|Launched||October 9, 1998|
|Owned by||Rogers Media
(Rogers Sportsnet Inc.)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Fuelled By Fans|
|Broadcast area||National, through regional feeds|
|Formerly called||CTV Sportsnet (1998–2000), Sportsnet (2000–2001), Rogers Sportsnet (2001–2011)|
The Score (Approved)
CJCL and CFAC
|Bell TV||405–408 (SD)
|Shaw Direct||416–419 (SD)
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Bell Aliant TV||110–113 (SD)
|Bell Fibe TV||405–408 (SD)
|Optik TV||111–114 (SD)
664, 665, 667 (HD)
|SaskTel||24, 120–122 (SD)
Although licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as a single national service, for all intents and purposes it is equivalent to a collection of four regional sports networks, each simulcast in both standard definition and high definition, and each covering a different region of Canada. In each region, only the local Sportsnet channel is available on analogue cable, but all four channels are available nationally via digital cable (subject to blackouts for some out-of-market teams).
The Sportsnet brand has since been extended beyond the original regional channels, now encompassing the national digital channel Sportsnet One (and its associated part-time companion channels), the soccer/rugby premium channel Sportsnet World, Sportsnet Radio stations in Toronto and Calgary, and Sportsnet Magazine.
With these brand extensions, Rogers now generally uses "Sportsnet" (by itself) to denote its sports media properties as a whole, and on-air promotions for programs being carried nationally by these four regional feeds often list all four channels separately, or refer to the "Sportsnet regional channels", to avoid any ambiguity. However, standalone mentions of "Sportsnet" in reference to a specific channel can still generally be assumed to be referring to the four regional channels (or the specific regional channel available locally on analogue cable).
Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States. CTV owned 40% and was the managing partner of the new network; Rogers, Molson and Fox owned 20% each.
The new network gained credibility before it went on the air, wrestling the National Hockey League (NHL) Canadian cable package away from long-time holder TSN. From 1998–99 until 2001–02, Sportsnet aired NHL games to a national audience throughout the regular season, and covered first-round playoff series not involving Canadian teams. On the day of Sportsnet's launch, its first live sports event was an NHL opening-night telecast between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. The national cable rights to the NHL have since returned to TSN, though Sportsnet retains regional rights to 5 of the 7 Canadian-based clubs—through regional feeds and its national French network, TSN holds rights to the remaining two; the Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets.
Acquisition by Rogers 
When CTV purchased NetStar, the former parent company of TSN, in 2000, the CRTC ordered CTV to sell either TSN or its stake in Sportsnet. CTV ultimately chose to sell its Sportsnet stake. The other shareholders had first right of refusal; as Rogers was the only interested party, it acquired CTV's stake in the summer of 2001, and soon after renamed it Rogers Sportsnet. During part of the transition period, during which time the channel was known as "Sportsnet", CTV was allowed to control programming on both networks, and some cross-affiliation and programs that were going to be tape-delayed on TSN, most notably figure skating, were given to Sportsnet.
While Sportsnet had been based there from the beginning, TSN's operations would move to CTV's suburban Toronto complex, 9 Channel Nine Court, following the acquisition. This led to some peculiarities related to the fact that the two rival sports channels were only separated by a "parking lot", leading to jokes and references from both networks. On April 30, 2008, Rogers Sportsnet moved broadcast operations from 9 Channel Nine Court to the Rogers Building, a cluster of buildings in the Mount Pleasant-Jarvis Street area of Downtown Toronto.
In 2010, Rogers began to extend the Sportsnet brand beyond the original regional networks with the August 14 launch of Rogers Sportsnet One—a national companion channel promising 800 hours of live events per year. The channel was also accompanied by additional part-time feeds to serve as overflow channels for its regional NHL coverage.
Sportsnet Radio 
In January 2011, Rogers' sports radio stations, CJCL Toronto ("The FAN 590") and CFAC Calgary ("The FAN 960"), were re-branded as "Sportsnet Radio Fan 590" and "Sportsnet Radio Fan 960" respectively. Critics speculated that the Sportsnet Radio branding was intended to increase synergy with its television counterparts, upon rumors that TSN would be launching a sports radio network of its own.
Sportsnet World 
In July 2011, Rogers announced that it would be re-branding its premium international sports channel Setanta Sports Canada as "Sportsnet World" on October 3, 2011—a move that would allow the channel better opportunities for cross-promotion with other Sportsnet services. As part of the transition, Setanta Sports sold its minor ownership interest in the channel to MLM Management.
Sportsnet Magazine 
On September 29, 2011, Rogers published the first issue of Sportsnet Magazine, a bi-weekly sports magazine positioned "for Canadian sports fans", covering professional sports from a Canadian perspective. Sports writer Stephen Brunt left his position at The Globe and Mail to become the magazine's back page columnist.
