The Sports Network
|The Sports Network|
|Launched||September 1, 1984|
|Owned by||Bell Media (80%)
ESPN Inc. (20%)
(CTV Specialty Television Inc.)
(The Sports Network Inc.)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTVs)
|Slogan||Canada's Sports Leader|
|Broadcast area||National, through regional feeds|
|Sister channel(s)||TSN2, RDS, RDS2, RDS Info|
|Bell TV||Channel 400 (TSN1 SD)
Channel 401 (TSN2 SD)
Channel 402 (TSN3 SD)
Channel 403 (TSN4 SD)
Channel 404 (TSN5 SD)
Channel 1400 (TSN1 HD)
Channel 1401 (TSN2 HD)
Channel 1402 (TSN3 HD)
Channel 1403 (TSN4 HD)
Channel 1404 (TSN5 HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 98/598 (TSN5 HD)
Channel 99/599 (TSN4 HD)
Channel 100/600 (TSN3 HD)
Channel 101/601 (TSN1 HD)
Channel 102/602 (TSN2 HD)
Channel 135/421 (TSN5 SD)
Channel 136/422 (TSN4 SD)
Channel 137/423 (TSN3 SD)
Channel 138/424 (TSN1 SD)
Channel 139/425 (TSN2 SD)
|Available on many Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
The Sports Network (TSN) is a Canadian English language sports specialty service. Established by the Labatt Brewing Company in 1984 as part of the first group of Canadian specialty cable channels, since 2001, TSN has been majority-owned by communications conglomerate Bell Canada (presently through its broadcasting subsidiary Bell Media) with a minority stake held by ESPN Inc. via a 20% share in the Bell Media subsidiary CTV Specialty Television. TSN is the largest specialty channel in Canada in terms of gross revenue, with a total of $400.4 million in revenue in 2013.
TSN's networks focus on sports-related programming, including live and recorded event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming. TSN was the first, and most recent national cable broadcaster of the National Hockey League in Canada—its stint has been interrupted twice by rival network Sportsnet—most recently as of the 2014-15 season under an exclusive 12-year rights deal with Rogers Communications. TSN holds regional television rights to three of the NHL's seven Canadian franchises. As of 2014, major programming rights held by TSN include exclusive coverage of the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Curling Association's national championships, coverage of the NBA and the Toronto Raptors, coverage of Major League Soccer and exclusive rights to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, along with Canadian rights to the tournaments of FIFA (soccer) and the IIHF (ice hockey), the NFL (shared with sister network CTV), Formula One, NASCAR, the English Premier League (split with Sportsnet) and the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, among others. TSN also receives a large amount of programming through its minority partner, ESPN.
The TSN license currently comprises five 24-hour programming services; from its launch until 2006, TSN operated as a single, national service. In 2006, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled that TSN could operate multiple feeds with a limited amount of alternative national programming—this was followed by the launch of TSN2—a second 24-hour network under the TSN license that was legally considered a west coast feed of TSN. As of 2010, TSN has been subject to deregulated Category C licensing by the CRTC, which allows multiple feeds to be operated under the TSN license with no restrictions on alternate programming; TSN used this new ability to operate an autonomous TSN2, along with part-time feeds for regional NHL coverage.
On August 25, 2014, the primary TSN service was re-structured into four 24-hour feeds—TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5—with each designated as the primary TSN network for each region of Canada. TSN now essentially operates as a group of regional sports networks; the four channels air some common programming, but are capable of airing regional programming (such as NHL games; subject to blackout outside of the respective team's market), and can be split to air multiple events on a national basis.
- 1 History
- 2 Channels
- 3 Programming
- 4 Personalities
- 5 Programming
- 6 International distribution
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on April 2, 1984 as Action Canada Sports Network, the channel was launched by the Labatt Brewing Company on September 1 of the same year as The Sports Network, or TSN. The network was founded under the leadership of Gordon Craig, a former employee of CBC Sports; alongside coverage of the co-owned Toronto Blue Jays, TSN also reached a deal with ESPN (itself only 5 years old) shortly before launch to provide additional programs. Although reaching around 400,000 subscribers, TSN's early years were hindered by its initial status as a premium service, bundled in a high-cost package with movie channels such as First Choice and Superchannel, alongside competition with free-to-air sports broadcasts by CBC Television among others.
