Major League Soccer 2015 Canadian Schedule

Fans (and broadcasters) of MLS had reason to worry that the 2015 season – the league’s 20th – wouldn’t go ahead beginning this weekend due to the players not yet signing a new collective bargaining agreement with team owners. Relief came late last night though with the MLS officially announcing a new CBA and Friday night’s season opening game set to go ahead as scheduled.

TSN and Sportsnet will have full coverage of Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps while TSN will broadcast select Montreal Impact matches. On the French-language side, TVA Sports and RDS will cover the Impact, while RDS has select Toronto FC and Whitecaps games.

TSN has rights to all-American matchups as well as the MLS playoffs and all-star game. Disappointingly, TSN is only showing the late game as part of the triple-header this Sunday due to the Brier finals. Each week thereafter, ESPN and Fox Sports in the U.S. broadcast a double-header every Sunday afternoon/evening and based on the schedule has TSN released so far, there seems to be little to no coverage of these games with only seven weeks of the season having both games broadcasted. So much for five feeds. I highly recommend MLS Live if you’re looking to view non-Canadian games, only $75 for the season.

TORONTO FC

TSN will be home to 23 TFC games this season with the other 11 featured on Sportsnet. TSN’s main commentating team will be Luke Wileman and Jason deVos in the booth with Kristian Jack reporting from the sidelines. Vic Rauter, Nigel Reed, Greg Sutton, and Kara Lang will also contribute to the telecast during the season. A majority of TSN’s games will be broadcast across the four main TSN feeds (TSN1/3/4/5), though a couple will be on TSN2 or a couple of the four regional feeds. All but one of Sportsnet’s 11 broadcasts will be on SN360 and features Gerry Dobson and Paul Dolan commentating. RDS will cover 12 regular season games.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

TSN has exclusive national coverage of the Whitecaps’ season with 11 matches on TSN2 and the remaining majority on either TSN1 or all four feeds. Luke Wileman and Jason deVos will once again call the majority of Whitecaps matches on TSN with support on the sideline from Perry Solkowski. On the radio side, Peter Schaad and David Norman will have the call on TSN Radio 1410 Vancouver. RDS will broadcast 13 regular season games.

MONTREAL IMPACT

TVA Sports will show 21 games this season across their two networks while RDS picks up 13 games. TVA broadcasts will be Frédéric Lord calling the action while on RDS, Claudine Douville returns for the play-by-play with Jean Gounelle providing colour. Michel Y. Lacroix and François-Etienne Corbin will split duties as hosts, and analysts Patrick Leduc and Olivier Brett will round up the team. TSN will have 13 English-language broadcasts.

For individual games for each team, please visit the schedule linked below:

Toronto FC | Vancouver Whitecaps | Montreal Impact

— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

NHL Canadian TV Schedule: March 4–10

Last weeks ratings: Saturday HNIC slightly down despite the big matchup of Leafs-Habs. Hometown Hockey gets a needed boost on Sunday thanks for the Leafs playing. SAT Tor-Mon, CBC, 2.1m; SUN Tor-Was, City, 748k; SAT Ott-SJ/STL-Edm, CBC, 726k; SAT HNIC Pre-Game, 611k; SUN STL-Van, SNP, 450k; SUN Pre-Game, City, 309k; SAT Det-Nas, SN, 272k; FRI Cal-NYI, SNW, 146k.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 4

7:30, Ottawa at Winnipeg: SN, TVA Sports (Dave Randorf, Garry Galley, Scott Oake)
8pm, NY Rangers at Detroit: SN1 (Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire)
10pm, Montreal at Anaheim: SN, RDS* (Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Elliotte Friedman)

THURSDAY MARCH 5

7pm, Calgary at Boston: SN West*
7pm, St. Louis at Philadelphia: SN360
7:30pm, Toronto at Tampa Bay: SN Ontario*, TVA Sports
9pm, Vancouver at Arizona: SN Pacific*
10:30pm, Montreal at Los Angeles: SN East*, RDS*

FRIDAY MARCH 6

7:30pm, Buffalo at Ottawa: TSN5*, Sabres TV*, RDS*
7:30pm, Calgary at Detroit: SN West*
8:30pm, Edmonton at Chicago: SN Oilers*
10pm, Pittsburgh at Anaheim: SN

