Tonight’s NLDS Game 2 (STL-LAD) Will Only Be Available To A Select Few In Canada

mlbpostseason2014Tonight’s second game of the National League Division Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers is available exclusively on MLB Network.

If you recall correctly, Rogers sponsored MLB Network’s bid with the CRTC to be approved for Canadian carriage and the channel was launched in January of this year. Rogers subscribers in Ontario had access to the network from day one. Flashforward ten months later and this hasn’t changed. Bell, Shaw, et al. have yet to add the channel to their lineup. When I asked a Bell rep earlier in the season about it, they gave the following response:

bell rep mlb

Whether this is actually the reason remains to be seen. Other fans wanting the channel have speculated that MLB Network is asking for more money than Bell, Shaw, etc. are willing to pay for a sports channel that is only really relevant six months a year and features 5–10 live games a week. One can only presume Rogers is paying a significantly cheaper carriage fee as an MLB rights holder and/or due to their sponsorship of MLB’s application.

As for tonight’s inability to watch the game, it seemed to sneak up on most. Sportsnet has constantly advertised that they are they exclusive home of the postseason in Canada. For numerous years gone by, Sportsnet has shown every playoff game every year, so why would this season be any different? MLB Network has had exclusive games in the US before, but this has never mattered here. In Sportsnet’s announcement of their MLB rights renewal and MLB Network launch, no mention was made of MLB Network carrying postseason games or that Sportsnet were no longer exclusively carrying playoff games.

If you want to actually watch the game, there’s the obvious of going to a bar or a mate’s house who has Rogers. You could spend $5 and signup for MLB’s streaming service, though the information on their webpage gives no clear indication if the game is available for Canadians to watch blackout-free. I suggest First Row. If you’re one of those people that have morals, just remember, it isn’t illegal streaming if there is no legal way to actually watch it.*

Sportsnet is more than capable of carrying the game tonight on their plethora of channels. They have pre-season hockey on the four regional networks as well as SN One. SN 360 is showing UFC all night. For those with French-language channels, TVA Sports is carrying the game.

* Not a lawyer. Not real legal advise.

Dan — @SportsOnCdnTV

Five More Years Of Buck and Pat On Blue Jays Games

Sportsnet Blue Jays Bingo Card

Sportsnet Blue Jays Bingo Card

In what is only good news for the guy that runs, Sportsnet have re-signed play-by-play guy Buck Martinez and analyst Pat Tabler to call all the disappointing action of the Toronto Blue Jays for another five years. The duo have been broadcasting together for the past four years.

Sure, there are worse announcers in MLB, but there are also a tonne who don’t screw up players names, home run calls and aren’t blatantly rooting for the team they are calling. If you’ve heard Martinez as an analyst on a TBS post-season broadcast, he actually isn’t too bad in that role when not required to be constantly talking. That said, it looks like he has been dropped for the upcoming post-season.

I will concede I don’t watch Jays games regularly, so maybe I just miss any good moments from them, but I try to avoid their commentary and Sportsnet’s broadcast in general, especially with those horrible superimposed advertisements, something that no other broadcast in baseball is doing (for a reason). This is just one man’s opinion.

You can read the full press release from Sportsnet here along with the comments section that is mostly trashing the pair (beware the stupid auto-play video).

MLB Canadian TV Schedule: April 14-20

Here is this week’s MLB schedule for TSN and Sportsnet.

Monday April 14
7:00pm, Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies – TSN2
7:00pm, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles – SN1
10:00pm, Oakland Athletics @ Anaheim Angels – TSN2

Wednesday April 16
12:30pm, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles – Sportsnet

Thursday April 17
7:00pm, New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays – SN360
8:00pm, Boston Red Sox @ Chicago White Sox – SN1

Sunday April 20
7:00pm, Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – TSN2

MLB Canadian TV Schedule: April 7-13

Here is this week’s MLB schedule for TSN and Sportsnet.

Monday April 7
1:00pm, Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees – Sportsnet
7:00pm, Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox – TSN2

Tuesday April 8
1:00pm, Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees – SN1
10:00pm, Detroit Tigers @ Los Angeles Dodgers – SN Pacific

Wednesday April 9
1:30pm, Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals – SN1
10:00pm, Detroit Tigers @ Los Angeles Dodgers – SN West/Pacific

Friday April 11
10:00pm, Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners – SN Pacific

Saturday April 12
1:00pm, Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees – Sportsnet

MLB Canadian TV Schedule: March 30-April 7

Since TSN has added a number of non-Sunday night MLB games to its schedule, and Sportsnet is a bit slow releasing its full schedule this season, I’ve decided to post a weekly MLB schedule on here. At least for the first few weeks of the season. I am not including Blue Jays games or broadcasts on U.S. channels such as WGN. It is also worth remembering that Fox is only showing games on a few Saturday nights this season. Saturday games every other week will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US. And since those FS1 games will co-exist with local broadcasts, early indication is Sportsnet will simulcast the local feed instead of showing the national broadcast, unfortunately.

Sunday March 30
8:00pm, Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres – TSN2

Monday March 31
1:00pm, Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh Pirates – TSN2
3:00pm, Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles – TSN
4:00pm, St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds – TSN2
7:00pm, Colorado Rockies @ Miami Marlins – TSN2
10:00pm, Seattle Mariners @ Anaheim Angels – TSN2

Tuesday April 1
10:00pm, Seattle Mariners @ Anaheim Angels – SN Pacific

Wednesday April 2
10:00pm, Seattle Mariners @ Anaheim Angels – SN Pacific

Thursday April 3
10:00pm, Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics – SN West/Pacific

Friday April 4
2:00pm, Milwaukee Brewers @ Boston Red Sox – Sportsnet
10:00pm, Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics – SN Pacific

Saturday April 5
4:00pm, San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers – SN1
7:00pm, Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays – SN1

TSN Adds ESPN’s Slate of MLB Games to Schedule

TSN has announced that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball will air on TSN and TSN2 for the next eight seasons. TSN’s coverage will include over 75 games per season. As part of the deal TSN will also show ESPN’s Baseball Tonight program. TSN has shown Sunday Night Baseball since 2010.

TSN’s announcement comes a couple of weeks after Rogers announced it will carry over 300 games per season, including the All Star Game and playoffs, a month ago. This means Canadians will have access to around 400 Major League Baseball games per season. Sportsnet’s contract also ends after the 2021 season.

Rogers Re-news MLB Contract Through 2021

Just six weeks after Rogers became the new national rightsholder for NHL games in Canada, Sportsnet has signed an eight year extension to broadcast its traditional anchor sport, baseball. Sportsnet’s new contract, which includes exclusive rights through 2021, looks very similar to the contract that just came to an end. Sportsnet will show around 300 MLB games each season, including the All Star Game and all postseason matchups. Financial terms were not released.

Rogers Cable has also added MLB Network to its offerings. It is available in Ontario on channel 415 and is on free preview through the end of April. Last year Rogers sponsored MLB Network’s application to became an approved channel in Canada.