TSN / RDS Score Multi-Year Rugby Canada Rights

TSN and RDS have furthered their partnership with Rugby Canada, signing a multi-year rights agreement which will see the two networks broadcast several international matches/events each year. TSN and RDS are also the exclusive Canadian broadcasters of the 2015 Rugby World Cup from England, as well as the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament from June 28–30 from Moscow, Russia.

The first match as part of the new deal is an international friendly against Ireland this Saturday at 8pm ET (TSN) from BMO Field in Toronto. Luke Wileman will provide play-by-play, with former Canadian national team player Brian Spanton providing analysis.

Canada’s two upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against the USA follow shortly after. The first qualifier takes place on August 17 at 6:30pm ET (TSN2) as the US hosts Canada, and the return leg at BMO Field one week later, August 24 at 4pm ET (TSN2). Canada will host also the New Zealand Maori All Blacks in an international friendly on November 3 at 1pm ET (TSN).

If Canada wins the home and away series in August against the US, they will automatically qualify from the 2015 World Cup. Should they lose, they will place another home and away series against Uruguay, which will also hopefully be broadcast.

If you’re looking for more rugby union action, Sportsnet World has you covered as they regularly show the Super 15 competition (Australia/New Zealand/South African domestic competition, currently on a mid-season break), IRB Pacific Nations Cup (finishes June 23, Canada currently 3-0), as well as an assortment of international friendly matches and international test matches.

Playoff time for Australian rugby and Aussie Rules Playoffs

A little late posting this one, with Game 1 of finals weekend in both the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) being played at I type this out. Luckily, if you are familiar with either code or just want to see a different type of football that has more athleticism and less padding and stoppages than the NFL, you still have plenty of chances left this weekend.

Sportsnet World has all four NRL games, with TSN2 showing the two AFL matches. TSN has put out their usual press release — to try and rope in us ex-pat Aussie’s living over here, I’m sure — as finals time is really the only time they give a shit about the AFL. They state “TSN2 will have coverage of all rounds of the playoffs, finishing with the AFL GRAND FINAL on September 29.” All good, except they list only two out of the four games this weekend. One, which screened Friday morning, and the second Saturday night. I guess those all-morning repeats of “That’s Hockey” during the summer conflict with live sporting events.

SN World needs no such thing as they consistently show multiple matches per weekend during the whole season. Keep an eye out over at Sports on Canadian TV for the weekly listings of all NRL games, and whatever AFL feeds that TSN2 miraculously decides to pull out of the sky.

NRL Week 1 Playoffs:
Fri Sep 7 @ 6am – Qualifying Final #1 – Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Manly Sea-Eagles
Sat Sep 8 @ 6:30am – Qualifying Final #2 – North Queensland Cowboys vs. Brisbane Broncos
Sat Sep 8 @ 8:30am – Qualifying Final #3 – Melbourne Storm vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs
Sun Sep 9 @ 2am – Qualifying Final #4 – Canberra Raiders vs. Cronulla Sharks

AFL Week 1 Playoffs:
Fri Sep 7 @ 5:30am – Qualifying Final #1 – Hawthorne Hawks vs. Collingwood Magpies
Sat Sep 8 @ 1am – Qualifying Final #2 – Adelaide Crows vs. Sydney Swans

—— Ticky

TSN Has the AFL Grand Final on Saturday

TSN has lots of sports action from the otherside of the world this Friday night/Saturday morning with the AFL Grand Final and Rugby World Cup. Here is their press release detailing coverage.

TSN.ca will have live streaming of the complete GRAND FINAL beginning Friday at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 PT. In addition, the match will be joined live in progress at approximately 1:30 a.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT on TSN, immediately following the CFL ON TSN Edmonton @ B.C. game. TSN will also air an encore presentation of the GRAND FINAL on Saturday (October 1) at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT.

Featuring the Collingwood Magpies vs. the Geelong Cats – considered the best two teams all season – the highly-anticipated GRAND FINAL will be played out in front of more than 100,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Famed American singer Meatloaf will perform songs for fans during the special pre-show.

After suffering a loss to Ireland, Australia is tied for second place with Italy in Pool C. Australia – currently ranked #3 in the world behind New Zealand and South Africa – must defeat Russia to guarantee advancing to the quarter-finals. TSN2 will have live coverage of Australia’s final round-robin match against Russia tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

On Saturday (October 1), TSN2 continues its live coverage of the RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011 with France vs. Tonga at 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, followed by England vs. Scotland at 3:15 a.m. ET/12:15 a.m. PT.

Rugby World Cup Starts Tomorrow on TSN and TSN2

One of the world’s biggest sports events, the Rugby World Cup, starts tomorrow on TSN and TSN2. Coverage begins early tomorrow morning with the Opening Ceremony at 3:30am ET on TSN2, followed by live coverage of the curtain raiser between the host New Zealand and Tonga at 4:30am ET. TSN will show 7 games from the Rugby World Cup, with 39 more on TSN2 and 2 on TSN.ca. RDS will show 47 games in French. TSN will also have a World Cup preview show on Tuesday September 13 at 7pm ET that will look at the favourites in the tournament, as well as Canada’s chances of progressing past the group stage.

Nigel Reed will present TSN’s Rugby World Cup coverage. The studio pundits will be former Canadian captain Gareth Rees and Brian Spanton. Rees is known for being one of the most prolific Canadian rugby players of all time, with 55 national team caps. He also played as a pro in England with the London Wasps and Harlequins.