To improve the prominence of the network, TSN sought to obtain the national cable rights to the National Hockey League—rights that, according to the league, were not sold under the current arrangement with CBC. However, the task was complicated by claims by CBC that it owned the cable rights to the NHL, along with the involvement of competing beer company Molson in Canadian NHL rights at the time. With the help of a Molson employee who was a friend of Gordon, a deal was reached between TSN, Molson, and the NHL to allow the network to broadcast games on cable.
By December 1987, TSN had reached one million subscribers, but the network's staff sought wider distribution for the channel as part of basic cable service; the CRTC approved the network's request for permission to allow TSN to be carried as part of a basic cable lineup. Mike Day, producer of TSN's daily sports news program SportsDesk lamented about the shift to basic cable and the larger audience it would bring, commenting that "one night you're doing a news show that potentially has an audience of one million people, and the next day the potential is five million people."
Due to CRTC regulations on the foreign ownership of broadcasters, Labatt was forced to sell TSN and RDS upon its acquisition by Interbrew in 1995. Labatt's broadcasting assets were sold to a privately held consortium named NetStar Communications, the investors of which included a number of Canadian firms as well as ESPN Inc., which held an interest of about 30%. The Sports Network launched its website TSN.ca on October 1, 1995.
In 1997, the CRTC began permitting TSN to offer an "alternate feed", which could be used to provide an regional opt-out of the main TSN service for programming that must be blacked out in the rest of the country. Alternate programming could make up a maximum of 10% of the TSN schedule—an average of 2.4 hours a day.
Acquisition by CTV, expansion
In 2000, after ESPN blocked two attempts by the Canadian partners to sell NetStar to Canwest, CTV Inc. acquired the Canadian partners' shares. CTV Inc. was acquired by Bell Canada and The Woodbridge Company (publisher of The Globe and Mail newspaper) as part of the joint venture Bell Globemedia in 2001. As a result of its purchase of TSN, CTV would be forced to sell its regional sports network CTV Sportsnet, eventually selling it to minority shareholder Rogers Media. Following the acquisition, TSN would move its operations to CTV's Agincourt complex. However, Sportsnet would not move from Agincourt until 2008 (when it moved to the Rogers Building in Downtown Toronto), which led to the now-competing networks sharing the same building as their headquarters. This oddity would become an inside joke between personalities on both networks, who commonly referred to jumping between the two networks as "crossing the parking lot."
Following the sale, TSN began to closer align its on-air imaging with that of ESPN; the most prominent effect of these changes came with the re-branding of TSN's flagship sports news program SportsDesk as SportsCentre—a Canadian version (in both format and spelling) of ESPN's SportsCenter. TSN also launched a number of digital specialty channels in 2001; including a local version of ESPN Classic, the NHL Network— a network devoted to ice hockey and the National Hockey League, and WTSN—a channel dedicated to women's sports On August 15, 2003, TSN became one of the first two specialty television services in Canada (the other being fellow Bell property Discovery Channel) to be available in high definition. TSN's first live HD broadcast was of a Canadian Football League game between the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats—it was to occur on the same day, but was delayed to August 16 due to a major blackout which occurred the day prior.
Beginning in 2006, the CRTC officially allowed TSN to operate national secondary digital feeds with limited amounts of alternative programming. Following this development, TSN began to use such a feed to broadcast additional programming that could not be aired on TSN due to scheduling conflicts or other events. On August 29, 2008, the feed evolved into a new 24-hour channel, similar to ESPN2, known as TSN2. Upon its launch, TSN2 was legally considered a west coast timeshift feed of TSN, although soon after TSN2 was launched, the CRTC announced a proposal to remove genre exclusivity protections for "mainstream sports" and "national news" channels in the near future. As a byproduct of the decision, TSN would be allowed to use streamlined conditions of licence (legally referred to as a Category C license as of September 2011), which state that the service may offer "multiple feeds", without any restrictions on alternate programming. TSN was officially permitted to use these streamlined conditions of licence on February 1, 2010.
Acquisition by Bell, TSN Radio
On September 10, 2010, Bell Canada announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting arm, including its majority control of TSN. Under the deal, Woodbridge Company Limited, Torstar, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan would together receive $1.3 billion in either cash or equity in BCE, while BCE would also assume $1.7 billion in debt (BCE's existing equity interest is $200 million, for a total transaction value of $3.2 billion). Woodbridge has since simultaneously regained majority control of The Globe and Mail, with Bell retaining a 15% interest in December 2010. The deal closed on April 1, 2011, after the CRTC approved the sale on March 7, 2011 – the new company became known as Bell Media.
