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

Please Let This Be The End Of Tweets On Sports Broadcasts

The only exciting news to come out of another long NHL Trade Deadline Day on Monday was TSN airing a wildly inappropriate joke tweet that somehow got past whatever social media intern was supposed to be manning the system.

Screenshots of the broadcast quickly spread around the interweb and even earned a reply from one of the players in question. By 1pm, the TSN PR account tweeted out a general apology.

However, TSN didn’t issue a formal online or onscreen apology until last night during their Leafs broadcast, and that was only after the parties involved in the tweet, Maple Leafs players Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf, and Phaneuf’s wife Elisha Cuthbert issued a lawsuit threat to the network as well as the original author of the tweet in question. Below is the statement:

The following is a statement by Peter A. Gall, Q.C. of Gall Legge Grant & Munroe LLP on behalf of their clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul.

“On behalf of our clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul, we have sent a letter to TSN demanding that TSN issue a formal apology and pay a significant amount of damages to each of our clients for broadcasting a false and defamatory tweet during their trade deadline show yesterday. We are sending a similar letter to the author of the tweet, Mr. Anthony Adragna.

“It is bad enough that there are people who spend their time using social media to publish such false and malicious stories, but it is made much worse when a reputable media outlet like TSN gives broad circulation and credibility to these false stories by republishing them as TSN did.

“If TSN and Mr. Adragna do not immediately comply with the demands set out in our letters, we have instructions from our clients to immediately commence a lawsuit against them.

And TSN’s apology:

On Monday when TSN was reporting on the NHL trade deadline it displayed a scrolling ticker of tweets from the public.

In spite of TSN’s protocols to prevent unfounded and inappropriate tweets from making it to air, a false, and inappropriate tweet was allowed to run.

There was no basis for the false allegation made in this tweet.

TSN unreservedly apologizes to Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert and regrets any embarrassment this unfortunate incident has caused to them.

It seems unlikely that this will go to court and no doubt TSN will pay damages to the trio in an undisclosed settlement.

We can only hope that this leads to the end of sports broadcasts being filled with boring and uninteresting tweets and hashtags. Does anyone other than the author actually read the endless stream that adds nothing of value to the broadcast? In the end, the TSN’s of the world will most likely continue to show viewer tweets, albeit with much more moderation, as they want to social media for further #engagement and improving their #brand.

— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

FIFA Extends Bell Media World Cup TV Rights Through 2026

CBC and Sportsnet will be shut out of broadcasting the World Cup until 2030, at the earliest. In a surprise announcement yesterday that nobody was expecting, FIFA said they were extending their television contracts in Canada with CTV/TSN/RDS and in the US with Fox Sports and Telemundo without a bidding process.

Back in 2011, Bell Media won the World Cup rights from 2015 to 2022 which includes World Cup’s in Russia, Qatar, and the Women’s World Cup later this year in Canada, as well as numerous smaller tournaments. This extension adds the 2026 World Cup to the agreement along with the following tournaments: Women’s World Cup 2023, U20 World Cup 2023 and 2025, U17 World Cup 2023 and 2025, Beach Soccer World Cup 2023 and 2025, Futsal World Cup 2024, U20 Women’s World Cup 2024 and 2026, U17 Women’s World Cup 2024 and 2026, and FIFA Confederations Cup 2025.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with FIFA and are proud to be the Canadian home of FIFA tournaments for the next 12 years,” said Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports. “This is another big win for Bell Media and for soccer fans in Canada. We are ready to welcome the world to this summer’s FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CANADA 2015™ and are looking forward to showcasing the beautiful game for years to come.”

There is literally only one reason I can think of as to why FIFA would extend their agreements with these two North American broadcasters without the usual bidding process — a make-good gesture for when the 2022 Qatar World Cup will be moved from summer to the fall or winter. In the summer, the World Cup would be going against little other sports programming. With a move to the fall or winter, even with the time difference, World Cup games would clash with NFL and college football among other big-time programming.

Even more puzzling is awarding rights to a World Cup that has no location yet. There is a strong possibility that the USA and/or Canada could host the 2026 World Cup, which would’ve sparked a massive bidding war for record ratings, and we all know FIFA loves money. Now, this could be a major steal for Bell and Fox, something that no doubt is pissing off the ESPN suits.

As for CBC or Sportsnet, there is certainly little chance either network could afford FIFA rights anytime soon, but 2030 is a long time away in the sports media world, so maybe they’ll have a shot then.

2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on TSN

The annual NBA all-star weekend activities take place this weekend from Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Centre in New York City and will feature Kyle Lowry in the big game, the first Toronto Raptor to start in it since 2008.

SportsCentre will be crossing all week to NYC to host Rod Black and analysts Jack Armstrong and former Raptor Morris Peterson along with reporter Jermain Franklin. Coverage of the rising stars challenge, skills and dunk competition, and the all-star game will come from the excellent TNT broadcast crew.

Coverage will also be available via TSN GO and the all-star game available on TSN Radio Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Friday Feb. 13, 9pm ET: BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge – TSN
Saturday Feb. 14, 7pm ET: State Farm All-Star Saturday Night – TSN2
Sunday Feb. 15, 7pm ET: NBA All-Star Game – TSN

2015 Canada Winter Games on TSN and RDS

I have no idea what the Canada Games are. I’m fairly positive I have never ever heard of the Canada Games. It seems a little weird for a country to have its own mini-Olympics. I’m also confused as to why sports such as archery, gymnastics, badminton, squash and judo are in the winter version.

