Friday, May 15, 2009

On a whinge and a prayer, we have a deal

From about the about-friggin'-time department, it looks like the Rogers/TSN2 impasse will end, just in time for next week's Blue Jays-Red Sox series:
"A person familiar with the discussions told fadoo that an announcement of the agreement should be expected this weekend, likely on Sunday. No specifics of the deal were revealed, however it is believed that, as a result of the agreement, Rogers Cable customers with the VIP package will begin receiving TSN2 almost immediately and automatically." —
This might be more about straight business than satisfying ball fans. Cable companies seem to be more aggressive about retention in the spring, when people might be more likely to consider cancelling or reducing their package since the warm months are coming and they're anticipating watching less TV. The public relations fallout, as others such as Chris Zelkovich have noted, was too much to risk at this time of year. At the same time, ball fans can certainly view this is a win.

Most of you are familiar with the ins and outs of this situation, which probably had the most adverse affect on Toronto Raptors and NBA fans.

Bell GlobeMedia launched TSN2 in late August knowing it had more hours' worth of sports properties than it could fit on to one channel. Rogers dug in its heels, since Rogers Sportsnet is struggling against its competitor's institutionalized superiority (TSN gets more money per cable subscriber). It dragged on through the entire NBA and NHL regular season (Ottawa Senators fans missed out on a game in December) and first couple rounds of those leagues' post-seasons.

Anyway, this is a satisfactory piece of news. Score one for TSN for throwing some high heat and playing up that next week's Jays-Bosox games were available "only on TSN2." The timing of it all, during the week before the May long weekend, was brilliant.

Presumably, Rogers didn't sell off those games thinking this would happen. It has typically given up games in the third week of may in order to clear prime time for major junior hockey's Memorial Cup. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees, eh.

Rogers/TSN2 reach an agreement (; via Sporting Madness)

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