2013 MLS TV Schedule

The latest MLS season kicks-off this Saturday, and with it so does the continuing coverage from TSN and Sportsnet.

TSN and TSN2, “the home of soccer” (apparently), will feature 41 games shown nationally that feature Canadians teams – Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact – as well as 24 additional games throughout the season with US-based teams. In addition, TSN will have full coverage of the MLS All-Star game, the MLS Playoffs and MLS Cup. Luke Wileman and Jason Devos return to the booth for play-by-play and colour commentary.

Sportsnet Pacific, One, and City Vancouver will broadcast 23 regular season games of the Whitecaps, and Sportsnet Ontario and One will carry 11 TFC matches during the year. The west coast commentary team will comprise of Paul Dolanreturns, Craig MacEwen and Scott Rintoulr. For Toronto broadcasts, veterans Gerry Dobson and Craig Forrest will call the action.

TVA Sports, the official broadcaster of the Montreal Impact, will show 22 of their games this season. RDS will broadcast more than 30 games, including 12 match-ups featuring the Montreal Impact, as well as the MLS All-Star game, Playoffs and MLS Cup.

NBC will show three matches on their main network during the season.

All games are listed below. All times are ET unless noted.
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MLS Sets Canadian Ratings Record

The opening MLS game of the 2012 season set a new ratings record in Canada. The Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact game on Saturday night drew an average of 541, 000 viewers (288 , 000 on TSN and 253, 000 on RDS). If anything, this is a testament to the anticipation of the new team in Quebec. I am interested to see if the stronger ratings can hold throughout the season. Last year’s MLS season opener between the Whitecaps and Toronto FC previously the highest watched MLS game in Canada. An average of 289, 000 watched it on TSN.

2012 MLS on TSN2 Schedule (all-US matches)

Here is TSN2’s 2012 MLS schedule for matches featuring two American teams. See here for TSN’s schedule with games featuring a Canadian team.

TSN will use the ESPN and NBC feeds for these games. ESPN’s main commentary team is Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman. NBC’s main commentary team is Arlo White and Kyle Martino.

All times are Eastern. The originating US broadcaster is in brackets.

Saturday 5/5, 8:00pm – LA Galaxy vs. New York (ESPN)
Sunday 5/13, 1:30pm – Philadelphia vs. New York (ESPN2)
Saturday 5/19, 10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN2)

Saturday 7/7, 11:00pm – Seattle vs. Colorado (NBC Sports)
Saturday 7/14, 11:00pm – Portland vs. LA Galaxy (NBC Sports)
Saturday 7/21, 2:30pm – New York vs. Philadelphia (ESPN)

Friday 8/10, 9:00pm – New York vs. Houston (NBC Sports)
Sunday 8/19, 5:00pm – DC United vs. Philadelphia (NBC Sports)

Friday 9/14, 8:30pm – Kansas City vs. Houston (NBC Sports)
Thursday 9/20, 8:00pm – Philadelphia vs. DC United (ESPN2)
Saturday 9/22, 8:00pm – Salt Lake vs. Portland (NBC Sports)
Friday 9/28, 8:30pm – Kansas City vs. Chicago (NBC Sports)

Saturday 10/6, 3:30pm – New York vs. Chicago (NBC)
Saturday 10/6, 9:00pm – LA Galaxy vs. New York (NBC Sports)
Sunday 10/7, 9:00pm – Seattle vs. Portland (ESPN)
Saturday 10/20, 7:30pm – Houston vs. Philadelphia (NBC Sports)
Sunday 10/21, 9:00pm – Seattle vs. Dallas (ESPN)
Saturday 10/27, 1:30pm – Philadelphia vs. New York (NBC)
Saturday 10/27, 4:00pm – Chicago vs. DC United (NBC Sports)
Saturday 10/27, 6:30pm – Portland vs. San Jose (NBC Sports)
Sunday 10/28, 9:00pm – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle (ESPN)

2012 Vancouver Whitecaps Schedule

Here is the 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps schedule. TSN, TSN2, Sportsnet Pacific, Sportsnet One and Citytv Vancouver will all show games this season.

All times Pacific.

