Sportsnet 360 logo
|Launched||1994 (as licence-exempt service)
(as licensed channel)
|Owned by||Rogers Media(Sportsnet 360 Television Inc.)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Fuel Your Sports IQ|
|Formerly called||Sportscope (1994–1997)
Headline Sports (1997–2000)
The Score Television Network (2000–2013)
|Bell TV||410 (SD)
|Shaw Direct||403 (SD)
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Bell Fibe TV||410 (SD)
|Optik TV||115 (SD)
|Zazeen TV||124 (HD)|
Sportsnet 360 (SN360) is a Canadian category A specialty channel owned by Rogers Media. The channel first launched in 1994 as the license-exempt service Sportscope, which featured a display of sports news and scores. In 1997, the network re-launched under CRTC licensing as Headline Sports, adding anchored segments of sports highlights and analysis to its programming. In 2000, the network gained the ability to air occasional broadcasts of live sporting events, and re-launched as The Score. In 2012, the network's parent company Score Media announced that it would sell the network to Rogers Communications, who owns the competing Sportsnet family of sports television networks; in 2013, the network was re-branded as Sportsnet 360.
The channel primarily provides sports news, highlights, information and analysis programming, along with live event sports coverage currently focused on mixed martial arts, soccer, basketball, the National Hockey League, college/university sports, and professional wrestling. The channel is equipped with a ticker that appears at the bottom of the screen 24/7, which provides news and scores of sporting events.
According to Rogers, Sportsnet 360 is available in 5.8 million Canadian homes.
Originally launched in 1994 as Sportscope, the channel was initially a network focusing on providing sports scores, airing in seven Canadian provinces. Sportscope's "programming" consisted solely of an alphanumeric text rotation of sports scores, news, and sports betting information, which aired alongside local and national advertising slides. As it did not include any video content, it did not require a CRTC licence.
Sportscope was granted an English-language specialty channel licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on September 4, 1996, provisionally titled "Sportscope Plus". The channel launched in May 1997 as Headline Sports and was initially a national 24-hour anchor-at-desk sports news and highlight service operating on a rotating 15-minute newswheel of sports news, highlights, and scores.
Advertising was also introduced, something that did not exist during the Sportscope era. The oldies music was replaced by modern stock music during text rotation of sports scores and news. The channel also contained a constantly updated ticker at the bottom of the screen, providing sports news and scores, as it still does today, per its CRTC licence requirements.
There were initial plans to air different tickers in each region of the country and additional streams of alphanumeric data (perhaps via an alternate channel) when the channel first launched, but those plans were ultimately abandoned.
In March 2000, Headline Sports' licence was amended by the CRTC to allow live sports programming, under the conditions that the channel display the ticker and that breaks away from live coverage occur at least once every 15 minutes to present video highlights. As a result of this – as well as legal issues with U.S. cable news channel CNN Headline News, which had its own "Headline Sports" segment – the channel was rebranded as The Score Television Network that year.
On June 6, 2006, The Score revamped its ticker, alongside the launch of a new HD channel. On September 20, 2011, Score Media announced that it would put The Score Television Network up for sale.
Purchase by Rogers, relaunch as Sportsnet 360
Reports surfaced on August 24, 2012 that Rogers Communications, owners of the competing network Sportsnet, would acquire The Score's parent company. The following day, Rogers Media announced that it acquired Score Media in a transaction valued at $167 million. Pending CRTC approval, Rogers acquired Score Media's television business which included the closed captioning service Voice to Visual Inc., mixed martial arts promotion The Score Fighting Series, and The Score Television Network.
The acquisition itself closed on October 19, 2012, at which point Score Media's digital assets (the website theScore.com and associated mobile apps) were spun off into another company primarily owned by Score Media's previous shareholders, theScore Inc., in which Rogers Media retained a 10% interest. Score Media's television properties were immediately placed into a blind trust, under trustee Peter Viner, pending final CRTC approval. The operations of the digital properties and the television channel were separated at this point, with the latter operating a separate website (theScoreTV.ca) for the interim period until the Rogers deal was approved. As part of CRTC requirements to spend 10% of the value of an acquisition on initiatives to strengthen the broadcasting industry, Rogers planned to fund the production of the Sportsnet Winter Games (which would have been an annual winter sports competition) and provide funding for the production of amateur sports programming. While Rogers planned to continue running The Score as a sports news service, it also requested that the CRTC ease some of the restrictions that were placed on the network in order to allow it to be more competitive with other Canadian sports channels. Namely, Rogers requested that it only be required to air one sports news update per-hour during live programming.