After a longstanding speculation about TSN's interest in launching its own TSN-branded radio network (similarly to its U.S. counterpart), TSN entered radio broadcasting with the launch of the first TSN Radio station, a relaunch of AM station CHUM in Toronto on April 13, 2011. Bell Media's Bell Media Radio division already operated several sports radio stations elsewhere in Canada (most of which were branded as The Team, a name introduced by previous owner CHUM Limited in its own failed attempt at establishing a national sports radio network), it was reported that Bell could theoretically relaunch these other stations under the TSN Radio brand in the future.
Also in 2011, TSN acquired broadcast rights to the returning Winnipeg Jets. TSN would establish another part-time feed, TSN Jets, to broadcast the games. Additionally, co-owned CFRW would also gain radio rights to the new Jets. CFRW, along with Montreal station CKGM, also migrated to the TSN Radio brand on October 5, 2011. Additionally, Bell would also launch TSN Mobile TV, streaming versions of TSN and TSN2 offered through Bell Mobility's Mobile TV services.
On December 9, 2011, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan announced that it would sell its majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to two major telecommunications companies; Bell Canada (TSN's main parent company) and Rogers Communications (owners of the competing Sportsnet chain of sports channels) with a 37.5% share each (Larry Tanenbaum increased his ownership to a quarter of the company as well), in a deal expected to be valued at around $1.32 billion in total. The deal was completed in summer 2012, following the approval of Canada's Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (with regards to MLSE's television channels), as well as the leagues for each of MLSE's main sports franchises. The deal was expected to have a major impact on future broadcast rights for MLSE's teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, as their ownership of the teams will offer enhanced coverage for the team through new platforms such as mobile television.
In March 2014, TSN launched its TV Everywhere service TSN Go, allowing subscribers to TSN on participating service providers to stream TSN networks online or through a mobile app. On launch, TSN Go was available exclusively to Bell TV and Rogers Cable subscribers. It has since been expanded to other providers, such as Shaw.
Loss of national NHL rights, "#MoreTSN"
Following the announcement of Bell and Rogers' acquisition of MLSE, concerns were again raised by critics, speculating that Bell Media could attempt to acquire full rights to the NHL after CBC's current contract with the league expires in the 2013–14 season – using their ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL's highest valued franchise, as an impetus for such a coup. Concerns were also raised that such an arrangement could prevent wireless service providers other than Bell and Rogers from accessing its content; the CRTC had ruled in favour of Telus in a decision requiring Bell and other media companies to allow other competing wireless providers access to its content, and not exclusively tie it to their own service (as they had attempted to do with TSN Mobile TV). However, in November 2013, Rogers Communications announced that it had reached a 12-year deal to become the sole national television rightsholder of the NHL, beginning in the 2014-15 season.
Critics considered Rogers' move to be a major blow against Bell and TSN, showing concerns for how the network could sustain itself without what is considered a key property in Canadian sports broadcasting. However, they also acknowledged the network's continuing rights to IIHF hockey tournaments (including the popular World Junior Hockey Championships), the Canadian Football League (whose contract lasts through 2018), and TSN's growing regional NHL rights portfolio, including the Maple Leafs—which would, beginning in the same season, air 26 games on TSN per season. In a series of Twitter posts by TSN personality Bob McKenzie, he explained that even with the loss of national NHL rights, TSN's goal was to remain "THE source for all things hockey" through its analysis programs and regional coverage, and that this was not the first time that TSN had lost its cable rights to the NHL (having lost them to CTV Sportsnet for a period upon its launch in 1998).
On May 6, 2014, TSN announced that it would launch three new national channels—TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5, in September 2014 to coincide with the network's 30th anniversary. TSN president Stewart Johnston described the expansion an "important evolution" for the network, as it would allow TSN to make more efficient use of its portfolio of sports properties: the network promoted that these new channels would allow TSN to broadcast a larger amount of ESPN content and live events, particularly including expanded coverage of major events (such as Grand Slam tennis and curling tournaments) with multiple games occurring simultaneously. Although the expansion was discussed by TSN staff as early as 2012, critics considered the loss of NHL rights to Rogers (which had recently expanded its Sportsnet operation to seven national services with the acquisition of The Score, now Sportsnet 360) to be a catalyst for the move, as TSN attempts to defend its position as the largest specialty television service in Canada in terms of total revenue.