Saturday 3/10, 3:00pm – Vancouver vs. Montreal – TSN, RDS
Saturday 3/17, 7:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet
Saturday 3/24, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. DC United – Sportsnet
Saturday 3/31, 1:00pm – Philadelphia vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet

Saturday 4/7, 4:00pm – San Jose vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet
Wednesday 4/18, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. Kansas City – Sportsnet
Saturday 4/21, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. Dallas – Sportsnet
Saturday 4/28, 4:30pm – Columbus vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet

Saturday 5/5, 4:00pm – Vancouver vs. San Jose – Sportsnet
Saturday 5/12, 4:30pm – New England vs. Vancouver – SN1
Saturday 5/19, 2:00pm – Vancouver vs. San Jose – TSN, RDS2
Saturday 5/26, 7:00pm – Portland vs. Vancouver – TSN, RDS2

Sunday 6/10, 4:00pm – Vancouver vs. Houston – Sportsnet
Saturday 6/16, 4:00pm – Vancouver vs. Colorado – SN1
Wednesday 6/20, 8:00pm – Vancouver vs. New York – TSN, RDS2
Saturday 6/23, 7:30pm – LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver – TSN, RDS

Wednesday 7/4, 6:30pm – Colorado vs. Vancouver – SN1
Saturday 7/7, 7:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet
Wednesday 7/11, 4:00pm – Toronto vs. Vancouver – TSN, RDS
Saturday 7/14, 5:30pm – Chicago vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet
Wednesday 7/18, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. LA Galaxy – TSN2, RDS
Sunday 7/22, 4:00pm – Vancouver vs. San Jose – Sportsnet
Friday 7/27, 6:00pm – Salt Lake vs. Vancouver – Citytv

Saturday 8/11, 4:00pm – Vancouver vs. Salt Lake – Citytv
Wednesday 8/15, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. Dallas – TSN, RDS
Saturday 8/18, 1:00pm – Seattle vs. Vancouver – TSN2, RDS
Saturday 8/25, 7:30pm – Portland vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet

Saturday 9/1, 7:00pm – LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver – TSN2, RDS2
Saturday 9/15, 5:30pm – Dallas vs. Vancouver – Sportsnet
Sunday 9/23, 4:30pm – Vancouver vs. Colorado – Sportsnet
Saturday 9/29, 6:00pm – Vancouver vs. Seattle – TSN2, RDS2

Wednesday 10/3, 7:00pm – Vancouver vs. Chivas USA – Sportsnet
Saturday 10/27, 6:00pm – Salt Lake vs. Vancouver – SN1

Sportsnet = Sportsnet Pacific
Citytv = Citytv Vancouver

2012 Montreal Impact TV Schedule

Here is the 2012 Montreal Impact TV schedule. RDS and TVA Sports will show games in French, while TSN and TSN2 will show games in English.

All times are eastern.

Saturday 3/10, 6:00pm – Vancouver vs. Montreal – RDS, TSN
Saturday 3/17, 2:00pm – Montreal vs. Chicago – RDS, TSN
Saturday 3/24, 4:00pm – Columbus vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 3/31, 4:00pm – New York vs. Montreal – RDS, TSN

Wednesday 4/4, 9:00pm – Salt Lake vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 4/7, 12:00pm – Montreal vs. Toronto – RDS, TSN
Saturday 4/14, 8:30pm – Dallas vs. Montreal – TVA
Wednesday 4/18, 7:30pm – DC United vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 4/28, 2:00pm – Montreal vs. Portland – TVA

Saturday 5/5, 8:30pm – Kansas City vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 5/12, 4:00pm – Montreal vs. LA Galaxy – RDS, TSN
Saturday 5/19, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. New York – TVA
Saturday 5/26, 9:00pm – Colorado vs. Montreal – TVA

Saturday 6/16, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Seattle – RDS, TSN2
Wednesday 6/20, 10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 6/23, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Houston – TVA
Wednesday 6/27, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Toronto – TVA
Saturday 6/30, 7:30pm – DC United vs. Montreal – TVA

