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  1. #1
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    New General Interest Sports Channels Coming Soon?!

    In a decision released last year after a hearing on specialty services, the CRTC agreed to eliminate genre protection on Sports and news channels. Recently they released the framework under which new and existing services can apply for a license to operate a general interest sports channel. Well now, the first few applicants have appeared:

    1- TVA Sports from TVA (Quebecor)
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-632.htm#1

    2- Rogers' Mainstream Sports (Rogers)
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-632.htm#9 (They already have Sportstnet, what's the point of this channel?!)

    I expect to see something from CTV (for TSN2) and CBC soon as well. Personally I don't see the need for any more sports channels you have TSN & TSN2 as well as several other niche services. TVA application is interesting since CTV already dominates the market in Quebec with RDS & RIS so what are the odds of this TVA Sports ever seeing the light of day?!

  2. #2
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    First, Rogers should be denied, they already have Sportsnet, they should not be allowed to own 2 national mainstream sports channels. Some may say, well Sportsnet is technically a regional sports channel, and to that I say, it's the same thing. Technically it is licensed as a regional sports service but let's be real, it's really a general sports channel. And secondly, I saw a application on the CRTC website a couple days ago by Rogers, applying to ammend Sportsnet's licence to morph it into a mainstream sports channel and essentially drop its regional requirements.

    If TVA Sports gets approved, the chances of it launching is actually pretty good. TVA is owned by Quebecor which also owns Vidéotron (the largest and most important BDU to get carried on if you're a French service), so they have the means to launch it if they want. And progrramming wise, there is certainly enough sports programs/events to go around to fill up another French channel.

  3. #3
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    Those are some pretty negative opinions. What happened to giving viewers what they want? There is a big appetite for sports. There are always people complaining that their favourite sport isn't getting enough coverage.

    As for Sportsnet, it's a regional hockey channel that shows national programming the rest of the time.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Those are some pretty negative opinions.
    What negative opinions? Mine? What did i say that's so negative, other then saying Rogers should be denied b/c they already own an essentially national mainstream sports channel? The CRTC should be letting someone else enter the game, as in competition, not someone who already owns one to open another one. I didn't bash anyone saying they're doing a horrible job, etc, etc, etc...

    I'm not against someone starting up another national mainstream sports channel, I just don't think Rogers should be the one to do it since they already have one. If Corus, Astral, Quebecor, or any other existing or new broadcaster wants to jump in and start one, fine, I'm all for it, but not Rogers or even CTVgm since they already own a national mainstream English sports channel.
    Last edited by musimax; 10-08-2009 at 03:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Those are some pretty negative opinions. What happened to giving viewers what they want? There is a big appetite for sports. There are always people complaining that their favourite sport isn't getting enough coverage.

    As for Sportsnet, it's a regional hockey channel that shows national programming the rest of the time.
    I don't think people are aginst another sports channel.Just another one owned by rogers that i think is what is not sitting well with some.

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    First, Rogers should be denied, they already have Sportsnet, they should not be allowed to own 2 national mainstream sports channels.
    I agree, this makes no sense whatsoever but I think they may be applying for this channel as a back up in case their amendments for Sportsnet do not get approved. I think this should be denied outright but seeing as how this is a Cat. 2 channel, the CRTC will just approve it especially since genre protection has been dropped for Sports channels. I see some bidding wars sprouting up in the future for rights to various sporting events, not sure if this is a good thing for consumers or not?!


    And secondly, I saw a application on the CRTC website a couple days ago by Rogers, applying to ammend Sportsnet's licence to morph it into a mainstream sports channel and essentially drop its regional requirements.
    Here is the link to that application, finally tracked it down: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-621.htm

    Interesting change to the nature of service they are requesting:

    The licensee shall provide a national, English-language specialty programming service that shall consist of programming dedicated to all aspects of sports with an emphasis on mainstream Canadian professional sports. The licensee may provide multiple feeds.
    They want to turn Sportsnet into a National service but still want to be able to retain the multiple feeds. I think it should be a level playing field and if this is approved they should not be allowed to retain multiple feeds. Do they plan to offer different programming on each of these feeds, that is not clear in the application?!

    As for these applications in general, I am wondering how successful they will be when the existing services (TSN, TSN2 & RDS) have locked up rights to many sporting events. I am thinking here along the lines of TMN/MC & Super Channel where the incumbents locked up long term deals with all major studios and Super Channel got left with no content from major US studios (until recently). This could happen here as well, especially since TSN2 will become a full fledged channel with separate programming once the new rules come into effect. Smart of CTVgm to launch that service now even if its just a time shifted version of TSN with only a small percentage of programming that is different.

