TSN & RDS Grab Rights To UEFA Champions & Europa League From 2015

I’ve given TSN shit over the years for calling themselves The Home of Soccer in Canada despite not having FIFA tournaments, the UEFA Champions League and barely showing any non-Canadian MLS action. Well, it may be time to eat my toque. MLS and EPL games on the network increased with the addition of the three new feeds earlier this year (though still not enough to show a majority of MLS playoff games), TSN has the FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cups beginning next year and now, TSN and RDS announced today they are the home of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League beginning in 2015.

In the multi-year agreement, TSN will broadcast up to 16 games each week during the group stage and extensive coverage of the knockout rounds and both finals. RDS will cover three games live each week.

In an unusual joint venture, beIN Sports Canada will show over 55 Champions games during the year and more than 90 Europa games providing Canadians will more European high-level football than ever before.

The deal also includes broadcast rights for games to be on TSN Radio across the country.

This huge get for TSN can easily be correlated to the Rogers multi-bazillion dollar NHL deal. Not wanting to speculate, but no doubt Sportsnet didn’t have the money to match what TSN was offering. It will be interesting to see how the EPL rights fall for the 2016 contract.

— Dan, @SportsonCanadianTV

2013 UEFA EURO Under-21 Championship on TSN

The top eight European under-21 teams will compete in Israel beginning tomorrow in the 2013 edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.  TSN and TSN2 will have have all 12 group stage games live, as well as the two semi-finals and the final on June 18.

The schedule and press release can be found below. One very interesting thing to note is that former The Score football host Kristian Jack has joined TSN for their coverage to provide in-depth analysis. Since Rogers took over The Score and ‘The Footy Show’ disappeared from the airwaves, KJ had all but vanished apart from his occasional blog post. With James Sharman joining Fox Soccer News/Soccer Central, I presumed KJ wouldn’t be far behind, but for whatever reason, that never materialized. A shame really, as in my opinion, Jack is the best football analysts on Canadian television.

Wednesday, June 5
Israel vs. Norway – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN2
England vs. Italy – 2:15 p.m. ET on TSN

Thursday, June 6
Spain vs. Russia – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN2
Netherlands vs. Germany – 2:15 p.m. ET on TSN

Saturday, June 8
England vs. Norway – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN2
Italy vs. Israel – 2:15 p.m. ET on TSN

Sunday, June 9
Netherlands vs. Russia – 4 p.m. ET on TSN
Germany vs. Spain – 6 p.m. ET on TSN2

Tuesday, June 11
Israel vs. England – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Norway vs. Italy – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN2

Wednesday, June 12
Spain vs. Netherlands – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Russia vs. Germany – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN2

Saturday, June 15
Semifinal 1 – 11:15 a.m. ET on TSN2
Semifinal 2 – 2:15 p.m. ET on TSN2

Tuesday, June 18
Final – 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN

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UEFA Schedule: October 22-24

It is matchday 3 in the Champions League and Europa League this week. Here is the broadcast schedule for Canada.

Tuesday October 23
11:45am, Spartak Moscow v. Benfica – Sportsnet World
2:30pm, Manchester United v. Braga – Sportsnet (encore: 7pm, SN1)
2:30pm, Barcelona v. Celtic – Sportsnet ONE
2:30pm, Shakhtar Donetsk v. Chelsea – Sportsnet World
5:00pm, Lille v. Bayern Munich – Sportsnet World (delay)

Wednesday October 24
11:45am, Zenit v. Anderlecht – Sportsnet World
2:30pm, Dortmund v. Real Madrid – Sportsnet
2:30pm, Arsenal v. Schalke 04 – Sportsnet ONE
2:30pm, Ajax v. Manchester City – Sportsnet World
5:00pm, Malaga v. AC Milan – Sportsnet World (delay)

Thursday October 25
1:00pm, Maribor v. Tottenham – Sportsnet
1:00pm, Internazionale v. Partizan – Sportsnet ONE
1:00pm, Panathinaikos v. Lazio – Sportsnet World
3:00pm, Liverpool v. Anzhi – Sportsnet
3:00pm, Newcastle v. Brugge – Sportsnet World
3:00pm, Atletico Madrid v. Academia – Sportsnet ONE
5:30pm, Rubin Kazan v. Neftichi – Sportsnet World (delay)
7:30pm, Sparta Praha v. Shamona – Sportsnet World (delay)

TSN Unveils Euro 2012 Coverage Plans

TSN unveiled their Euro 2012 coverage plans today. Euro 2012 begins in Poland and the Ukraine in just over a week. TSN, TSN2 and CTV (yes, CTV, really) will show all 31 games from the tournament. TSN will use the international commentary feed. Who those commentators are is still not known, although I’ll be sure to post as soon as I find out.