Wednesday 7/4, 7:00pm – Montreal vs. Kansas City – RDS, TSN
Sunday 7/8, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Columbus – TVA
Saturday 7/14, 7:00pm – Philadelphia vs. Montreal – TVA
Wednesday 7/18, 8:00pm – Montreal vs. New England – RDS, TSN2
Saturday 7/21, 8:30pm – Houston vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 7/28, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. New York – TVA

Saturday 8/4, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Philadelphia – TVA
Sunday 8/12, 7:00pm – New England vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 8/18, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. San Jose – TVA
Saturday 8/25, 4:00pm – Montreal vs. DC United – RDS, TSN2

Saturday 9/1, 7:30pm – Columbus vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 9/15, 8:30pm – Chicago vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 9/22, 1:00pm – Montreal vs. Kansas City – RDS, TSN

Saturday 10/6, 8:30pm – Houston vs. Montreal – TVA
Saturday 10/20, 1:30pm – Toronto vs. Montreal – RDS, TSN
Saturday 10/27, 2:00pm – Montreal vs. New England – TVA

*Note: TVA means the cable channel TVA Sports, not the over-the-air channel TVA, in this schedule.

2012 Toronto FC TV Schedule

As promised, I will post the TV schedule for each Canadian MLS team today. First up is Toronto FC.

All times are Eastern.

Saturday 3/17, 10:00pm – Seattle vs. Toronto – SN1
Saturday 3/24, 1:00pm – Toronto vs. San Jose – TSN, RDS
Saturday 3/31, 2:00pm – Toronto vs. Columbus – TSN, RDS

Saturday 4/7, 12:00pm – Montreal vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS
Saturday 4/14, 4:30pm – Toronto vs. Chivas USA – GolTV
Saturday 4/21, 3:30pm – Toronto vs. Chicago – GolTV
Saturday 4/28, 9:00pm – Salt Lake vs. Toronto – GolTV

Saturday 5/5, 4:00pm – Toronto vs. DC United – SN Ontario
Saturday 5/19, 7:30pm – DC United vs. Toronto – TSN2
Saturday 5/26, 4:30pm – Toronto vs. Philadelphia – SN1

Saturday 6/16, 8:30pm – Kansas City vs. Toronto – GolTV
Wednesday 6/20, 9:00pm – Houston vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS2
Saturday 6/23, 4:30pm – Toronto vs. New England – GolTV
Wednesday 6/27, 7:30pm – Montreal vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS
Saturday 6/30, 7:00pm – Toronto vs. New York – SN Ontario, SN1

Wednesday 7/4, 9:00pm – Dallas vs. Toronto – TSN
Sunday 7/8, 4:00pm – Philadelphia vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS2
Wednesday 7/11, 7:00pm – Toronto vs. Vancouver – TSN, RDS
Saturday 7/14, 7:30pm – New England vs. Toronto – TSN2
Wednesday 7/18, 7:00pm – Toronto vs. Colorado – SN Ontario, SN1
Saturday 7/28, 4:30pm – Toronto vs. Houston – GolTV

Saturday 8/4, 8:30pm – Chicago vs. Toronto – GolTV
Saturday 8/11, 7:30pm – Columbus vs. Toronto – GolTV
Wednesday 8/15, 7:30pm – Toronto vs. Portland – TSN, RDS
Saturday 8/18, 4:30pm – Toronto vs. Kansas City – GolTV
Saturday 8/25, 8:30pm – Houston vs. Toronto – TSN2

Saturday 9/1, 8:30pm – Kansas City vs. Toronto – SN1
Wednesday 9/12, 7:00pm – Toronto vs. Chicago – TSN, RDS2
Saturday 9/15, 1:00pm – Toronto vs. Philadelphia – TSN, RDS
Saturday 9/22, 10:30pm – LA Galaxy vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS2
Saturday 9/29, 7:00pm – New York vs. Toronto – GolTV

Saturday 10/6, 1:00pm – Toronto vs. DC United – TSN, RDS
Saturday 10/20, 1:30pm – Toronto vs. Montreal – TSN, RDS
Sunday 10/28, 4:00pm – Columbus vs. Toronto – TSN, RDS2

Sportsnet Announces 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps Coverage

Sportsnet released its 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps broadcast schedule this morning. Sportsnet will broadcast 22 games, including 16 on Sportsnet Pacific, 4 on Sportsnet One and 2 on Citytv Vancouver. Here is Sportsnet’s press release with more information.