    In terms of new players, I would like to see CBC launch their sports service (which hopefully will contain a significant amount of amateur sports) and perhaps TVA as well for the French market.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by musimax View Post
    What did i say that's so negative, other then saying Rogers should be denied
    Other than that? Nothing.

    You seem to be missing the point that the CRTC is ending the genre protection of sports channels and anyone can start one. They're not going to deny anything (as long as it meets some basic requirements).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Other than that? Nothing.

    You seem to be missing the point that the CRTC is ending the genre protection of sports channels and anyone can start one. They're not going to deny anything (as long as it meets some basic requirements).
    I know they've loosened the rules on sports channels, and I never said they were going to be denied, I said they should be and I hope that they are. They already own a general sports channel, they shouldn't be allowed to own another one, give a licence to someone else and let them enter the game.

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    I don't know what's stopping Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from merging their LeafsTV, RaptorsNBATV, and GolTV into one general sports channel (or two, MLSE1 and MLSE2, or whatever they would name it, similar to TSN and TSN2). They strongly implied that's what they wanted when they asked the CRTC to drop the genre protection, which did happen a few months later. Maybe they're waiting for existing Leafs and Raptors television contracts with other channels to expire?

    They could show all of the games involving the teams they own -- Raptors, Toronto FC (and other soccer), Marlies, and Leafs, with the possible exception of Saturday night Leaf games. That alone could be enough, but they could also add other sports.

    A while back I read a suggestion that a conventional (over-the-air) superstation could also work in getting the increased exposure they want, since they would also get the already approved distant OTA fees from plenty of potential subscribers across the rest of the country, although I suppose Leaf games may be blacked out in other teams' areas. A licence to broadcast on UHF channel 41 in Toronto could soon be available! It also could allow the MLSE2 arrangement on a subchannel, for use when there were two live games at the same time. Presumably most of their programming would be considered local in Toronto, so it's not like they would have any trouble meeting that licence requirement. Now that would be a Cdn OTA station I'd watch, unlike the present ones I totally ignore because I watch the US programming on the Buffalo stations.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 10-08-2009 at 08:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    I don't know what's stopping Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from merging their LeafsTV, RaptorsNBATV, and GolTV into one general sports channel (or two, MLSE1 and MLSE2, or whatever they would name it, similar to TSN and TSN2). They strongly implied that's what they wanted when they asked the CRTC to drop the genre protection, which did happen a few months later. Maybe they're waiting for existing Leafs and Raptors television contracts with other channels to expire?

    They could show all of the games involving the teams they own -- Raptors, Toronto FC (and other soccer), Marlies, and Leafs, with the possible exception of Saturday night Leaf games. That alone could be enough, but they could also add other sports.

    A while back I read a suggestion that a conventional (over-the-air) superstation could also work in getting the increased exposure they want, since they would also get the already approved distant OTA fees from plenty of potential subscribers across the rest of the country, although I suppose Leaf games may be blacked out in other teams' areas. A licence to broadcast on UHF channel 41 in Toronto could soon be available! It also could allow the MLSE2 arrangement on a subchannel, for use when there were two live games at the same time. Presumably most of their programming would be considered local in Toronto, so it's not like they would have any trouble meeting that licence requirement. Now that would be a Cdn OTA station I'd watch, unlike the present ones I totally ignore because I watch the US programming on the Buffalo stations.
    While i think a channel like that could work having just toronto teams i am not sure how well it would do.Out side of the leafs/raptors/toronto fc there is not alot of interest in the other teams.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by musimax View Post
    I know they've loosened the rules on sports channels, and I never said they were going to be denied, I said they should be and I hope that they are. They already own a general sports channel, they shouldn't be allowed to own another one, give a licence to someone else and let them enter the game.
    So you're against ending the genre protection of sports channels?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    So you're against ending the genre protection of sports channels?
    Where are you getting this from my posts? I said in my previous post I said...
    I'm not against someone starting up another national mainstream sports channel, I just don't think Rogers should be the one to do it since they already have one. If Corus, Astral, Quebecor, or any other existing or new broadcaster wants to jump in and start one, fine, I'm all for it, but not Rogers or even CTVgm since they already own a national mainstream English sports channel.
    I'll state my stance on this again and try to make it more clear if it's possible..... I'm all for ending genre protection on sports channels. If someone wants to start up another sports channel that's fine, but I don't think Rogers or CTV should be allowed since they already own a mainstream national sports channel; Rogers Sportsnet and TSN. Someone else should be allowed to, whoever that may be, whether it's the CBC, Corus, Quebecor, Astral, or whoever but not Rogers or CTV.

  13. #13
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    I can see up to 3 new sports channels in Canada within the next 5 years. The MLSE channel as has been mentioned, CBCSportsPlus (minus the amateur restrictions; but still with some amateur sports) and the TVA Sports channel.