The launch date of these new channels—marketed under the hashtag "#MoreTSN"—were pushed up to August 25, 2014 in order to allow multi-court coverage of the 2014 US Open tennis tournament, which began the same day. TSN also announced that it would use these new channels to house regional NHL games beginning in the 2014-15 season, featuring the Jets, Maple Leafs, and Ottawa Senators.
As is permitted for all Category C sports services, the TSN licence is permitted to have multiple channels, and currently encompasses all of the channels listed in the table below. However, unlike premium services like The Movie Network, subscribers receiving one TSN channel are not necessarily automatically entitled to receive all additional channels, and in many cases they are (or previously were) only available by paying a separate charge to a service provider. For example, until 2013, Rogers Cable customers were required to subscribe to the HD Specialty Pack add-on in order to receive TSN HD (whereas most other HD simulcast channels were provided at no additional charge). On many providers including Rogers, TSN1 and TSN3-5 are included in a single package, but TSN2 is still provided only as part of a separate higher-tier package.
On May 6, 2014, TSN announced plans to launch three additional multiplex channels, for a total of five 24-hour national channels. The existing "TSN" service was replaced by four regionally-focused channels (referred to as "feeds")—TSN1, 3, 4, and 5—similar to the Sportsnet regional channels. All five channels are available nationally, but on most local providers, the channel location previously occupied by TSN's primary service was filled by the appropriate regional feed. While major sports telecasts will be simulcast across TSN1, 3, 4, and 5 to ensure national coverage, alternative studio shows and live events can also be split across the channels. The channels will also carry regional programming, such as simulcasts from TSN Radio stations, and regional NHL coverage. When TV listings and promotions make a reference to a program airing on "TSN" without disambiguation, it can normally be assumed that the program will be simulcast on TSN1, 3, 4 and 5.
Their launch date was originally announced as September 1, 2014, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of TSN's launch. On August 11, Bell announced that the launch date for the new channels had been moved up to August 25 in order to accommodate multiple-court coverage throughout the 2014 US Open. Prior to the launch of the additional feeds, Bell executives stated that the expanded five-channel service would be offered for the same rate as was charged at the time for TSN and TSN2 together. Most major Canadian television providers carried the new channels upon their launch, including Bell, Cogeco, Eastlink, MTS, SaskTel, Shaw, Source Cable, Rogers, and Telus.
Videotron, a cable provider which primarily serves the province of Quebec, was a notable hold-out for the new feeds. On October 16, following complaints by subscribers after a Monday Night Football game was left unavailable in English (due to a rained out Major League Baseball playoff game, RDS2 was able to carry the game in French) to Videotron subscribers because TSN5—the only feed it carried—was airing an Ottawa Senators/Florida Panthers game, Videotron president Manon Brouillette confirmed that it had reached a deal in September to carry the new feeds. The addition of TSN1 to the lineup was accelerated to October 20, 2014 to ensure the availability of that week's Monday Night Football game, with the remainder added on October 29, 2014.
The current TSN feeds, and any programming unique to each feed as per TSN's current TV schedules (subject to pre-emption by either ESPN or TSN due to live events), is shown below.
|Channel||Launch date||Description and programming|
|TSN1||September 1, 1984
August 15, 2003 (HD)
|Originally established as the primary, national TSN service since its launch, on August 25, 2014, this feed was renamed TSN1 and became the primary TSN feed for viewers in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon.
On August 15, 2003, TSN launched a high definition simulcast, branded as TSN HD, airing widescreen and high-definition feeds of programming when available. As virtually TSN's entire schedule is now broadcast in HD, the separate branding was dropped from on-air usage in 2013, and the HD feed is now letterboxed for standard definition viewers. All of the other TSN channels below have had HD simulcasts available since their respective launch dates.
|TSN2||August 29, 2008||TSN's national secondary channel, which replaced a part-time "alternate feed" in operation since 1997. For the most part, it has served as an overflow channel for TSN's various sports rights, particularly when all four "regional" feeds are jointly carrying another major event.|
|TSN3||August 25, 2014||The primary TSN feed for viewers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.|
|TSN4||The primary TSN feed for viewers in most of Ontario.|
|TSN5||The primary TSN feed for viewers in eastern Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.|
The other sports channels owned or managed by Bell Media and ESPN Inc., including ESPN Classic, NHL Network, and the French-language Réseau des sports and related channels, operate under separate licences.