Sportsnet continues to be home to Vancouver Whitecaps FC this season, featuring 22 regular season matches, more than any other broadcaster. Coverage kicks off on Saturday, Mar. 17 at 8:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet West as Vancouver visits Chivas USA.

Sportsnet’s Whitecaps FC broadcast schedule includes 16 games on Sportsnet Pacific, four games on Sportsnet ONE and two games on Citytv Vancouver. As announced earlier this year, Sportsnet named former Vancouver and national team goalkeeper Paul Dolan as the new analyst for its Vancouver Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer match broadcasts. Dolan will join play-by-play announcer Craig MacEwen in the broadcast booth to call all of Sportsnet’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC telecasts for the 2012 season, and will appear as a soccer analyst on Connected with Don Taylor on Sportsnet Pacific.

“Canada is a passionate soccer country and we’re thrilled to fuel fans with our extensive Whitecaps FC coverage this season,” said Rob Corte, Vice President of Production, Sportsnet. “We’ve made a strong off-season addition to our broadcast team in Paul Dolan, and look forward to an exciting season and delivering viewers premium Whitecaps FC broadcasts.”

“We are excited to kick off our second season in Major League Soccer with Sportsnet as our official regional broadcast partner,” said Rachel Lewis, Chief Operating Officer, Whitecaps FC. “In addition to the first class experience Sportsnet provides during broadcasts, they will continue to offer extensive coverage online and will remain a great resource for ‘Caps fans.”

Later this week I’ll post a team-by-team Canadian MLS TV schedule.

TSN.ca to Stream TFC vs. Whitecaps on Saturday

TSN has announced that it will show tomorrow’s Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps friendly match tomorrow evening. TSN.ca will stream the match , which is the final of the exhibition Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, live. TSN2 will also show it beginning at approximately 9pm ET on tape delay. Here are all the details.

TSN, in conjunction with presenting sponsor Bell, gives fans more of the beautiful game this Saturday, as Canada’s Sports Leader has live coverage of the WALT DISNEY WORLD PRO SOCCER CLASSIC final from Orlando, Fla., featuring Canadian MLS rivals Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC beginning at 8 p.m. ET on TSN.ca.

TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV will also air the championship game immediately following the conclusion of the NLL match-up featuring Washington @ Toronto beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

“TSN is extremely excited to work with presenting sponsor Bell to bring live coverage of the WALT DISNEY WORLD PRO SOCCER CLASSIC to Canadians who would have otherwise been unable to see two homegrown teams in action this weekend,” said Shawn Redmond, Vice-President, Programming, TSN. “Soccer fans across the country can now get primed for the start of the MLS regular season as Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC battle it out for pre-season bragging rights on Saturday night.”

Along with Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the WALT DISNEY WORLD PRO SOCCER CLASSIC featured Montreal Impact, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City Soccer and Sweden’s B.K. Hacken in competition during the seven-day tournament.

“With three MLS teams in Canada, we can feel the passion that is building in the pre-season work-up to the March 10 season opener in Vancouver,” said Loring Phinney, Vice-President, Corporate Marketing, Bell Canada. “Our sponsorship commitment has always been to help fans get closer to their team, and with this quick action in partnership with TSN, we’re thrilled to help make that connection better.”

TSN, along with RDS, are the official broadcasters of Major League Soccer (MLS) in Canada with a national broadcast package that includes 36 games featuring Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. TSN also has live coverage of 34 games featuring U.S.-based teams, along with exclusive Canadian coverage of the MLS CUP Playoffs, the MLS Cup 2012 and the MLS ALL-STAR GAME.

The 2012 MLS season kicks off on TSN and RDS with the MLS debut of the Montreal Impact when the team travels to Bell Pitch downtown at BC Place for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s season opener on March 10 at 6 p.m. ET.

