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Rogers Sportsnet
Rogers Sportsnet.svg
Rogers Sportsnet logo
Launched October 9, 1998
Owned by Rogers Sportsnet Inc.
(Rogers Media)
Slogan Your Home Team First
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called CTV Sportsnet
Website Rogers Sportsnet
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV Channels 405-408 (SD)
Channels 846-849 (HD)
Shaw Direct Channels 416-419 (SD)
Channels 260-263 (HD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
Sportsnet has kept a consistent look throughout its entire history. The following is the national brand logo used while under the name CTV Sportsnet.

Rogers Sportsnet (often referred to only as Sportsnet) is a Canadian English-language cable television sports specialty channel, operating four regional standard-definition feeds, each with a corresponding high-definition simulcast feed. It is owned by Rogers Sportsnet Inc., a subsidiary of Rogers Media.

Contents

History

Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States. CTV owned 40% and was the managing partner of the new network; Rogers, Molson and Fox owned 20% each.

When CTV purchased NetStar, the former parent company of TSN, in 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ordered CTV to sell either CTV Sportsnet or TSN. CTV ultimately chose to sell Sportsnet, on which the other shareholders had first right of refusal; as Rogers was the only interested party, it acquired the channel from CTV and therefore it was renamed Rogers Sportsnet in 2001. During the transition period, CTV was allowed to control programming on both networks, and some cross-affiliation and programs that were going to be tape-delayed on TSN, most notably figure skating, were given to Sportsnet. Rogers has since acquired the shares of Molson and Fox, but does air some programs from Fox networks, notably including Major League Baseball, though MLB coverage outside of the Blue Jays has not always been the Fox domestic feed.

The new network gained credibility before it went on the air, wrestling the NHL Canadian cable package away from long-time holder TSN. From 1998–99 until 2001–02, Sportsnet aired Labatt Blue Tuesday Night Hockey to a national audience throughout the regular season, and covered first-round playoff series not involving Canadian teams. On the day CTV Sportsnet went on the air, its first live sports event was an NHL opening-night telecast between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers from Madison Square Garden. The national cable rights have since returned to TSN, though Sportsnet retains regional rights to five of six Canadian-based clubs.

For several years, both TSN and Rogers Sportsnet were based out of separate studios at CTV's suburban Toronto complex, 9 Channel Nine Court; Sportsnet was based there from the start, while TSN moved in shortly after its sale to CTV in 2000. This led to some pecularities related to the fact that the two rival sports channels were only separated by a "parking lot".

On April 30, 2008, Rogers Sportsnet moved broadcast operations from the CTV compound in Agincourt to Downtown Toronto to the Rogers Building, a cluster of buildings in the Mount Pleasant-Jarvis Street area. [1]

Regional feeds

Rogers Sportsnet regions

Rogers Sportsnet operates in a similar manner to a regional sports network in the United States, with four regional feeds airing different sporting events tailored to the region they serve. It also has high-definition feeds for each region. The four regional feeds are:

  • Sportsnet Ontario, which serves all of Ontario excluding the Eastern region.

Although cable companies in Canada are permitted to carry only the local Sportsnet feed on analogue cable packages, all four feeds can be carried on satellite television or digital cable. However, in some instances, programming on the out-of-market Sportsnet feeds, such as regional NHL games, are blacked out.

Programming

Rogers Sportsnet is the main television outlet for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team which, like the network, is owned by Rogers Communications. Blue Jays games are broadcast nationally, across all Sportsnet feeds. Sportsnet also offers ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball package nationally, and has the Canadian rights to the All-Star Game and Major League Baseball playoffs as well.

Sportsnet Pacific carries selected Seattle Mariners games produced by Fox Sports Northwest as part of a rights deal with the Mariners. Other Sportsnet feeds carry selected regional baseball games produced by other American networks (such as Fox Sports Net, Comcast Sports Net, the YES Network, and NESN), although the MLB Extra Innings package is available for purchase in Canada.

Sportsnet is also a major Canadian broadcaster of National Hockey League games. The network's four regional feeds carry selected games of the NHL teams based in their respective regions: the Ottawa Senators on Sportsnet East, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sportsnet Ontario, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers on Sportsnet West, and the Vancouver Canucks on Sportsnet Pacific. The Montreal Canadiens are the only Canadian NHL team not to air games on Sportsnet, as they currently have an exclusive television contract with the French-language RDS network.

In addition to the NHL, Sportsnet is the national carrier of the Canadian Hockey League, broadcasting a package of national and regional games, culminating in the Memorial Cup each May.

Sportsnet additionally covers live English Premier League soccer matches on weekends, and alongside CBC and GolTV carries select Toronto FC games broadcast on select feeds, with limited ones available nationally. Sportsnet has also been awarded the media rights in Canada for the 2009-12 UEFA Champions League and for the UEFA Super Cup.[2]

In early 2005, Rogers Sportsnet was part of the consortium that won the Canadian broadcast rights to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as the London 2012 Summer Olympics. This was considered a serious coup, as the CBC had consistently won Olympic broadcast rights from the 1996 Summer Olympics through to the 2008 Summer Olympics. CTV and V will be the primary broadcasters; Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and RDS will provide supplementary coverage.

As a result of the Rogers Media's acquisition of the Citytv stations, Rogers Sportsnet produces sports updates for those channels.

For the 2005 season, Rogers Sportsnet also began airing NFL football, splitting late games across the Pacific and West feeds, and the East and Ontario feeds. The games not shown in the opposite regions are also carried by Rogers-owned Citytv stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Original programs

  • Hockeycentral at Noon – News and reports from the NHL. Hosted by Daren Millard and features either Nick Kypreos or Bill Berg as co-host. It is simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet Ontario and The Fan 590 on weekdays.
  • IBM Golf Report – All the latest golf news as well as previews of upcoming tournaments with Gerry Dobson and Mark Evershed.
  • Prime Time Sports – Simulcast of the popular Fan 590 sports radio program out of Toronto. Takes a look at current and popular sports stories with host Bob McCown and various sports journalists.
  • Soccercentral – News and reports from the Canadian and world soccer scene and highlights from matches from all the major leagues in Europe and around the world with Gerry Dobson and Craig Forrest.
  • Sportsnet Connected – The daily sports news/highlights program of Rogers Sportsnet. Hosted by various personalities. Formerly known as Sportscentral and Sportsnetnews.

On-Air Talent

Sportsnet HD

The first high definition channel from Sportsnet launched on September 1, 2003. Sportsnet HD was a national feed that mirrored Sportsnet Ontario most of the time, although sometimes it would simulcast content from the remaining regional feeds or air completely separate content.

In 2007, Sportsnet began broadcasting select Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators hockey games in HD, beginning in the 2007–08 NHL season.[3] For this, Sportsnet launched an alternative HD feed that would be activated for viewers in the appropriate market when those specific HD games are aired. However, on January 26, 2009, Sportsnet replaced the national HD feed with 4 regional HD feeds that would be a simulcast of each specific regional feed, East, Ontario, West and Pacific.

External links

References

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