Monday, November 10, 2008

About that first Raptors game on TSN2

Toronto Star basketball writer Doug Smith's blog is a good go-to for anyone wondering whether you will actually be able watch your Toronto Raptors play the Miami Heat next Sunday.

Smith today called Rogers Communications' refusal to carry TSN2, whose first Raptors telecast is less than six days away, "intractable." The Globe & Mail's Michael Grange and the National Post should be on this over the week. As Smith put it:
"I talked to a couple of people in the middle of last week and there had been no movement on the impasse. Rogers is being intractable in the talks, I’m told. TSN has somehow convinced just about every other cable and satellite broadcaster in the country to take TSN2, Rogers is the lone holdout.

"Figure out who’s the villain in this travesty yet?

"I’m looking directly at Rogers. And you should be, too.

"I’m going to try to get someone, anyone, on the record over there this week because I want to hear what their explanation is. Gimme a day or two to try and track it down."
As always, follow the money. A commenter at the Digital Home forums speculated that — and this is highly speculative — that there is fear that Rogers taking TSN2 would be the death knell for Sportsnet, which doesn't have many properties outside of regional NHL games: "... unless darts, pool and poker are paying the bills, it don't look real good for them."



Andrew Bucholtz said...

Smith's got it right. I don't see why so many people have been blaming TSN for this: TSN2 is a legitimate channel with a quality programming lineup, and they've frequently put the Raptors on the main network while bumping hockey to 2; games on TSN2 are not a big deal if Rogers would only give in and offer the channel. The blame should fall on Rogers. Every other broadcasting company accepts that TSN2 is legitimate and offers it; Rogers just hasn't received the memo yet. If they continue to bury their heads in the sand, maybe some hoops fans will switch their TV provider: I much prefer the satellite of Bell ExpressVu myself.

dr said...

Doesn't MLSE deserve some of the blame for allowing so many of their games to end up on a network that launched a month before the start of the NBA season? Did they hire Gary Bettman to negotiate this deal?

dr said...

If I was conspiracy minded, which I'm not, I might think that MLSE allowed shareholder and TSN parent CTV globemedia to show a bunch of Raptors games on a channel that just launched so that cable providers like Rogers would have to carry this direct competitor to their own network or risk the wrath of Raptors fans, who are the pawns in all of this. And if it goes badly, as it has, all of the blame will be placed, fairly or not, on the evil cable company instead of the equally evil phone/media company. Of course, the cable company could have saved themselves some of this grief if they hadn't decided not to show any more NBA games.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm pissed that I missed the first game on TSN2 over this crap with Rogers. I don't know what I'm going to do if this goes much further into the run of 25 games scheduled to air on TSN2 this season.