SATURDAY MARCH 7

1pm, Philadelphia at Boston: SN1, TVA Sports
7pm, St. Louis at Toronto: CBC (Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy, David Amber)
7pm, Winnipeg at Nashville: SN (Bob Cole, Greg Millen, Shawn McKenzie)
7pm, Montreal at Arizona: City, TVA Sports (Dave Randorf, Garry Galley, Dan Murphy)
10pm, Pittsburgh at Los Angeles: SN, TVA Sports 2
10pm, Vancouver at San Jose: CBC (Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Scott Oake)

SUNDAY MARCH 8

12:30pm, Detroit at Boston: NBC, SN360 (Mike Emrick, Pierre McGuire)
3pm, Edmonton at Carolina: SN West*
7pm, Calgary at Ottawa: City, TVA Sports (Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Christine Simpson)

MONDAY MARCH 9

7:30pm, NY Islanders at Toronto: SN Ontario*
7:30pm, Edmonton at Detroit: SN West*
10pm, Anaheim at Vancouver: SN Pacific*
10pm, Pittsburgh at San Jose: SN1/East/Ontario/West

TUESDAY MARCH 10

7pm, NY Rangers at NY Islanders: SN1/Ontario, TVA Sports
7:30pm, Tampa Bay at Montreal: SN East*, RDS*
7:30pm, Boston at Ottawa: TSN5*, RDS2*
8pm: Winnipeg at St. Louis: TSN3*
9pm, Los Angeles at Colorado: SN West/Pacific

— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

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

Trade Deadline Day 2015 on Sportsnet and TSN

Trade Deadline Day 2015 will the the first since Sportsnet took over all national NHL rights. Whether this makes a difference for viewers or not remains to be seen later in the week when the ratings come out. Last year’s TSN broadcast on deadline day had four times as many viewers  as Sportsnet, TSN averaged 243,000 vs. 63,000 on Sportsnet — all poor souls who apparently haven’t harnessed the ability of getting push alerts on their phones instead of watching television for ten hours.

SPORTSNET HOCKEY CENTRAL

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on all four Sportsnet regional channels, Sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet Now.

  • Main Desk – Host Daren Millard is joined by Mike Johnson, Nick Kypreos and Kelly Hrudey to navigate a day’s worth of news
  • Breaking News Desk – Christine Simpson is joined by Elliotte Friedman, Chris Johnston and John Shannon to deliver the latest trades and rumours
  • Reaction Panel – Jeff Marek referees the expert panel of Glenn Healy, Doug MacLean, Darren Pang and Craig Simpson as they debate and discuss the big moves
  • Analytics – Damien Cox dissects the trades of the day, using analytics to explain why a player was traded and what the teams were looking for
  • In the Hot Seat – George Stroumboulopoulos provides insightful interviews and discussions throughout the day
  • Digital Zone – Sophia Jurksztowicz keeps a pulse on the fan reaction on social media
  • Around the League – Sportsnet’s comprehensive network of reporters check in from across the league to share reactions in real-time

TSN TRADECENTRE

Begins at 8am ET for ten hours on the four regional TSN feeds TSN1/3/4/5, TSN.ca and TSN GO.

  • Host: James Duthie
  • Trade Breaker Desk: Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, and Gord Miller
  • Instant Analysis Panel: Aaron Ward, Ray Ferraro, Jeff O’Neill, Pierre McGuire
  • Deadline Panel: Darren Dutchyshen, Martin Biron, and Ron Wilson
  • Trade Bait: Craig Button
  • Post2Post: Jamie McLennan
  • TSN The Reporters Panel: Dave Hodge with Michael Farber, Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, and Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur
  • Satellite Contributors: Gary Lawless, Francois Gagnon, and Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch
  • Social Contributor: Cabral “Cabbie” Richards
  • SPORTSCENTRE Updates: Jennifer Hedger
  • SPORTSCENTRE Bureau Reporters: Cory Woron, Mark Masters, Jermain Franklin, Sara Orlesky, Farhan Lalji, Brent Wallace, John Lu, Ryan Rishaug, Sheri Forde, and Matthew Scianitti

Free agent Dustin Penner was scheduled to be apart of TSN’s coverage as a “social contributor” alongside Cabral Richards, however Penner has been cut after making a couple of rape “jokes” on Twitter last night (Saturday). Unfortunately, Cabbie will still be on screen.

