SBD/Issue 2/Sports Media

CBC, Score Media Ask Regulators To Look Into TSN2 Programming

The CBC and Score Media are alleging that TSN, with its new digital channel TSN2, is "trying to operate a second network without a proper licence," according to Grant Robertson of the GLOBE & MAIL. As TSN "tries to negotiate deals with cable and satellite companies to carry TSN2 in Canada," the CBC and The Score "have asked regulators to look into the matter, hoping to keep the channel from adding to the $95[M] a year TSN makes in advertising revenue as the country's most profitable sports network." The CBC and The Score specifically "are accusing TSN of exploiting a little-known rule that lets cable channels split their feed into East and West by using the second feed to launch" TSN2. Broadcasting rules stipulate that 90% of programming "on a split feed must be the same as the main network, but 10[%] of the schedule can be different." Under the 10% restriction, TSN can "run an average of 2.4 hours a day of unique live coverage, and it can allocate those hours however it wants." Meanwhile, sources said that TSN2 "will announce a deal with the [NHL] to show at least 30 NHL hockey games this season." Robertson writes the agreement, which means TSN2 "will air more than 800 hours of live sports a year," is "a direct shot at the other networks" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/15).

IN THE DARK: The GLOBE & MAIL's William Houston reports TSN2 has been unable "to receive carriage on major cable and satellite systems," leaving it currently on only "two major distributors." As a result, Sunday's CFL Eskimos-Alouettes game on the net will go "largely unseen in the Edmonton market and many parts of Canada," as TSN this weekend is broadcasting the Ryder Cup. Meanwhile, TSN2 "will announce this week programming additions that include expanded Champions League soccer content and a schedule of NHL and NBA telecasts in 2008-09" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/15).

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