    Personally I think that MLSE will still let about 32 games for National TV on TSN and CBC; and keep the other 50 for themselves.

    As for the Raptors, I think they'd sell off some to one other channel (likely TSN and TSN2), maybe only the ones that would conflict with the Leafs, and keep the rest for themselves.

  14. #14
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    If someone wants to start up another sports channel that's fine, but I don't think Rogers or CTV should be allowed since they already own a mainstream national sports channel; Rogers Sportsnet and TSN
    I agree completely. The whole point of getting rid of genre protection is to allow Competition! This means you allow new players into the field not the same ones, we already have sports channels from Rogers and CTV they don't need anymore and should not be allowed to launch anymore in the spirit of fairness and competition.

    I can see up to 3 new sports channels in Canada within the next 5 years. The MLSE channel as has been mentioned, CBCSportsPlus (minus the amateur restrictions; but still with some amateur sports) and the TVA Sports channel.
    CBC SportsPlus will be launching by next spring in time for the World Cup of Soccer of which they are the official broadcaster in Canada. It most likely will be a stripped down channel at first due to budget cuts but hopefully it will still air some relevant content.

    As for MLSE, I sincerely hope they do not launch any general interest sports channel as everything they touch turns to crap (see GolTV Canada). Also I don't see the need for such a channel because they already have a channel for every one of their properties:

    Leafs- Leafs TV
    Raptors- Raptors TV
    Toronto F.C.- GolTV Canada

    What is the point of a general interest sports service, just to say they have one?! If they want to launch such a channel then they should shut down Leafs TV & Raptors TV and merge their content into the new channel.

    As I mentioned before it will all come down to contracts with sports leagues and sporting events. If TSN / Sportsnet snag the rights first (since they are already on the air) then that will make it difficult for any new entrants to launch their service. I hope this does not mean the downfall of any of the niche services , some of these like GolTV/Setanta are viable and their is enough content to fill a channel. Before they existed, soccer content was few and far between on the 'mainstream' sports channels, same goes for other sports like golf, rubgy & cricket.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    CBC SportsPlus will be launching by next spring in time for the World Cup of Soccer of which they are the official broadcaster in Canada. It most likely will be a stripped down channel at first due to budget cuts but hopefully it will still air some relevant content.
    Where did you hear that? Last I heard, bold will be supplementing the CBC coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Where did you hear that? Last I heard, bold will be supplementing the CBC coverage.
    It was stated by Scott Moore (CBC Sports boss) in an interview with Chris Zelkovich of The Star, in his blog back in March.

    But CBC's plan is to launch some version of the channel by the summer of 2010, preferably before the World Cup so it will have somewhere to put all those games.

    "We are still hoping to find a workable business plan and we still hope that we find a way to launch a service by World Cup next year," he says. "It may not be as ambitious as we initially had planned, but we think itís important"
    http://thestar.blogs.com/sportsmedia/page/10/ (Scroll down the page until you see 'The CBC gets a haircut)

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    Their plans have changed. Moore did an interview after the Confederations Cup in June. The World Cup will be on the main network and bold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by musimax View Post
    I'll state my stance on this again and try to make it more clear if it's possible..... I'm all for ending genre protection on sports channels. If someone wants to start up another sports channel that's fine, but I don't think Rogers or CTV should be allowed since they already own a mainstream national sports channel; Rogers Sportsnet and TSN. Someone else should be allowed to, whoever that may be, whether it's the CBC, Corus, Quebecor, Astral, or whoever but not Rogers or CTV.
    So you want protection for companies that don't currently operate sports channels?
    Why do you think a Corus, Astral, etc. channel would be better than a new CTV or Rogers channel?
    Last edited by SportsFan; 10-13-2009 at 12:34 PM.

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    Yea CBC has committed to provide live coverage of every match on the main network, except when there is 2 games on at the same time towards the end of the round robin; those games will air immediately following live coverage. CBCSportsPlus isn't launching next spring.

    I think that at least merging Leafs TV and Raptors TV is a good idea (as well as airing TFC games on the channel). It would make it more marketable, instead of having two niche channel, they would have one channel that would air all sports. They could probably even make a deal with Sportsnet where they would sell Sportsnet some Leafs/Raptors rights and get a small amount of Jays games in return. Look at how good channels like MSG, NESN and YES do in the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    http://www.thestar.com/sports/articl...tract-revealed
    Sportsnet has applied for a change in its licence to free it from some of the regional restrictions it has faced since launching 11 years ago. This is the latest in what could become a flood of applications since the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced last fall that it would loosen licence requirements.

 

 

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