News & Notes: Blundell Starts Monday, TVA Sports 3, Shaw Dropping Speed, WWE Network, More

• Former shock-jock and all round douchebag Dean Blundell makes his return to the airwaves in Toronto on Monday, heading up Blundell & Co on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Blundell will be joined by George Rusic and Kayla Harris. Guests during his first week include Blue Jays President Paul Beeston, fellow d-bag Don Cherry, Toronto Mayor John Tory and a couple Toronto sports figures. It’s no coincidence his show launches on trade deadline day to try and get lots of ears listening, but it will be interesting to see how much, if any, insight Blundell will provide. Then again, he does watch TSN’s Sportscentre every morning. What a clown.

• TVA Sports will launch a third channel on April 15 for those on Bell Fibe/Satellite, Rogers, Videotron and Telus Optik TV. The third channel will only temporary though. It’s only sole purpose really is for showing early round NHL playoff games when there are multiple games on the same night. The channel will disappear at the end of May and will be available for free to those who already get TVA Sports and TVA Sports 2.

• WWE Network is finally available to customers with Bell Fibe and Satellite television (channel 1446). The channel went into free preview this past Monday and will run until March 22 — a week out from the grand daddy of them all, Wrestlemania. The service is $11.99 monthly and includes all 12 pay-per-views.

• Before Speed Channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Racing last week, Shaw announced it would be dropping the channel April 1. As of now, Shaw still intends to drop the channel despite the makeover. From Racing North: “The operator of (Fox Sports Racing) provided (Shaw) with little notice or explanation of the name change, and we have no information to suggest that the programming will change,” a Shaw representative stated. “Shaw does not have control over the programming or branding choices that the various networks make.” Rogers is the only major Canadian provider that currently carries Fox Sports Racing.

• Tim Thompson, most commonly known as they guy who made all those opening HNIC montages for CBC, has been let go by Sportsnet for an unknown ridiculous reason. Thompson tweeted, “Unfortunately, I won’t be working for Hockey Night In Canada anymore. I was let go today. I’ll be back at CBC Sports & am excited about it.”

• The New York Times reports that Bell Media will only pay four percent more as a result of being given the World Cup rights for another cycle until 2026, but that will increase to ten percent should the United States hold the tournament. Bell will allegedly pay $40 million for the 2022 rights. This is a steal compared to Fox in the U.S. who will be paying a ten percent increase no matter where the tournament takes place. The generous offer from FIFA is to avoid the North American networks from suing FIFA due to the 2022 Qatar World Cup being moved from the traditional summer slot to a November-December timeframe due to the Qatari weather.

Toronto Blue Jays And MLB Network Spring Training Coverage

Another MLB season is just around the corner and Sportsnet will have the Toronto Blue Jays spring training games covered across multiple platforms – all 30 games on either Sportsnet 590 The Fan or sportsnet.ca and 10 games on television. Coverage will include the last two pre-season games from the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

On the TV side, Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler and Joe Siddall will be in the broadcast booth and Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun hosting two special editions of Jays Central in Montreal. In the radio booth, Jerry Howarth, Joe Siddall and Mike Wilner will call the action. Jeff Blair will broadcast his show from Dunedin the week of March 16.

For the 57 of you who are able to get the MLB Network, you can find a list of the 200-ish games they will be showing during spring training here.

Full Jays spring training schedule is below. All times are ET.

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TSN’s Multi-Sheet Coverage of 2015 Tim Hortons Brier

TSN’s multiple feeds will be used for multiple curling draws for the first time with the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier that begins this weekend. TSN will broadcast two different draws during the preliminary round’s afternoon and prime-time coverage which gives viewers over 100 hours of Brier action, double the amount from last year.

Four-time Brier champion and three-time world champion David Nedohin will deliver analysis along with Bryan Mudryk on play-by-play and Cathy Gauthier. Vic Rauter and analyst Russ Howard, a two-time Brier champion and 2006 Olympic gold medallist, call afternoon and evening feature draws alongside guest analyst and Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard.

Broadcast schedule is below. Draws will air live across TSN. Feature draw matches and channel listings will be updated daily, visit tsn.ca/curling for the most up-to-date schedule. Continue reading