|Channel||First air date||Last air date||Description and programming|
|Canadiens on TSN
|October 25, 2010||April 10, 2014||A part-time feed which carried English-language regional broadcasts of Montreal Canadiens games, in the eastern Canadian territory shared by Montreal and the Ottawa Senators. It was provided at no additional charge to customers in this region who subscribed to TSN through Bell Satellite TV, Bell Fibe TV, Bell Aliant FibreOP, and Shaw Direct. Sportsnet East took over regional English-language rights to the Canadiens beginning in the 2014-15 season.|
|Jets on TSN
|September 20, 2011||April 11, 2014||A part-time feed which carried regional broadcasts of Winnipeg Jets games, restricted to the Jets' NHL home territory of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and parts of northwestern Ontario. Although carried at no charge for a free preview period, access to the channel soon became a paid add-on on local providers by December 2011, costing $9.95 per month for the duration of the NHL season. On August 18, 2014, TSN officially confirmed that the TSN Jets channel had been discontinued and that regional Jets games will be carried on TSN3 for the 2014-15 season at no additional charge.|
TSN's flagship news program is SportsCentre, a sports news program airing several times throughout the day. Formerly known as Sportsdesk, it was revamped to closer resemble ESPN's own SportsCenter (including the use of its theme music, logo, and opening) in the Fall of 2001 as part of a corporate restructuring, closer aligning itself with minority owner ESPN. In 2006, a new studio was built in order to prepare the show for its transition to high definition – becoming the first daily news program in Canada to be produced in HD beginning on September 25, 2006. Other original programs on TSN include the daily hockey news program That's Hockey, the talk show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg, the automotive newsmagazine Motoring, and TSN The Reporters.
In connection with ESPN's minority ownership in TSN, the network has a long-term agreement with ESPN International for the Canadian rights to ESPN original programming including Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, Sunday NFL Countdown, ESPN FC, and ESPN Films documentaries including the 30 for 30 series, among others, though it does not always air these programs simultaneously with their U.S. broadcasts.
Significant domestic broadcast rights
TSN is a major broadcaster of ice hockey in Canada. From 1987 to 1998, and again from 2002 to 2014, TSN held national cable rights to broadcast the NHL in Canada. Under its most recent contract, TSN aired regular season games on weeknights and Sundays, including exclusivity on Wednesday nights, as well as various Stanley Cup Playoffs games, as the league's secondary rightsholder after CBC Sports. Its most recent contract expired at the end of the 2013–14 NHL season (following the 2014 NHL Draft); Rogers Communications (owners of Sportsnet) secured a twelve-year contract for sole national rights beginning with the following season. TSN's then-parent company CTVglobemedia attempted to strike a similar exclusive deal in 2006 ($1.4 billion over ten years), but was not successful.
TSN continues to hold three regional, English-language rights contracts:
- Winnipeg Jets: 60 games per season through 2020–21; aired regionally on TSN3.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 26 games per season beginning in 2014-15 (indefinite due to Bell's co-ownership of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment; remaining regional games split with Sportsnet Ontario); aired regionally on TSN4.
- Ottawa Senators: 60 games per season beginning in 2014-15; aired regionally on TSN5.
These games are subject to blackout outside of the teams' designated home markets. TSN also held regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens (separate from the French-language contract held by sister channel RDS) through the 2013–14 season; they have since been acquired by Sportsnet.
TSN also has a broadcasting contract with Hockey Canada, giving it the rights to broadcast the IIHF World Junior Championships, Men's and Women's World Hockey Championship, the IIHF World U18 Championship, Allan Cup, Royal Bank Cup, Spengler Cup, Telus Cup and Esso Cup.
CTV acquired the rights to The Hockey Theme, which has been the theme song of Hockey Night in Canada for 40 years, after the CBC decided not to renew its rights to the theme song in June 2008 amid a legal dispute with its composer, Dolores Claman. A reorchestrated version of the tune has been used for hockey broadcasts on TSN and RDS since fall 2008.
