SBD/Issue 222/Sports Media

TSN Set To Launch Companion Channel With Major League Focus

TSN To Launch Channel To Focus
On Major Sports Programming
TSN this fall is "planning to launch a companion channel called TSN2," which will include "major-league programming such as NHL and NBA telecasts on a cycle of 24 hours a day, seven days a week," according to William Houston of the GLOBE & MAIL. Advertising sources said that TSN "has already bought for the channel the rights to NBA games that were discarded by Rogers Sportsnet at the end of last season." TSN2 also will "provide extensive auto racing and tennis coverage and, apparently, will air at least one major-league event daily." The channel will be the "first digital channel in Canada to provide programming in [HD]." TSN "asked cable and satellite companies this summer to sign agreements to carry TSN2," but by the end of last week, "several, including Rogers Cable and Bell ExpressVu, had not agreed." TSN's existing alternative digital channel "will be discontinued once TSN2 is up and running." Houston writes the launch of the net "will not be good news for Sportsnet or The Score," as it "will represent more competition." Nor "will it be helpful to the CBC, which is hoping to start its own digital sports channel" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/7).

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