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November 27, 2013

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CQ

Crisis is Opportunity. I don't feel that this move is so bleak for TSN and CBC.
Hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey. Some Canadians follow more than one sport (or team as the forever Toronto-centric HNIC case was).
Rogers has singularly owned the Blue Jays for a dozen years. Tampa Rayz inspired jerseys and a new clumsy larger red leaf retro jersey, announcers fired for not being 'homers', an unappealing stadium atmosphere, zero broadcast games out of 162, tells me that Rogers still needs to deliver a better overall presentation.
Plus the City network has a mimimal level of successful home grown programming to promote.
NHL Hockey is at a high point. We won Olympics Gold at home (four winters ago); Winnipeg is restored, there are still a few top-level Russian players in the league, and the Leafs are competitive. Meanwhile Ontario is now bleeding jobs and gov't deficits.

Chad

TSN has plenty of sports, including World Juniors and the CFL. Even with TSN2, they'll survive.
The CBC makes $175 million off Hockey Night in Canada, not counting eyeballs to its other programs. That number is reduced to $0 for at least the next 12 years. They'll get fewer games to get those eyeballs to watch at other times, and have plenty of non-CBC competition in the 7 pm slot. Rogers will take the Leafa, leaving the Habs, Sens, etc. for CBC. Maybe that will wake up CBC's coverage.
If TSN had made a similar bid, I'd feel better, Like you said, Rogers has a lot to learn.

Mario

This was a HELL of a bomb shell for the RDS crews who had sole rights to the habs games for many many many years now... but i remember the days when hockey was on -3- stations here in montreal, all on free tv.. now its on 1 station, on cable.......

Tyler

Chad, I agree that TSN will soldier on with out the NHL but it's hard to call yourself "Canada's Sports Leader" without that property. It also makes one question the need for TSN2 without having 150ish NHL games total including the all-American matchups. But CFL, curling and international hockey are big draws. Perhaps TSN acquires the curling Rogers currently has and maybe more NBA (including Raptors). You'll likely see more NCAA action, too.

You make a great point about CBC's viewership going down, because they won't have exclusivity on Saturday nights and few (if any?) Leafs games. However, CBC programs will be promoted on all the Rogers platforms on Saturday games, branded "Hockey Night in Canada" on any of the various channels.

The quality of Rogers hockey coverage isn't too much of a concern for me. They will absorb much of CBC's resources (both on air and production) and I'm sure a bunch of TSN's people will switch over. It'll be interesting to see where the various TSN personalities end up and how many stay put.

Chad

Responding to Mario... I did not focus initially as much on the French language story, but RDS lost more than TSN in terms of the NHL. I don't know much about TVA but I will have to learn.

RDS will still carry Habs and Sens games regionally (not on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday). RDS might get Quebec Nordiques regionally, though Quebecor owning TVA might lead the Nordiques to be on TVA.

For those concerned about reducing OTA rights in English, OTA rights in French disappeared some time ago.

Chad

Responding to Tyler... TSN being "Canada's Sports Leader" will be problematic. Excellent point about TSN2. TSN could pick off rights for other sports currently held by Rogers. With the MLB playoffs and the NHL running at the same time, maybe some playoff games will have to move. But it won't be the same for TSN... for 12 years.

Rogers production will improve. It has to. And to be fair, Rogers has only been regional. Now it will be national.

I don't think City TV and Rogers Sportsnet will run CBC promos for Rick Mercer, Murdoch Mysteries, or Battle of the Blades. Yeah, associating CBC and the Leafs will no longer be automatic, unless there is only 1 Canadian game on a Saturday night.

Tyler

Never thought about MLB playoffs moving over to TSN, but that seems much more likely now especially for the Division Series. I'd still expect the World Series on Sportsnet.

My guess is the NHL will schedule such a way that there are at least two games with Canadian content for a Saturday night at 7 pm ET, so CBC and Sportsnet have different games. If they really want a game on CityTV each Saturday at 7, then that may be factored into the league's scheduling.

Chad

The remark about MLB playoffs was spitballing. October is a crowded month for sports for Rogers.

I do agree that the schedule makers will give Rogers Sportsnet, City TV, and the CBC Canadian-based teams to show on Saturday night. But this means the Leafs will end up on Rogers and likely the Habs on CBC.

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