The channel also previously held rights to the country's university football playoff tournaments, including the Hardy Cup, Uteck Bowl, Mitchell Bowl and the Vanier Cup championship. The Hardy Cup coverage reverted to Shaw TV in 2014 while the Uteck, Mitchell and Vanier contests moved to Rogers Sportsnet, who acquired exclusive rights to CIS tournaments in May 2013.
In February 2011, TSN announced that it had begun a new broadcasting relationship with Major League Soccer, airing 24 matches during the 2011 season that involved the league's Canadian clubs, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Its slate expanded to 30 games in 2012 with the debut of the Montreal Impact in the league. In addition, the network, along with TSN2, broadcasts a package of other regular-season games, the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup Playoffs and the MLS Cup. In January 2014, TSN announced that it would take over broadcast rights to Whitecaps games beginning in the 2014 Major League Soccer season, under a separate deal.
On October 27, 2011, Bell Media and TSN announced that they had secured broadcast rights for FIFA soccer tournaments from 2015 to 2022. The rights include the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup hosted by Canada.
TSN has hosted much of Canada's supplementary Olympic coverage, being the first pay television channel in the world to ever broadcast the Olympics with the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and having been part of the CBC's coverage from 1998 to 2008. In 2010, TSN began to participate in CTV and Rogers' joint broadcast rights to the Olympic Games for 2010 and 2012. TSN continued to be a part of CBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but also in conjunction with Sportsnet (who participated in the CTV/Rogers coverage).
TSN also broadcasts Canada's major curling tournaments; it holds exclusive rights to the Canadian Curling Association's Season of Champions series through 2020 (which include Canada's men's and women's national championships, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Horton's Brier, along with the World Curling Championships). It also organizes The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game, an annual skins curling tournament.
TSN has also historically been a broadcaster for Major League Baseball in Canada, as its former parent company, Labatt, was also the owner of the Toronto Blue Jays. However, TSN's coverage of the Blue Jays has decreased in recent years,[when?] as Sportsnet, which is owned by the Blue Jays' parent company, Rogers Communications, holds the team's broadcast rights, along with national rights to MLB in Canada. Rogers continued to sub-licence a yearly package of games to TSN for several seasons afterward until 2010, when TSN began to sub-license ESPN's national MLB broadcasts instead (thus giving Sportsnet exclusive rights to all Blue Jays games), beginning with Sunday Night Baseball, and expanding to other ESPN telecasts including Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball beginning in the 2014 MLB season.
In May 2011, Bell Media and Skate Canada announced a 10-year rights agreement making CTV, TSN and RDS the official broadcasters of Skate Canada. As part of the agreement, CTV, TSN and RDS acquired exclusive multimedia rights to all of Skate Canada’s premier domestic events including Skate Canada International and the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. In 2011, TSN carried the Rugby World Cup, also with live and tape-delayed coverage.
Significant international broadcast rights
Along with its coverage of Canadian events, TSN also airs coverage of international sporting events (primarily American), often simulcast from other broadcasters. TSN also currently airs Formula One and NASCAR racing events. TSN2 carries a weekly early NFL game (to compliment sister terrestrial network CTV's other regional games), NBC Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. TSN also carries some of ESPN's NFL analysis and highlight programs, including NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown. In December 2013, Bell Media and the NFL agreed on a multi-year extension of their broadcast partnership which will see more NFL games on TSN, including the Sunday 1pm and 4pm et regular season games. TSN also currently serves as the main Canadian outlet for TNT's NBA coverage, along with exclusive Canadian rights to the NBA Finals.
TSN is the exclusive rights holder in Canada for all four Tennis Grand Slams (accordingly, as of 2014, minority owner ESPN is also the exclusive rights holder for all four). In 2012, the channel signed multi-year extensions for the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. On May 16, 2013, TSN signed a multi-year extension for the US Open.
TSN is also the rights holder for all four of golf's major championships – The Masters (first two rounds), US Open, British Open and PGA Championship. In addition, it carries the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup and simulcasts the RBC Canadian Open.
On February 1, 2011, TSN announced that they had acquired the rights to the Tour de France in a "multi-year" deal. This deal ultimately lasted for three years; the rights were acquired by Sportsnet in 2014.
In 2011, as part of a larger deal with ESPN International, TSN acquired rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. In the 2013-14 season, TSN began to air more regular season games, with particular emphasis on the Kansas Jayhawks due to their addition of Thornhill, Ontario native Andrew Wiggins. With the expation to five feeds in 2014, TSN has added more NCAA college football and ice hockey games.