TSN sets the table for the 2012 MLS season with the 2012 MLS PREVIEW SHOW on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN2. Hosted by TSN soccer experts Luke Wileman and Jason deVos, the 30-minute program takes an in-depth look at the three Canadian clubs, along with the new coaches of Whitecaps FC and the Impact. The 2012 MLS PREVIEW SHOW also breaks down the rest of the league, gives fans key players to watch, and looks back at last year’s MLS CUP and the growth of MLS in Canada.

2012 MLS on TSN Broadcast Schedule

TSN unveiled their 36 game MLS broadcast schedule today. The schedule includes 16 appearances for Toronto FC, 11 for the Vancouver Whitecaps and 12 for the expansion Montreal Impact. TSN will broadcast five all-Canadian matchups, as well as two Toronto vs. Columbus derby matches and four Cascadia Cup matches involving the Whitecaps. Here is their press release with more information.

TSN and RDS kick off their second year as the official broadcasters of Major League Soccer (MLS) in Canada with a national broadcast package that includes 36 games featuring Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

In addition to producing and broadcasting 36 games featuring Canadian teams, TSN, TSN2, RDS and RDS2 will broadcast select MLS games featuring two U.S.-based teams; those games will be announced in the coming weeks. TSN and RDS platforms will also have exclusive coverage in Canada of the MLS CUP Playoffs, the MLS CUP 2012 and the MLS ALL-STAR GAME.

All MLS games on TSN, TSN2, RDS and RDS2 can be seen live on TSN Mobile TV and Télé Mobile RDS.

TSN and RDS’ schedule begins with the highly-anticipated MLS debut of the Montreal Impact when the team travels to Vancouver to play on Bell Pitch downtown at BC Place for Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s home opener on March 10 at 6 p.m. ET. The networks will also broadcast the Impact’s home opener vs. Chicago Fire on March 17 at Olympic Stadium and Toronto FC’s home opener against San Jose Earthquakes on March 24 at BMO Field. (See attached PDF for complete MLS ON TSN and RDS schedule.)

“The addition of Montreal Impact and support for Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are clear signs of Major League Soccer’s growing popularity in Canada,” said Shawn Redmond, Vice President of Programming, TSN. “With the level of competition in the league attracting international stars and fostering homegrown talent, MLS is delivering some incredibly entertaining soccer. As national broadcasters, we’re extremely proud to be a part of the MLS movement, giving fans the industry’s best multiplatform coverage.”

In total, the MLS ON TSN and RDS schedule features five all-Canadian matches: including Montreal @ Vancouver (March 10); Toronto @ Montreal (April 7 and June 27); Vancouver @ Toronto (July 11); and Montreal @ Toronto (October 20). Additional schedule highlights include:

  • Montreal Impact’s first game at the new Stade Saputo scheduled for June 16
  • Five games featuring superstars David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and the MLS CUP 2011 champion LA Galaxy
  • Three games featuring reigning league MVP Dwayne De Rosario and D.C. United
  • Two games featuring French star Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls


Acclaimed play-by-play commentator Luke Wileman and colour analyst Jason deVos return to the MLS ON TSN broadcast booth for a second season. Fans can follow @LukeWileman and @JasondeVos on Twitter and check Wileman’s informative soccer blog on TSN.ca for league storylines and player insight.

Full MLS coverage will be featured across all of TSN’s key programs and platforms, including SPORTSCENTRE and TSN.ca, where fans can browse scores, news and highlights from the league.

Bell Media’s TSN Radio and TEAM Radio sports stations will track MLS throughout the season. In addition, TEAM 1410 in Vancouver has play-by-play coverage of every Whitecaps game, along with a pre- and post-game show. The station also airs WHITECAPS FC DAILY weekdays from 3 to 4 p.m. PT, giving fans insight from the most knowledgeable soccer analysts from Vancouver and beyond.


RDS is the official French-language broadcaster of MLS in Canada. Once again, play-by-play commentators Claudine Douville and Jean Gounelle will be joined by analysts Michel Y. Lacroix and Patrick Leduc to cover all the action. Fans can follow former Impact player Leduc on Twitter at @PatLeduc15.

