Yeah, I had heard about this going down yesterday and was quite shocked. TSN really hasn't been willing to break the bank here. Lots to consider.
- So glad that CBC didn't lose HNIC. That's been a staple of my, well, life
for several years now. That's an institution. If only Glenn Healy and P.J. Stock would fight to the death and tie so it can be more enjoyable. Hopefully they can get back the HNIC theme now that TSN probably won't have much use for it...
- TSN does a really good job, I think. Their broadcasts are of very high quality, they have great commentators in Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert (not counting Dennis Beyak on TSN-Jets, which will remain as it is a regional thing, but I like him too). Pierre McGuire is the most knowledgeable color guy in the game and they had him, Ray Ferraro is right there and isn't afraid to be critical of terrible plays and players, which is very refreshing. I don't doubt that he ends up on HNIC, he lives in Vancouver, he could do the HNIC late game and honestly, I wouldn't be that upset if Kelly Hrudey was moved up to the primetime slot, I think he does a pretty good job.
- Big issue: Sportsnet is terrible. All of them, suck. Hopefully they get serious about their production and cast now that they are no longer just regional feeds...how many people went from Sportsnet to TSN in the last little while? How many go back? Dreger...I can't think of a crew that would be terribly good at doing national games. Maybe they can convince Gord Miller to come over, but I don't think they'd get Cuthbert as he is their #1 CFL guy. I'd honestly like to see them bring Peter Loubardias back because a) his big booming voice and great passion for the game b) he keeps Charlie Simmer from talking too much about God knows what... that would be their best shot at a national crew I'd think, unless I'm forgetting someone. Actually, better yet, Loubardias and Sam Cosentino if Sam ever wanted to get out of just doing junior hockey.
- But this will be interesting to see how shifts in personnel work. This reminds me of when Fox swiped the NFL (namely, the NFC) from CBS in the mid-1990's and all of their guys jumped ship (Dick Stockton, Pat Summerall, John Madden, Terry Bradshaw, etc.) to Fox. But, like it did for Fox, this might (will) really make Sportsnet a player in Canada as opposed to a desperate also-ran.
- It seems to me that TSN's coverage of the CFL essentially saved the league...what will TSN hype up now? The NBA? What about the rest of the country outside of Toronto? My feeling is that they don't care much for basketball outside of Toronto...does Vancouver still have a team? Maybe Bell should make a push to swipe the Buffalo Bills out from Rogers (and Bon Jovi) and move the team to Toronto...that would really make a splash...TSN can't even show junior hockey because Rogers (Sportsnet) owns the rights to that currently. Get ready for a lot of Raptors, Argos and Marlies I guess...