The CRTC approved the acquisition of The Score by Rogers, as well as Rogers' proposal to only require a sports update once per hour during live programming on April 30, 2013 (but rejected its proposal to spend its tangible benefits on the Sportsnet Winter Games). Immediately following the approval, it was announced that The Score would begin airing Hockey Central Playoff Extra (a spin-off of Sportsnet's NHL news program) nightly during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, and the network replaced its afternoon programming with a simulcast of Tim & Sid, a radio show on Rogers-owned CJCL hosted by former The Score personalities Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro.
On June 4, 2013, Rogers announced that it would relaunch The Score under the Sportsnet brand as Sportsnet 360 on July 1, 2013; officially launching with a simulcast of a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game, followed by the premiere of a new post-game show, Blue Jays Xpress. Alongside the rebranding, an updated version of The Score's on-screen sports ticker was also introduced. Rogers stated that the network would continue to target its programming towards "hardcore" sports fans with "a vast breadth of premium sports content in a fast-paced, energetic and entertaining manner".
Sportsnet 360 HD
Sportsnet 360 HD is a high definition simulcast of Sportsnet 360. It is currently available through all major pay television providers in Canada. Until early 2008, most programming was aired in 4:3 standard-definition stretched to 16:9. Programming available in true HD includes Serie A soccer, NBA basketball, the Vanier Cup, NCAA coverage and WWE's SmackDown, Raw, NXT, Vintage Collection and The WWE Experience.
On September 3, 2008, the channel began airing shows from a new multi-million dollar HD studio, located on the corner of King and Peter in Downtown Toronto. Most shows and highlights are now in true HD.
Sportsnet 360's schedule consists of automated blocks featuring sports news and highlights (primarily during the mornings, nights, and on weekend afternoons), alongside other full-length programs. The network's weekday afternoon programming consists of simulcasts of afternoon programming from sister radio station CJCL, including Brady & Walker and Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports. The network simulcast the CJCL program Tim & Sid from the acquisition of The Score by Rogers until March 27, 2015, when the show ended due to Tim & Sid's move to a solely-televised show on Sportsnet. Sportsnet 360 serves largely as an overflow feed for Sportsnet's properties: live sports programming on the network include National Hockey League games on Thursday nights and occasionally during Hockey Night in Canada, occasional Toronto Blue Jays and Raptors games, Toronto F.C. and the UEFA Champions League.
Sportsnet 360 is the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of WWE programs; they have been mainstays of the network since its period as The Score. As of July 2014, Sportsnet 360's WWE programs include Raw, SmackDown, Main Event, The WWE Experience, along with the weekly recap show Aftermath. Rogers' most current contract with WWE began in 2014 and runs through 2024; the contract also gave Rogers exclusive Canadian distribution rights to the WWE Network.
Sportsnet 360 previously aired collegiate sports; primarily NCAA and CIS football and basketball. In August 2014, Sportsnet announced that it would not renew its OUA conference television contracts for the 2014 season because of low viewership and the resulting high cost-per-viewer of producing the game broadcasts. UFC mixed-martial arts, including UFC on Fox events, preliminary fights, and the reality series The Ultimate Fighter, largely moved from the Sportsnet regional networks and Sportsnet One to Sportsnet 360 following its launch. On December 22, 2014, it was announced that TSN and Fight Network would take over Canadian rights to UFC programming beginning in 2015.
- "CRTC Ownership Chart: Rogers Specialty Services" (PDF). Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
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- Specialty sports channel The Score for sale, Globe and Mail, September 20, 2011.
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- "Rogers drops OUA football, but says don't blame NHL deal". Toronto Star. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Canadian UFC programming headed to new Sportsnet 360 channel". MMAJunkie. Gannett. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "UFC reaches Canadian broadcast deal with TSN, RDS". Postmedia News. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
UFC reaches Canadian broadcast deal with TSN, RDS
- "TSN, RDS, and Fight Network become new Canadian home for UFC". TSN.ca. Retrieved 23 December 2014.