In celebration of Montreal Impact’s league debut, RDS travels to BC Place on March 10 to bring fans live on-site coverage. RDS will also have special coverage surrounding Montreal Impact’s home opener and the team’s inaugural game at Stade Saputo.

RDS keeps soccer fans in the loop with all the latest news on the Impact and MLS featured across its popular shows and multi-platforms including SPORTS 30, L’ANTICHAMBRE, le 5 à 7, RDS INFO and RDS.ca. Fans can also join the MLS conversation through RDS’ Le Grand Club – Québec’s largest social network entirely devoted to sports – and RDS’ Fan Page on Facebook.

Soccer on Bell Media

In addition to MLS, Bell Media’s CTV, TSN, and RDS are home to EURO 2012 and 2016 along with FIFA World Cup, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada. TSN and RDS also have coverage of the Barclays Premier League.

Continue after the break for the full MLS on TSN schedule.

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34 MLS Games on Sportsnet in 2012

Soccer Central’s Gerry Dobson Tweeted something interesting earlier this afternoon:

Last season Sportsnet only showed 21 MLS matchups, all involving the Vancouver Whitecaps. Assuming TSN shows 11-12 Whitecaps games again this season, that leaves about 22 games for Sportsnet. That leaves the question, where do the other 12 games come from? I replied to Gerry’s Tweet and received this response from Jim LaChapelle of Sportsnet’s public relations department.

The are two possibilities of where Sportsnet’s other 12 games will come from. The most likely, in my opinion, is that Sportsnet will show a few Montreal Impact games as part of its partnership with TVA Sports, who hold French-language rights for some 20 Impact games. The other, less likely, possibility is that Sportsnet will sub-lease Toronto FC games from GolTV Canada. Rogers will partially own GolTV Canada by the end of the year.

MLS on TSN… Luke Wileman has confirmed on Twitter that TSN will broadcast Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday March 10 at 6pm ET and Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday March 17 at 2pm ET. TSN will broadcast 30 games in 2012 featuring Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. TSN will also broadcast numerous games from the 59 that ESPN2 and NBC Sports Network will combine to show in the United States. TSN will release their full MLS broadcast schedule later this month.

MLS on NBC… MLS Soccer returns to free TV in 2012 as NBC will broadcast three lives games. NBC’s broadcasts inlcude Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders in a derby match on Saturday September 15, New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday October 6 and Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday October 27.

The MLS Cup Final: Sunday on TSN2

Another press release, this one promoting coverage of the MLS Cup Final, which airs Sunday night on TSN2. TSN will use ESPN’s coverage, which features commentators Ian Darke and John Harkes. Max Bretos will host coverage on-site, along with analysts Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman and Alejandro Moreno. Monica Gonzalez will report from the Galaxy sideline, while Rob Stone will report from the Dynamo sideline. Here is the TSN press release.

TSN2 is home to the most highly-anticipated Major League Soccer championship in league history, as David Beckham and the LA Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo in the MLS CUP 2011. The teams square off this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. ET live on TSN2 in front of 27,000 fans at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The MLS CUP 2011 is also available live on TSN Mobile TV.

As both teams chase their third MLS CUP win, all eyes will be on Beckham as the MLS CUP 2011 features the soccer icon competing for his only league title, in front of a home crowd, during the final year of his five-year MLS contract. Along with Beckham, the LA Galaxy’s line-up boasts forward Landon Donovan, considered one of the best players in the United States, Irish superstar Robbie Keane, and Omar Gonzalez, the 2011 MLS Defender of the year.

The Houston Dynamo roster is led by striker Brian Ching, who captained his team to the MLS CUP 2011 after overcoming several injuries earlier this year. The team’s all-time leading scorer will play alongside Montreal-native Andre Hainault, a defender who scored the game-winning goal in the Eastern Conference championship. Dynamo’s prized midfielder Brad Davis, a 2011 MLS MVP candidate, has been forced out of the final due to an injury suffered in the Eastern Conference championship.

BC Place Stadium Re-opens This Friday

After almost 2 seasons of playing at the temporary Empire Field both the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps move into the refurbished B.C. Place Stadium this weekend. The first Lions game at the new B.C. Place is Friday night against the Edmonton Eskimos. The Whitecaps play their first game at B.C. Place on Sunday in a derby against Portland Timbers. As you can see in this picture, the new roof looks very impressive. Anyway, here is the TSN press release on their coverage.