Here is a link to the complete Canadian TV schedule. I will also post a daily schedule throughout the tournament that will include TV information for Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, for those who are interested in such things.

Here is TSN’s press release. You can continue after the break for details of TLN’s coverage in Italian and Spanish.

One of the world’s biggest sporting events is here and TSN is giving Canadians complete coverage of every minute of UEFA EURO 2012. All 31 games from UEFA EURO 2012 will be broadcast in high definition with 26 games on TSN, four games on TSN2 and one game on CTV. TSN’s coverage of UEFA EURO 2012 begins Friday, June 8 with Poland taking on Greece with pregame coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET. See full broadcast schedule below.

French language coverage of UEFA EURO 2012 airs on RDS and RDS2.

“UEFA EURO is an incredible spectacle of sport and culture where passion and pride are as much a part of the game as winning,” said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. “No matter who you are cheering for, Canadians can watch all of the excitement and international drama live as it unfolds.”

In addition to live broadcast coverage, TSN will produce extensive UEFA EURO 2012 pre- and post-game shows along with EURO TONIGHT, a nightly show recapping all of the day’s action. TSN’s studio coverage will be led by the network’s acclaimed soccer broadcast team of Luke Wileman and Jason deVos. Along with highlights and game analysis, TSN’s UEFA EURO 2012 pre- and post-game shows will also track the EURO frenzy taking place across Canada.

UEFA EURO 2012 on TSN is proving to be one of the hottest broadcast properties for Canadian advertisers this summer. Major sponsors of TSN’s coverage include Adidas, Carlsberg, CIBC, KIA and Unilever.

TSN Mobile TV

TSN gives fans on-the-go live coverage of UEFA EURO 2012 games exclusively on TSN Mobile TV. The mobile services will also feature TSN’s UEFA EURO 2012 pre- and post-game shows and EURO TONIGHT.

TSN Radio

TSN Radio in Toronto (AM 1050), Montreal (AM 990) and Winnipeg (AM 1290) have extensive live UEFA EURO 2012 coverage with games throughout the Group Stage as well as the Playoffs and the Final.

TSN Radio stations will also give fans up-to-the minute UEFA EURO 2012 news along with analysis from Wileman and deVos throughout the tournament. Bell Media sports radio stations TEAM Radio in Vancouver and TEAM1200 in Ottawa will also have live game coverage.

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Champions League Final: Tomorrow on Sportsnet and Fox

I’ve got two Champions League press releases tonight. Sportsnet and Fox will both have their own unique coverage of the UEFA Champions League final from Munich tomorrow afternoon. Gerry Dobson and Craig Forrest will host Sportsnet’s coverage from Toronto, while Rob Stone, will present Fox’s coverage from the Allianz Arena in Munich with analysts Eric Wynalda and Brad Friedel. I expect Sportsnet will use the international feed commentary (BBC’s Martin Fisher and ESPN’s Craig Burley were the commentators last year), while Fox will use Sky Sports’ commentary with the legendary Martin Tyler and Gary Neville.

First up, Sportsnet’s PR.

All eyes will be on Sportsnet on Saturday, May 19 as FC Bayern Munich hosts Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League Final, live from Munich at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific.

SOCCER CENTRAL’s Craig Forrest and Gerry Dobson set the stage for the prestigious match with a special 45-minute pregame show. Stephen Brunt joins the panel with a feature story on Roman Abramovich’s quest to win the Champions League Final as owner of Chelsea. The show will also feature “Forrest’s Finest”, as the Sportsnet soccer analyst names his “Best XI” team from the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League competition. The panel will also provide half-time and post-game analysis of the match.

Prior to game day, fans can prime for the match by visiting sportsnet.ca for the latest predictions and analysis from the panel. Online coverage continues on Saturday, with a full match report, video highlights, photos and postgame analysis.