Subsequently, the entire Sportsnet family of networks underwent a major overhaul on October 3, 2011, as the cornerstone of its campaign to expand the Sportsnet brand. The re-branding incorporated a revamped appearance for the networks designed in conjunction with Rogers Media and the Troika Design Group, a new image campaign ("Fuelled By Fans"), and a new logo—first used as part of the cover of Sportsnet Magazine. Additionally as part of the re-launch, the network's official name was shortened to just "Sportsnet". The new logo does not incorporate the previous "player" logo (which had been used in the network's branding since its original launch), as research performed by Rogers indicated that its association with Sportsnet did not resonate with a majority of English Canadians. The redesign of Sportsnet was overseen by Dean Bender, who served as the network's creative director upon its original launch as CTV Sportsnet.
The Score 
On August 25, 2012, Rogers announced that it would acquire the television assets of Score Media, owners of The Score Television Network (a competing sports network which primarily airs sports news and highlights, alongside event coverage), in a transaction valued at $167 million. The acquisition itself closed on October 19, 2012, at which point Score Media's digital assets (including its website and mobile apps) were spun off into another company, theScore Inc., in which Rogers Media will retain a 10% interest. Score Media's TV properties were immediately placed into a blind trust, under trustee Peter Viner, pending final CRTC approval. Rogers plans to continue running the network as a sports news service.
As part of CRTC requirements to spend 10% of the value of an acquisition on initiatives to strengthen the broadcasting industry, Rogers proposed to fund the production of the Sportsnet Winter Games (which would be an annual winter sports competition) and provide funding for other independently produced amateur sports programming.
The acquisition and Rogers' proposed amendments were approved by the CRTC on April 30, 2013; the same day, The Score also began to air more Sportsnet programming, including a simulcast of CJCL's afternoon show Tim & Sid and Hockey Central Playoff Extra. However, the CRTC rejected the use of the Sportsnet Winter Games for its tangible benefits requirements. 
Regional feeds 
Similarly to regional sports networks in the United States, Sportsnet is operated in four regional feeds. While the feeds carry national programming as well, they primarily broadcast sporting events tailored to the region they serve. The four regional feeds are:
- Sportsnet East, which serves Eastern Ontario (defined as east of an imaginary line stretching from Pembroke in the north to Belleville in the south), Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Sportsnet West, which serves Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.
All four feeds are available in both standard and high definition formats. Although cable companies in Canada are permitted to carry only the local Sportsnet feed on analogue cable packages, all four feeds can be carried on digital television services. However, in some instances, programming on the out-of-market Sportsnet feeds, such as regional NHL games, are blacked out.
Much like its American counterparts, Sportsnet carries both regional and national programming. Sportsnet is a major regional broadcaster of National Hockey League games. The network's four regional feeds carry most games played by NHL teams based in their respective regions: the Ottawa Senators on Sportsnet East, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sportsnet Ontario, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers on Sportsnet West, and the Vancouver Canucks on Sportsnet Pacific. The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets are the only Canadian NHL teams not broadcast by Sportsnet, as both teams have English-language broadcasting deals with TSN (alongside Canadiens coverage in French for sister network Réseau des sports). In addition to the NHL, Sportsnet also airs a package of Friday-night games from the leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), along with coverage of the season-ending Memorial Cup tournament.
Sportsnet is the main television outlet for Major League Baseball in Canada: it is the exclusive television outlet for the Toronto Blue Jays (which are also owned by Rogers), airing all of its games and other Blue Jays-related programming throughout the season. It also holds Canadian rights to Fox Saturday Baseball, the All-Star Game and the postseason (through both TBS and MLB International). Sportsnet also carries other MLB games simulcast from U.S. regional sports networks.
For the 2005 season, Sportsnet began airing National Football League games, splitting late games across the Pacific and West feeds, and the East and Ontario feeds. The games not shown in the opposite regions are carried regionally by City.
Sportsnet additionally covers live Barclays Premier League matches, the UEFA Champions League and for the UEFA Super Cup. Sportsnet Pacific airs coverage of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the city's Major League Soccer team. As of 2010, Sportsnet also airs the Amway Canadian Championship, an annual competition featuring Canada's four professional soccer teams—Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and FC Edmonton.
Since the acquisition of the Citytv stations by Rogers, Sportsnet began providing sports updates for those channels in some cases, although certain stations retain their own sports departments. In the event of programming conflicts, Sportsnet has occasionally moved Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, or Vancouver Canucks games to the local Citytv station, although the network's current preference is to use Sportsnet One's companion channels for this purpose instead.
On February 8, 2011, Sportsnet announced that it had signed a multi-year deal with Tennis Canada to acquire the exclusive rights to the Rogers Cup as well as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 & ATP World Tour 500 series events.
