will air on Christmas Day at 7pm ET on TSN and will be repeated throughout the next day on TSN and TSN2. It will include a Gord Miller interview with Canadian head coach Dave Cameron. There will also be a half hour pregame show before every Canada game and the final.

Now here is the complete 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships on TSN & TSN2 schedule:
Monday 12/20, 7:00pm – Canada vs. Switzlerand – TSN2
Tuesday 12/21, 7:30pm – Canada vs. Sweden – TSN
Thursday 12/23, 7:30pm – Canada vs. Finland – TSN2

Sunday 12/26, 4:00pm – Russia vs. Canada – TSN
Sunday 12/26, 8:00pm – Finland vs. United States – TSN2
Tuesday 12/28, 4:00pm – Canada vs. Czech Republic – TSN
Tuesday 12/28, 7:00pm – Sweden vs. Russia – TSN
Wednesday 12/29, 7:30pm – Canada vs. Norway – TSN
Thursday 12/30, 3:00pm – Sweden vs. Czech Republic – TSN
Thursday 12/30, 7:00pm – Germany vs. United States – TSN
Friday 12/31, 4:00pm – Canada vs. Sweden – TSN
Friday 12/31, 8:00pm – United States vs. Switzerland – TSN2
Sunday 1/2, 3:30pm – Quarter Final #1 – TSN
Sunday 1/2, 7:30pm – Quarter Final #2 – TSN
Monday 1/3, 3:30pm – Semi Final #1 – TSN
Monday 1/3, 7:30pm – Semi Final #2 – TSN
Wednesday 1/5, 3:30pm – 3rd Place Game – TSN
Wednesday 1/5, 7:30pm – Championship Game – TSN

Also, for those wondering, yes a World Juniors quarter final will bump week #17 Sunday Night Football to TSN2. The reason for this is because a world junior semi final on TSN2 between the US and Switzerland beat Sunday Night Football on TSN head to head last year.

Spengler Cup

The Spengler Cup is also coming to TSN this year. This annual Christymastime tournament from Davos, Switzerland is one of the most prestigious hockey tournaments in the World. TSN takes over coverage from Sportsnet; however, coverage won’t be that much different as Paul Romanuk and Doug Honneger are back to call the action again this year from Davos. Vic Rauter will host TSN’s coverage from Toronto.

The teams competing in this year’s tournament are the Canadian National team (who will be coached by Mark Messier), the host HC Davos and Geneva-Servette HC of the Swiss National League, HC Spartak Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, and HC Sparta Prague of the Czech Extraliga.

Here is the 2010 Spengler Cup on TSN & TSN2 Schedule:
Monday 12/27, 2:00pm – Canada vs. TBA – TSN
Tuesday 12/28, 5:00pm – Canada vs. TBA – TSN2 (tape delay)
Wednesday 12/29, 8:55am – Quarter Final #1 – TSN2
Wednesday 12/29, 2:00pm – Quarter Final #2 – TSN2
Thursday 12/30, 8:55am – Semi Final #1 – TSN2
Thursday 12/30, 2:00pm – Semi Final #2 – TSN2
Friday 12/31, 5:55am – Championship Game – TSN