Anywho, TSN and RDS will be covering the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Apparently they’ve been doing this for the past nine events. They will run from February 13 to March 1. All the details below.

TSN and RDS are once again bringing Canadians live coverage of the CANADA GAMES, delivering 40 hours of the action from Prince George, B.C. – host city of the 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES. Marking the ninth CANADA GAMES to air on TSN and RDS, the 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES officially get underway with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 13 at 10 p.m. ET on TSN2 and RDS2 and culminate with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, March 1 at 7 p.m. ET on TSN2 and RDS.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist and past CANADA GAMES participant Catriona Le May Doan will be in the TSN Studio to anchor TSN’s live coverage of the 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES. SPORTSCENTRE’s Paul Hollingsworth will provide play-by-play throughout the CANADA GAMES, including men’s hockey alongside analyst Dave Reid and women’s hockey alongside analyst Cheryl Pounder.

TSN’s broadcast team also features:
Speed Skating: Two-time Olympic silver medallist Susan Auch
Curling: Olympic bronze medallist Melissa Soligo
Badminton: London 2012 Team Canada badminton head coach Ram Nayyar

“We are proud to deliver comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Canada Winter Games,” said Stuart Ballantyne, CEO of the 2015 Canada Winter Games. “Through our broadcast and webcast partnerships, the spirit of the 2015 Games and the northern story will be shared across the nation. From the excitement of the Opening Ceremony to the joy of winning a gold medal, Canadians will be able to journey with us to the 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES from the comfort of their homes.”

The 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES brings together more than 2,400 athletes, 1,000 coaches and officials, up to 4,500 volunteers, hundreds of media, and thousands of visitors in Prince George – the first city in British Columbia to host a winter edition of the games. The CANADA GAMES are held once every two years and alternate between winter and summer, representing the highest level of national competition for up-and-coming Canadian athletes.

TSN’s broadcast schedule for the 2015 CANADA WINTER GAMES is below (visit RDS.ca for RDS’s broadcast schedule):

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TSN And CTV Team Up For Investigative Piece On Counterfeiting In Sports

Since being hired in July of last year, Rick Westhead has been doing some fantastic work for TSN in the sports business and investigate journalism department, something not really seen from other Canadian sports media outlets. His biggest piece airs this week on TSN and CTV — ‘Faking It’, a look at counterfeiting in the sports industry.

“When Toronto police told me how many fake NHL jerseys have flooded into the Toronto market alone, and how organized crime is becoming more invested in the business, I knew this was a story sports fans needed to hear,” said Rick Westhead. “Fans have such strong emotional ties to their favourite players and teams, and those ties are the reason they are willing to pay so much money for jerseys, game tickets, and autographs. With FAKING IT, we look into the way those three pillars of the sports business areunder attack by counterfeiters.”

FAKING IT examines the ways in which sports fans are being deceived by fake tickets, how some sports memorabilia may not be what it seems, and how bogus team jerseys make their way into the Canadian marketplace.

Along the way, Rick Westhead visits Canada’s biggest sports memorabilia show in an attempt to test the eye of expert authenticators, talks to professional sports organizations and their fans about the proliferation of fake tickets being sold online, and takes a hidden camera inside Chinese factories to investigate the making of knock-off jerseys that could soon be sold under the guise of officially licensed apparel.

In a co-production between SportsCentre and CTV’s investigative news program W5, Westhead will host the feature series that airs in three parts over the next three nights on SportsCentre and in full on Saturday night’s W5.

  • Part One: The Name Game – Thursday, Feb. 5 at 6pm ET on SportsCentre
  • Part Two: Tickets to Nowhere –  Friday, Feb. 6 at 6pm ET on SportsCentre
  • Part Three: Jersey Ploys – Saturday, Feb. 7 at 6pm ET on SportsCentre
  • FAKING IT – Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7pm ET on W5

Individual parts will be available for streaming on CTV and TSN digital platforms after each night with the full series available online Saturday night along with bonus footage.

2015 Australian Open Begins Tonight on TSN; More Tennis This Year Than Ever

Tennis fans will see more matches than ever this year as TSN brings multi-feed coverage to all four grand slams beginning tonight with day one of the 2015 Australian Open. TSN launched their five feeds with the US Open last summer so this year we will over 1000 hours of coverage of the Aussie Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

With the additional coverage, viewers will be able to see every set of Canadian’s Genie Bouchard and Milos Raonic on their television or via TSN GO. Bouchard’s tournament begins tonight with her first round match scheduled for 3am ET on TSN5.

Day one’s coverage starts at 7pm ET tonight with just one feed on TSN5 and runs for 12 hours straight. Day two tomorrow night will see multiple feeds used. As usual with this mostly overnight tournament, TSN will show encore matches during the day. The women’s final will be at 3am ET on Saturday January 31 and the men’s on Sunday February 1 at 3am ET. As usual, a majority of the coverage will come from ESPN and Tennis Channel.

Full TSN schedule is below. Click to embiggen.

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