TSN gives Canadians the first complete look at the newly revamped BC Place, as the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to their home field for the first time since renovations began last year.

BC Place’s opening event will feature the B.C. Lions taking on the Edmonton Eskimos tomorrow (September 30) at 7 p.m. PT on TSN. TSN’s special coverage of the game will include the CFL on TSN panel broadcasting live on site, along with an overhead cable camera to provide the best possible pictures of the game and stadium. In addition, CFL on TSN’s Brian Williams will take a behind the scenes tour of the renovated stadium in a feature airing during Friday’s Samsung CFL on TSN Pre-game Show. Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan will sing the national anthem before kick-off.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC play their first franchise game on Bell Pitch downtown in the new BC Place when they host the Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. PT on TSN2.

Special guests joining fans this weekend at BC Place include CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon at Friday’s Lions game and MLS Commissioner Don Garber at Sunday’s Whitecaps FC game.

It’s also worth noting that Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor will call the CFL game on Friday night; while Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos will have the MLS game on Sunday afternoon.

MLS All Stars Face Manchester United: Tonight on TSN

The 2011 MLS All Star Game is set to go tonight at the new Red Bull Arena in New York. A team of MLS All Stars will face Manchester United for the second straight season. The MLS All Star team features world stars such as David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Omar Bravo (Kansas City) and Thierry Henry (New York). Rafael Marquez (New York) and Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) were also selected to the team, but aren’t available. Canadian Dwayne De Rosario (DC United) and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Eric Hassli will also miss the game.

Coverage will be on TSN tonight beginning at 8:30pm ET. TSN will use the ESPN broadcast from the US, with Adrian Healey and John Harkes providing commentary. Rob Stone will serve as a sideline reporter. Max Bretos will present studio coverage with analysts Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman and Taylor Twellman.

A Busy Weekend of Sports: In Need of Review

It has been a very busy first 12 days of June in the world of sports. The start of the month has been chalk full of major sports events and new sports broadcasts. Here is my rundown of the month so far, in particular the past few days.