Following a thrilling comeback against defending champion FC Barcelona in the semifinals, Chelsea earned a berth in the Champions League Final for the first time in four years. Similarly, Bayern Munich upset Real Madrid in the semifinals to clinch their spot in the final.

Sportsnet is Canada’s home of UEFA Champions League soccer, recently announcing a three-year partnership extension through the 2014-15 season.

And Fox.

Only two teams and one game remain in the 2012 UEFA Champions League, the world’s most-watched elite club soccer tournament. On the grandest stage of European soccer, German club Bayern Munich and England’s Chelsea FC face off inside UEFA Fußball Arena Munchen on Saturday, May 19 in Munich, Germany. Bayern has the advantage of being the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, while Chelsea is on a quest to capture its first European Cup. For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports is broadcasting this showcase event live, with coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET.

Live from Munich, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee serves as event host, with FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. FOX Soccer analyst and American National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda joins Tottenham goalkeeper and former United States National Team player Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis. Legendary Sky Sports play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler calls the match with analysis from former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.

I’ve heard good and bad reviews about both networks’ coverage. I am interested to hear who is watching which channel though. Enjoy the game everyone.

Sportsnet Adds UEFA Europa League Through 2015

UEFA’s other club competition has found a home in Canada for the next three years. Sportsnet has announced a new deal with UEFA to broadcast the UEFA Europa League through 2015. This deal is in addition to their UEFA Champions League deal which also runs through 2015. Sportsnet and Sportsnet World will combine to show 205 games per year. TVA Sports will show 15 in French. Exact details of how Sportsnet’s coverage will break down by channel aren’t available yet.

After three years of coverage on TLN, this is major news for Canadian soccer fans. TLN stashed much of their coverage on Euroworld Sport, which isn’t available to many Canadians.

Here is Sportsnet’s press release.

Sportsnet announced today it has secured the Canadian multimedia rights to UEFA Europa League for the next three seasons, solidifying Sportsnet as Canada’s home to the world’s most prestigious soccer events.

The new agreement includes 205 UEFA Europa Cup (formerly called UEFA Cup) matches each season, which will be delivered to Canadians on a suite of multimedia rights – television, online and mobile. Additionally, through Sportsnet’s agreement with TVA Sports, the deal also includes expanded French-language coverage across the same platforms with a minimum of 15 matches to be broadcast on TVA Sports per season.

“Soccer is a top sport of choice among Canadians coast to coast, and the UEFA Europa League is one of the premiere events on the calendar for soccer fans,” said Navaid Mansuri, Vice-President of Finance & Sports Programming, Rogers Media. “We are thrilled to partner with UEFA for the exclusive Canadian rights for the Europa League, which continues to solidify our commitment to fueling fans with premium soccer events across multiple platforms.”

The new three-year partnership marks the first multiple year, multiplatform agreement with Sportsnet for UEFA Europa League rights, and is hot on the heels of Sportsnet’s three-year partnership extension with UEFA through the 2014-15 season for UEFA Champions League.

For the next three years, Sportsnet fuels fans with multiplatform coverage of the UEFA Europa League including:

  • Group Stage
  • Knockout Phase (Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals)
  • Championship Final

In addition to the UEFA Europa League package, Sportsnet is home to the UEFA Champions League, as well as the UEFA Super Cup, pitting the winners of the previous season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League against each other. The UEFA Super Cup acts as the curtain raiser for the new UEFA club competition season.

Sportsnet the Home of the Champions League Through 2015

UEFA and Rogers Media have announced that Sportsnet will continue to exclusively broadcast UEFA Champions League matches in Canada through the end of the 2014-15 season. Sportsnet’s properties, including the regional channels, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet World, will broadcast 146 matches per season for the next three years. The new contract also includes online and mobile rights.

In addition to the qualifying round, group stage, knockout stage and final, all of which have aired on Sportsnet for the past three seasons, the new deal includes rights to the qualifying rounds. Popular teams such as Rangers, Benfica and Panathinaikos all had to play in the qualifying rounds this past season. This will give Sportsnet World more summer programming while the European domestic leagues are in their offseason.

The contract also includes the UEFA Cup and French-language rights for TVA Sports. At least 34 games per season will air on TVA Sports.

