|Owned by||Rogers Communications
(Rogers Communications Partnership)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Formerly called||Sports/Specials Pay-Per-View
Rogers Sportsnet PPV
|Available on Rogers Cable and Cogeco Cable||Channels vary by provider / region|
Sportsnet PPV is a a Canadian pay-per-view (PPV) service owned by Rogers Communications. It is the PPV service currently used by Rogers Cable and Cogeco Cable for offering out-of-market sports packages and occasionally other special events. By the end of September 2014, Rogers is expected to begin using Sportsnet PPV as its main pay-per-view provider, replacing Viewers Choice which is winding down.
The "Sportsnet PPV" name is not generally used on-air; instead, individual packages or programs are marketed directly by participating service providers.
The service was first licensed in December 1995 as a direct-broadcast satellite-only PPV service under the name "Sports/Specials Pay-Per-View", and launched shortly thereafter in January 1996. At the time the service was 60% owned by CTV, 20% by Molson, and 20% by a subsidiary of Liberty Media (later transferred to Fox Sports Net). The partners were also three of the four partners in the regional sports service licensed a few months before which would become Sportsnet. At the time its planned programming was described as featuring "coverage of professional and amateur sports competitions" along with occasional coverage of non-sports special events, such as G7 summits or papal visits. An accompanying digital terrestrial PPV licence was issued in September 1996.
In February 2002, Molson transferred its ownership stake to CTV. One year later, CTV sold its 80% interest in the service to Rogers Media, which had previously acquired Sportsnet from CTV after the latter's acquisition of TSN. At that point the service became known as "Rogers Sportsnet PPV". By 2005, Rogers had bought out Fox's stake in the service, and responsibility was transferred from Rogers Media to Rogers Cable.
As of the time its 2014 licence renewal application was filed, Sportsnet PPV offered the following programming / packages:
- NFL Sunday Ticket, including NFL RedZone
- NHL Centre Ice
- MLB Extra Innings
- NBA League Pass
- ESPN GamePlan (U.S. college football)
- ESPN Full Court (U.S. college basketball)
- OHL Action Pak – out-of-market OHL games produced by community channels including Rogers TV and TVCogeco
- Rogers TV Sports + – out-of-market local sports events produced by local Rogers TV channels; currently included with Digital Basic for all Rogers customers
- Selected Indian Premier League games
- Coverage of International Cricket Council championships
The above packages are available individually, and the North American sports league packages are also available as part of the "Super Sports Pak" bundle.
Other events / programming
The Sportsnet PPV service is currently carried alongside the Viewers Choice service on Rogers and Cogeco, and as such Sportsnet PPV does not currently offer movies or special events such as boxing or professional wrestling which are offered by Viewers Choice. However, as of September 2014, the service will be subject to the CRTC's new standard pay-per-view conditions of licence, which would allow it to offer a full lineup of pay-per-view programming if it wishes. Indeed, with Viewers Choice announcing plans to wind down at the end of September 2014 specifically citing Rogers' ownership of its own PPV service, it is now anticipated that this will indeed occur.
On July 31, 2014, Rogers announced an agreement with professional wrestling promotion WWE whereby Rogers would become the exclusive Canadian distribution partner for WWE's pay-per-view events as well as the WWE Network, which in most countries is distributed as an over-the-top streaming service. As part of the agreement, a "preview" version of WWE Network will launch in Canada as a linear channel under the Sportsnet PPV licence on August 12, similar to how Sportsnet World was distributed when it was first launched, while Rogers seeks CRTC approval to add WWE Network to the CRTC's list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution.
For approximately two years from mid-2007 to mid-2009, the Setanta Sports Canada service was offered as a dedicated channel within the Sportsnet PPV service, though for all intents and purposes it effectively acted as a pay channel subscribed to on a monthly basis. Sentanta (now Sportsnet World) was eventually converted to a specialty channel licence.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2003-02-03). "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-28". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Gibbons, Kent (2014-07-22). "Viewers Choice Canada Winding Down: Bell, Rogers-Owned Pay-Per-View Provider Closing Sept. 30". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (1995-12-20). "Decision CRTC 95-907". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (1996-09-04). "Decision CRTC 96-595". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2005-07-22). "Decision CRTC 2005-343". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Rogers Communications Partnership. "Application 2014-0021-7 (Licence renewal for Sportsnet PPV)". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2005-06-25). "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-344". Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Rogers Communications; WWE (2014-07-31). "Rogers and WWE® Announce Landmark Television and WWE® Network Agreement". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
- Nowak, Peter (2014-08-01). "Working from NHL playbook, Rogers locks down 10-year cable deal with WWE wrestling". Canadian Business. Retrieved 2014-08-06.