SBD/January 24, 2011/Media
TSN Radio Becomes A Reality As Canada Media Battle Heats Up
Published January 24, 2011
BATTLE FOR ATTENTION: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich noted Canada's sports broadcasting business is "about to change even more" than it already has. There are "battles being waged for talent as broadcasters scramble to entrench themselves for the ultimate war for sports fans’ eyeballs." It is a "war that includes the usual suspects -- TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and the CBC -- as well as a relative newcomer in Shaw Communications." Zelkovich noted at the "epicentre of this seismic activity" is Rogers Media President Keith Pelley, whose "departure from the CTV/TSN family for rival Rogers Communications last summer set things in motion." The first "real showdown between Sportsnet and TSN will come, not on television, but on radio when TSN launches its national network of stations in April." TSN could "run a relatively inexpensive operation using a lot of its own simulcasts." Also in play are "some of Canada’s most valued sports rights," including the '14 Sochi Games and "Hockey Night in Canada" (TORONTO STAR, 1/22). The GLOBE & MAIL's Dowbiggin wrote with news last week of "talent raids and TSN’s plan to challenge Rogers on sports radio, the skirmishing between the two media giants finally broke into the open." Pelley is "about as popular with his old TSN chums as Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/24).