It looks like TSN will use the international commentary feed for the Rugby World Cup, which will be provided by Sky Sport from New Zealand. Sky Sport employs some of the best rugby commentators in the world. Here are the Sky Sport commentators.

Commentators: Grant Nisbett, Scott Stevenson, Ken Laban, Willie Lose, Gordan Bray, Tony Johnson, Jon Preston, Richard Turner, Miles Harrison

Co-Commentators: Grant Fox, Ian Smith, Murray Mexted, Matthew Cooper, Stu Wilson, Justin Marshall, Kobus Wiese, Stuart Barnes

Some of these names may be familiar to rugby fans. Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes work for Sky Sports in Great Britain, while Gordan Bray works for Channel 7 in Australia. Of course, among the co-commentators are many ex-All Blacks players, as well as ex-South Africa international Kobus Wiese.

Grant Nisbett, Grant Fox and Ian Smith will be Sky’s lead commentary team, calling every All Blacks game and likely the final.

You can see TSN’s complete Rugby World Cup schedule here (plus information on NBC’s 3 encore broadcasts).

For more updates on the Rugby World Cup, and all things Canadian sports media, follow me on Twitter.

TSN Confirms 2011 Rugby World Cup Coverage

EDIT: For more up-to-date information on TSN’s coverage see “Rugby World Cup Starts Tomorrow on TSN and TSN2” and the full broadcast schedule.

TSN has officially confirmed that they will have the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Every match will be live on TSN, TSN2 or TSN.ca. Coverage runs from September 9-October 23 in New Zealand. Canada will play in pool A along with the host All Blacks, France, Tonga and Japan.

Shawn Redmond, Vice-President of Programming, TSN said:

The Rugby World Cup is a huge, internationally-celebrated event that attracts millions of viewers from around the world and continues to grow in popularity in Canada. We are looking forward to showcasing rugby’s marquee event to Canadian sports fans across all TSN platforms as Team Canada looks to make their mark on the international stage.

And Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Mike Miller said:

Today’s announcement represents a significant boost for the reach and profile of rugby in Canada,” said RWCL Managing Director Mike Miller. “TSN is Canada’s leading sports broadcaster renowned for its high quality broadcasting of major international sports events. They will bring their unique sound, style and passion for live sport to a tournament that is firmly established as one of the world’s premier sports events.

TSN will also show against the United States in August. First the two teams play at BMO Field in Toronto on August 6 at 2pm ET on TSN, then again on August 13 at 9pm ET from Denver on TSN2. Rugby World Cup 2011 TSN and TSN2 Broadcast Schedule (pdf file).

More information to come soon.

TSN to Broadcast Rugby World Cup

EDIT: For more up-to-date information on TSN’s coverage see “Rugby World Cup Starts Tomorrow on TSN and TSN2” and the full broadcast schedule.

And the news on where the major sports events of 2011 will air continues to roll out today. I have found out that TSN and TSN2 will exclusively broadcast the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Canada. TSN and TSN2 will also have the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The 2011 tournament takes place from September 9-October 23 in New Zealand, with the final at the 60, 000 seat Eden Park in Auckland. TSN or TSN2 will broadcast all Canadian games, the quarter finals, semi finals and the final live. They will also have other key games.

For more updates on the Rugby World Cup, and all things Canadian sports media, follow me on Twitter.

TV5 Has Top 14 Playoffs

Usually I wouldn’t bother posting something that is only on French-language TV, but I think this warrents it because many rugby fans in Canada don’t get to see many games without subscribing to Setanta for $15 a month. TV5 will have live coverage of the Top 14, considered to be Europe’s top domestic rugby league, semifinals and Championship. The schedule is as follows

Friday 5/27, 2:55pm – Toulouse vs. Clermont
Saturday 5/28, 12:25pm – Racing Metro vs. Montpellier
Saturday 6/4, 2:30pm – Championship Final

Rugby on Setanta

Setanta also has rugby this weekend. In addition to the Top 14 semifinals, they will have the Celtic League and English Premiership finals on Saturday afternoon. First up it is an all-Ireland affair as Munster takes on Leinster live from Thomond Park in Limerick at noon ET in the Celtic League Grand Final. It will be followed by Premiership final between Leicester and Saracens at 2pm ET from Twickenheim in London.

Setanta Has Top 14 Rugby Playoffs

Setanta Sports has added coverage of Top 14, the top flight of rugby union in France, to their broadcast schedule. Setanta will air five playoff games from the Top 14. The Top 14 is regarded as the second best domestic rugby league, only behind Super Rugby. Setanta also has coverage of the playoff’s from England’s Premiership and the Celtic Magners League. Here is the schedule.

Clermon vs. Biarritz (playoff) Friday, May 13 @ 6:30 p.m. ET (same day)
Castres v Montpellier (playoff) Saturday, May 14 @ 7:45 p.m. ET (same day)
Toulouse v Clermont/Biarritz (semi final) Friday, May 27 @ 2 p.m. ET (LIVE!)
Racing Metro v Castres/Montpellier (semi final) Saturday, May 28 @ 3:45 p.m. ET (same day)
Final (teams TBD) Saturday, June 4 @ 1:45 p.m. ET (LIVE!)

Setanta also has these Magners League and Premiership playoff games this weekend
Friday 5/13, 4:45pm – Leinster vs. Ulster
Saturday 5/14, 1:25pm – Munster vs. Ospreys
Saturday 5/14, 6:00pm – Leicester vs. Northampton
Sunday 5/15, 10:00pm – Saracens vs. Gloucester