In February 2013, Sportsnet announced that it would become the official Canadian broadcaster of the IndyCar Series beginning in the 2013 season in a five-year deal with the series. The new contract will include broadcasts on the Sportsnet regional networks, Sportsnet One, and City, along with mobile coverage and French rights sub-licensed to TVA Sports. Additionally, Sportsnet will also originate coverage from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Indianapolis 500, and Honda Indy Toronto with Bill Adam, Todd Lewis, and Rob Faulds. Canadian driver Paul Tracy will also join Sportsnet as an analyst.
Olympics coverage 
In early 2005, Rogers Media and CTVglobemedia jointly acquired broadcast rights to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as the London 2012 Summer Olympics. This was considered a serious coup, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) had consistently won Olympic broadcast rights from the 1996 Summer Olympics through to the 2008 Summer Olympics. CTV and V were the primary broadcasters; Sportsnet, TSN, and RDS provided supplementary coverage. However, Rogers announced in 2011 that it would not bid with CTVglobemedia's predecessor Bell Media for the rights to the 2014 and 2016 games, citing scheduling and financial issues. Bell Media did attempt to partner with the CBC to bid for coverage.
In August 2012, CBC reached a deal of its own to return the Olympics to the broadcaster for the 2014 and 2016 Games. On February 7, 2013, CBC announced that it had reached deals with Sportsnet and TSN for the networks to become their official cable partners for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sportsnet will air 200 hours of coverage during the games.
Original programs 
- Sportsnet Connected – The daily sports news/highlights program of Rogers Sportsnet. Hosted by various personalities. Formerly known as Sportscentral and Sportsnetnews.
- Hockey Central – News and reports from the NHL. Hosted by Daren Millard and features hockey analysts Nick Kypreos, Bill Watters, and Gord Stellick.
- Hockey Central at Noon – News and reports from the NHL. Hosted by Daren Millard and features either Nick Kypreos or Bill Berg as co-host. It is simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet Ontario and The Fan 590 on weekdays.
- IBM Golf Report – All the latest golf news as well as previews of upcoming tournaments with Gerry Dobson and Mark Evershed.
- Pratt & Taylor – Simulcast of the popular Team 1040 sports radio program out of Vancouver. Hosted by David Pratt and Don Taylor. Available only on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.
- Prime Time Sports – Simulcast of the popular Fan 590 sports radio program out of Toronto. Takes a look at current and popular sports stories with host Bob McCown and various sports journalists.
- Soccer Central Matchday – News and reports from the Canadian and world soccer scene and highlights from matches from all the major leagues in Europe and around the world with Gerry Dobson and Craig Forrest.
- Soccer Central - a soccer news and highlight program produced by Rogers Media and aired as Fox Soccer News on Fox Soccer in the US.
On-air staff 
High definition television 
Sportsnet operates four high definition feeds, one for each regional channel.
Originally, Sportsnet operated one national feed that consisted primarily of a simulcast of Sportsnet Ontario, carrying nationally televised events, or separate content from other regional feeds. That feed was launched on September 1, 2003.
In 2007, Sportsnet began using a second high-definition feed in order to broadcast select Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators hockey games in HD, beginning in the 2007–08 NHL season, activated only in the regions a game is to be televised. On January 26, 2009, the national HD feed was replaced by individual HD feeds for each region.
- "Going Downtown". Globeandmail.com. Retrieved March 23, 2007.[dead link]
- Chris Zelkovich, "Sportsnet adds another channel to its roster", Toronto Star, July 28, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Dowbiggin (January 12, 2011). "Change is the operative word in sports radio". Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved January 13, 2011.
- 2011-0846-5 CRTC 2011-12-06
- Krashinsky, Susan. "Rogers builds Sportsnet brand with soccer station". Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Sportsnet Magazine launches with NHL preview". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- "Sportsnet unveils new brand: Fuelled By Fans". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- Krashinsky, Susan (September 29, 2011). "Sportsnet drops the ‘Rogers’ and gains a whole new look". Globe and Mail (Canada).
- Score Media (2012-10-19). "Score Media Inc. completes plan of arrangement". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- Rogers Media (2012-10-19). "Rogers Media Completes Acquisition of Score Media". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Rogers wants CRTC to ease Score licence rules". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "CRTC clears way for Rogers to buy Score". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "CRTC Gives Final Approval to Rogers' Acquisition of Score Media". Broadcaster Magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Sportsnet Signs New Deal For Rogers Cup Until 2015
- "Blanketing Canada with in-depth series coverage". IndyCar.com. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Krashinsky, Susan (September 9, 2011). "Bell Media, CBC partner for Olympic bid". Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "CBC wins rights to 2014, 2016 Olympic Games". CBC Sports. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Sportsnet to air 200 hours of Sochi Games". Sportsnet. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "CBC/Radio Canada welcomes partners in 2014 Sochi Olympics coverage". CBC. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- Rogers Sportsnet Continues as Home of Canucks Hockey with 47 Games in 2007–08 Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
- "TSN2 adds Sunday Night Baseball to its lineup". TSN.ca. Retrieved May 23, 2010.