  • IndyCar had a very good idea in having back-to-back half distance races at Texas last night. The only problem was the execution. After the first race, there was a draw for starting positions for the second race. This process took over a half an hour. Even though I’m a huge IndyCar fan, I simply lost interest and went to bed between races. Had there been one race, I wouldn’t have even considered it. A suggestion for next year, have the draw during the pre-race show and make it a bit quicker.
  • Also on Saturday, 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon made his commentary debut on Versus. He was filling in for Wally Dallenbach who was busy with NASCAR on TNT duties in Pocono. I thought Wheldon did spectacular considering it was his first crack at commentary. Wheldon also brought in a sense of humour when Wade Cunningham crashed his Indy 500 winning car during the first race. He seemed to stay unbiased and had a good inside view of what the drivers thought on issues.
  • The Formula 1 Grand Prix du Montreal took place earlier today. I was fairly vocal of what I thought of TSN’s coverage (or lack-there-of) last week. However, based on the coverage they did air, they did a good job. For the most part commercial breaks were kept to a minimum and were inserted at good times. Of course this was easy since more than half of the four hour broadcast was spent under red flag conditions or behind the safety car. Fox also deserves credit for sticking with the broadcast past 3pm ET, instead of moving it to Speed.
  • BBC’s Martin Brundle and David Coulthard had the impossible job of keeping viewers entertained for 2, commercial free, hours of the rain delay in Montreal. For the most part they did a good job. The broadcast did hit a low when David asked Martin if he knew that “racecar” is spelled the same way frontwards and backwards.
  • TSN was also stuck with the impossible situation of having its coverage of the big England-Spain game at the 2011 UEFA Under-21 Championship delayed due to the Formula 1 race running over two hours long. I don’t think they made the right decision by delaying such a big game to midnight ET, while only showing the 2nd half this afternoon. I would have replaced the Ukraine-Czech Republic match at 6pm ET on TSN2 with the England-Spain affair. Then they should have aired Ukraine-Czech Republic at midnight on TSN.
  • And that leads to my next point. TSN has almost grown to the point again where they have too many broadcast properties. This was first an issue a few years back when NASCAR fans constantly bickered with IndyCar fans, while soccer fans bickered with tennis fans about what sports should be shown live, and which ones should be forced into late night oblivion. The creation of TSN2 alleviated these concerns from all sides and fans of all sports have co-existed in peace for the past few years. However, now TSN is slowly starting to run out of space again. Fans might benefit from an online version of TSN, much like ESPN3.com in the States.
  • TSN has tapped Nigel Reed to cover the UEFA Under-21 Championship. Reed, a regular in the past on CBC’s MLS coverage, has now appeared on CBC, Sportsnet and TSN this year, along with a weekly radio show on The Fan 590. He may no longer have full time employment, but he is certainly keeping busy.
  • While Reed may not be the best football commentator in the world, he much better than the alternative: the UEFA provided commentary feed. Anyone who has heard Tim White or John Bradley (who called the games on Saturday for the international feed), knows what I’m talking about.
  • TSN will produce a pair of MLS doubleheaders in July. The first on July 6 and the second on July 20. Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos will obviously be one of the commentary crews. At least half of the secondary crew is now known; former Canadian National Team coach Dale Mitchell should be the analyst. Either Nigel Reed or Vic Rauter could join him in the booth.
  • The newest edition to Sportsnet’s Blue Jays broadcast crew has brought some good and bad. Alan Ashby is a very good analyst and I thought he worked well with Buck Martinez during the Blue Jays-Royals series. On the other hand, he is a terrible play-by-play. Watching the Red Sox-Blue Jays game yesterday was grating. He asks unclear questions of his analyst – there were multiple times where Tabler had to ask him to clarify what he was talking about – and he talks too much in general. Baseball is a game that can tell its own story. There is no need to fill every second with chatter.
  • Amazingly, I have been turned back to CBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals. I can’t really pinpoint whether their coverage has been better this year than in the past, or if NBC’s has been worse. I think it is probably a combination of the two. Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson have been superb. Glenn Healy has been better than usual (maybe the right word would be, not as grumpy) and Don Cherry has (surprisingly) made some good points. And, of course, nobody can beat the pre-game atmosphere that CBC creates. They let the game tell the story. Meanwhile, NBC has tried to create storylines that aren’t there (ex. USA vs. Canada) and Mike Milbury has referred to the Bruins as “we”.
  • ABC’s ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Finals has been okay. Mike Breen and Magic Johnson continue to be bright spots. It is also nice to see Stuart Scott, who is battling cancer, working these broadcasts. Otherwise, ABC’s coverage continues to lack behind NBC’s coverage from 10 years ago and TNT’s current coverage.
  • Also over at ESPN, #1 analyst Mark Jackson has been hired by the Golden State Warriors to be their head coach next season. ESPN will have a couple of choices of what to do with the top team. One choice would be to leave it as a two-man booth with Breen and Jeff van Gundy. Another would be to throw Hubie Brown on the Breen/van Gundy team. Personally, I’d take van Gundy off the top team and have Breen/Hubie work the big games, with Mike Tirico and van Gundy working as the secondary crew.

New Most Watched MLS Game in Canadian History

To those who thought that Major League Soccer going from CBC, an OTA network, to TSN, Canada’s main cable network, was a bad idea, check out the numbers for TSN’s inaugural MLS telecast between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC on Saturday. A record average of 289, 000 people watched the game. The previous high mark was 261, 000 for a Toronto FC-Columbus Crew game on CBC in 2009. Of course you would expect the audience to be higher than CBC because it was the first all-Canadian MLS match and since it was on in primetime (CBC never aired primetime MLS games). However, when you consider that it went head to head with a Hockey Night in Canada game featuring the Maple Leafs on CBC and March Madness featuring Gonzaga (and a bunch of Canadians) on CBS, it is impressive nonetheless.

The next MLS game on TSN will feature Toronto FC’s home opener vs. the expansion Portland Timbers on Saturday March 26 at 1:30pm ET.