Here is a quote from avaid Mansuri, Vice-President of Finance & Sports Programming, Rogers Media

UEFA Champions League is one of the world’s most prestigious soccer tournaments with a rich history that resonates with Canadian soccer fans across countless communities and cultures. Sportsnet is Canada’s premiere destination for all things soccer, and we are thrilled to continue our partnership with UEFA. The new agreement bolsters Sportsnet’s already robust portfolio of soccer programming and solidifies our commitment to delivering viewers premium sporting events across multiple platforms.

I think Sportsnet has done a reasonably good job with their Champions League coverage. It is certainly better than the product TSN (through ESPN) had in the past. The big games are available on basic cable, where as TSN had to relegate many games to TSN2 (and before that tape delay) due to conflicts with curling coverage.

Sportsnet uses the Sky Sports commentary, which is a major bonus. The only complaint I have is the studio coverage seems distant at times, but that is hard to avoid when the competition is taking place on the other side of the Atlantic. One thing that could help Sportsnet is the addition of a second studio pundit.

Bundesliga… GolTV has secured North American Bundesliga rights until 2015. The new contract is the same as the current one. GolTV will show 2-3 matches per week, including Bayern Munich every other week. The future of GolTV itself, especially in the United States, is in question though. That is because GolTV has lost out on La Liga rights to Al Jazeera. Without Real Madrid and Barcelona, it is tough to see GolTV surviving south of the border. Some 85% of GolTV’s subscribers in America are of Spanish or Latin American origins.

It is still unclear what these developments mean for La Liga fans in Canada, or GolTV Canada. I still believe that TLN has a strong interest in La Liga. It would provide English language programming for Euroworld Sports and Spanish language programming for TLN en Espanol. Of course GolTV Canada could bid itself, as could Rogers or theScore. GolTV Canada has always relied on its American counterpart for programming though.

The Serie A also begins a new contract cycle next season. Presumably, due to conflicts and money, whoever buys La Liga rights won’t have any interest in Serie A. TLN, theScore and GolTV Canada probably all have varying amounts of interest in this property as well.

Another possibility is Al Jazeera could try to get into the Canadian sports market. It has already launched a sports channel in France to show Ligue 1 and is rumoured to have an interest in buying GolTV in the US. There are also rumours of a launch in Britain and a strong play on domestic Premier League rights in the near future. If Al Jazeera have an interest in the Canadian sport market, they could form a partnership with GolTV or Euroworld Sports, or even buy GolTV outright if the new owners of MLSE want to put all Toronto FC games on Bell and Rogers-owned channels.

Al Jazeera already owns Canadian Ligue 1 rights from next season. It sounds that like after years of covering the league in French, TV5 are out. Al Jazeera could sublicense Canadian Ligue 1 rights, or as I mentioned earlier, they could try to gain access to a Canadian soccer channel to air them on.

There is still a lot to work out behind the scenes, but it is possible the Canadian soccer broadcasting scene will look dramatically different when the 2012-13 season starts in August.

Champions League Round of 16, 2nd leg Schedule

Sportsnet has released their broadcast schedule for the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. As with the first legs, Sportsnet and Sportsnet World will each air four matches live over two weeks. Here is the broadcast schedule. All times are eastern (remember daylight savings time goes into effect in Europe next weekend). I have listed the score after the first leg in brackets.

Tuesday March 6
2:30pm, Benfica vs. Zenit (2-3) – Sportsnet
2:30pm, Arsenal vs. Milan (0-4) – SN World

Wednesday March 7
2:30pm, Barcelona vs. Bayer Leverkusen (3-1) – Sportsnet
2:30pm, APOEL vs. Lyon (0-1) – SN World

Tuesday March 13
3:30pm, Bayern Munich vs. Basel (0-1) – Sportsnet
3:30pm, Internazionale vs. Marseille (0-1) – SN World

Wednesday March 14
3:30pm, Chelsea vs. Napoli (1-3) – Sportsnet
3:30pm, Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow (1-1) – SN World

TLN has also released their schedule for Europa League round of 16, which will take place over the next two Thursdays. Here is that schedule.

Thursday March 8
1:00pm, Sporting Clube vs. Manchester City – TLN
1:00pm, Twente vs. Schalke – Euroworld Sport
3:00pm, Manchester United vs. Athletic Club – Euroworld Sport

Thursday March 15
2:00pm, Athletic Club vs. Manchester United – TLN
2:00pm, PSV Eindhoven vs. Valencia – Euroworld Sport
4:00pm, Manchester City vs. Sporting Clube – Euroworld Sport