On October 29, 2012, TSN announced that it had acquired the rights to air English Premier League matches in a three-year deal starting with the 2013–2014 season. The channel will air over 100 matches per season from 2013–2016, with coverage on TSN, TSN2 and TSN Mobile.
In August 2009, TSN and TSN2 began airing live and delayed coverage of Australian Rules Football. Selected games from the Australian Football League (AFL) Premiership Season and Finals Series including the AFL Grand Final are broadcast live or on delay every weekend.
Through minority owner ESPN, TSN also holds exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to several other events which ESPN either owns outright, such as the X Games, or for which it owns the worldwide broadcast rights, such as the College Football Playoff, the World Series of Poker, and various NHRA events.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
TSN featured live professional wrestling in the form of World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship show, WWE Raw for over a decade. However, the Raw program, which aired live, occasionally had been censored live for extremely violent scenes, or when female wrestlers or characters were assaulted by male wrestlers. These actions are supposed to be in order to meet Canadian broadcast standards, with repeat broadcasts often more heavily edited. This disappointed many wrestling fans over the years, and is unusual since the violence of wrestling scenes are not significantly different from other television programs aired on regular Canadian networks. (WWE has since toned down the level of violence and sexuality on its programming to meet standards for the U.S. TV-PG rating.)
It was expected that in fall 2006, when TSN started airing the ESPN iteration of Monday Night Football (as well as the NBC Sunday Night Football games), that WWE Raw would air on tape delay during the NFL season. However, WWE instead decided to move the program to rival sports network The Score (now known as Sportsnet 360) rather than air on tape delay, although Raw was still aired on a 15 minute delay due to limits on the amount of live programming that channel could air in a week. As of Raw 1000 in 2012, the program is aired without a tape delay.
The final episode of WWE Raw on TSN aired July 31, 2006; the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony was also aired on the network, but no other professional wrestling programming is known to have aired on the channel since then (though TSN's sister network E! Canada does air the WWE reality show Total Divas). Off The Record with Michael Landsberg continues to occasionally feature professional wrestlers in unscripted interviews, which it has throughout its run.
In 2004, both TSN and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA Wrestling), (known then as NWA-TNA), erroneously announced that Impact! would air on the network, although that deal was never completed and the article on the TSN Wrestling page was taken down shortly after. However, TSN's French-language sister network RDS airs the program.
In past years, TSN also aired shows from the American Wrestling Association (AWA), Stampede Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) Monday Nitro, as well as producing a one-hour show called Pro Wrestling Plus, which featured highlights from various promotions and was hosted by Stampede announcer Ed Whalen; that program was the Canadian equivalent of the syndicated American program Pro Wrestling This Week.
- CFL on TSN – Live coverage of CFL games with Rod Smith in studio and a panel joining him to analyze the games – Jock Climie, Matt Dunigan and Chris Schultz. Friday broadcasts are known as Friday Night Football
- Curling on TSN – Live coverage of the Canadian Curling Association, Continental Cup of Curling, the TSN Skins Game, the World Curling Championships, and Olympic Curling.
- In this Corner – The latest news and reports from world of boxing with Darren Dutchyshen and Russ Anber
- NASCAR Canadian Tire Series – Live coverage of select NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races
- NHL on TSN – Live coverage of NHL games. Hosted by James Duthie; analysts include Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, Aaron Ward and Marc Crawford
- Off The Record – talk show featuring various personalities discussing the latest sports headlines with host Michael Landsberg
- SportsCentre – Flagship news show on the network
- TSN Profile – Biographical portrait of various sports personalities
- TSN The Reporters – Sunday roundtable debate that examines the issues making headlines with Dave Hodge and featuring top Canadian Sports journalists
- That's Hockey – Features news and reports from the National Hockey League, hosted by Gino Reda and analysts Mike Johnson and Jamie McLennan
- TSN Skins Game – Annual curling bonspiel
- Toronto Raptors Basketball – About 20 games a year; produced by NBA TV Canada
- Vancouver Grizzlies Basketball (1995–2001)
- Montreal Expos Baseball (1985–1999, 2001)
- Toronto Blue Jays Baseball (1984–2009)
- Jamaica – distributed on Flow Cable systems.
- Bahamas – distributed on Cable Bahamas systems.
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (April 2, 1984). "Public Notice CRTC 1984-81". Retrieved February 22, 2011.
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