In Case You Missed It

This feature, posting press release links with a bit of commentary at the end of the week, seemed to work quite well last week. So, I’m thinking about making it a regular feature. Gives you guys a chance to catch up on any news you may have missed this week, and saves me a bunch of time.

TSN has the Scotties Tournament of Hearts beginning this weekend. Coverage begins tomorrow at 2:00pm ET with the opening draw, featuring defending champion Heather Nedohin against New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford. TSN will have every draw, except draw 5 tomorrow night, which airs on TSN2. There is a slight change to the schedule this year as there is no action on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Instead Friday will feature the final 3 draws, with tiebreakers and page playoffs on Saturday, and the semifinal, 3rd place game and championship final on Sunday. I think this works a lot better for fans and should help attendance. It should help maintain momentum torwards the end of the week as well.

Sportsnet has announced that Vancouver Canucks games will air on Sportsnet Pacific until 2022-23 with a new ten year extension set to kick-in next season. Sportsnet Pacific will show up to sixty games per season, although the average number is probably a bit less than that. Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean will likely still work for Sportsnet towards the end of the new Canucks deal as both have signed new multiyear deals with the network. Bob McCown joked that Kyper signed a lifetime contract, but in reality he is locked in for around ten years.

In a slightly shorter-term deal Global has re-newed its contract with the PGA Tour through 2018. Global will show 26 tournaments a year (not sure if that includes The Masters, which is a seperate contract). Along with The Masters, Global will continue to show the Players Championship, Canadian Open, two World Golf Championships events, and all four PGA playoff tournaments. Also included are the 2015 and 2017 Presidents Cups. The new contract, as with the current one, does not include all events, which leaves another small package open for another networks to pick up.

The NASCAR season begins this weekend. Coverage of the season’s non-points opener, the Spint Unlimited at Daytona, airs on CTV Two (yes you read that right) and FOX Saturday night at (8pm ET). FOX also has Daytona 500 pole qualifying on Sunday afternoon. TSN and TSN2 will show every NASCAR race after the opener. And the reason NASCAR is on CTV Two on Saturday is because TSN has the Scotties and TSN2 has NBA All Star Saturday (8pm ET). TSN also has the Rising Stars game tonight (9pm ET) and the All Star Game on Sunday night (7pm ET).

NBC’s third annual Hockey Day in America is this Sunday. NBC has a doubleheader Sunday afternoon featuring Pittsburgh @ Buffalo (12:30pm ET) and Los Angeles @ Chicago (3:30pm ET). The press release details some of the stories that are featured. There is a bit of Canadian content too as Gord Miller will call the game in Buffalo.

And, lastly, Fox has announced its 2013 MLB broadcast schedule. Included are eight primetime games beginning in late May.

Friday Rumours

A few things on my mind this Friday. None of this is concrete; however, I’ve made a few observations this week that interest me.

CBC and Sportsnet… It seems that CBC and Sportsnet have shared their hockey personalities more than usual lately. Glenn Healy and Elliotte Friedman are regulars on Primetime Sports, but it seems they’ve been on more than usual the past few months. On Monday Nick Kypreos appeared on CBC’s late night show The Hour, an appearance that was highly publicized by both the public broadcaster and Sportsnet. Then this morning Don Cherry was on Brady & Lang on The Fan 590 and Sportsnet One. Sportsnet even took the time to write what Grapes should Tweet now that he has joined Twitter. This could all mean nothing. Or it could mean that CBC and Sportsnet executives are trying cross-promotion with their on-air personalities before they bid on national NHL rights together. A CBC/Sportsnet combo is the only thing that could rival Bell Media acquiring exclusive NHL national broadcast rights, in English and French, over-the-air and on cable.

CTV Olympics… Many of CTV’s Olympic commentators have spent some of the past few weeks rehearsing. This past Monday marked five months to go until the Opening Ceremony. 1996 Olympic gold medallist in athletics Donovan Bailey has revealed he will work for CTV during the Games. When reached for comment he told me, “You’ll have to wait and see.” My best guess is he will have a studio role, similar to that he had with CBC in Beijing four years ago.

Fox Sports World… There are rumours that Fox Sports World Canada is shutting down on April 1st. Rogers will drop the struggling channel on that date. Bell TV has already dropped it. Shaw Direct’s public relations team tell me they don’t know of any plans for Shaw to drop it. Shaw owns Fox Sports World.

Leafs Numbers Dropping?… An average of 1.06 million Canadians watched Wednesday’s Leafs @ Blackhawks game on TSN. That raises the question, are some Leafs fans giving up on their team? Leafs games on Wednesday Night Hockey have almost always hit 1.2 to 1.5 million this season. I would expect, with the Leafs battling for their playoff lives, that the ratings would go up in late February. I’m interested to see what kind of ratings the Maple Leafs @ Canadiens game gets tomorrow night on CBC.