TSN’s Pre-season Prank

Published on June 1, 2013 10:16 AM by dbo.

See the schedules page or the current schedule on CFLdb Statistics for current pre-season coverage.

When the CFL announced the 2013 schedule, the release came with the news TSN/TSN2 would broadcast 6 of 8 pre-season games, with the pre-season broadcast schedule published on the article. TSN’s CFL on TSN page also listed the six pre-season games to be broadcast by TSN/TSN2. Later, without announcement or explanation, TSN updated their schedule to only two pre-season games (the original pre-season broadcast schedule can be found on the schedule announcement article archived here, though at the time of writing the CFL has not listed any broadcaster for pre-season games on their 2013 schedule). Why and how this could happen became the big question for fans itching to see some CFL pre-season action.

Now we can see what TSN/TSN2 has slated for the nights the first few games that were promised to be broadcast.

Update: Now with Week B pre-season action.

Wed. June 12 TOR @ WPG 8 PM ET

  • TSN UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2013 - Spain vs. Netherlands
  • TSN2 HBO Championship Boxing: Sergio Martinez vs. Martin Murray

Thu. June 13 HAM @ MTL 7 PM ET

  • TSN2 Movie: Rocky
  • TSN NBA Finals

Fri. June 14 SSK @ EDM 9 PM ET (on TSN, not TSN2 as TSN indicates)

  • TSN CFL Pre-Season: Saskatchewan @ Edmonton
  • TSN2 2013 Australian Rules Football: Carlton vs. Hawthorn / Canadian International Dog Show - Part II

Thu. June 20 WPG @ HAM 7 PM ET

  • TSN2 Movie: Rocky II
  • TSN 2013 NBA Finals: Game #7 - San Antonio @ Miami

Thu. June 20 CGY @ SSK 10 PM ET

  • TSN2 Movie: Rocky II
  • TSN 2013 NBA Finals: Game #7 - San Antonio @ Miami

Based on this information I expect that UEFA Under-21 Championship, possible dates for the NBA Finals and the TSN2 movie of the week will cause the conflicts in the following week as well. The NHL and their delayed season may have something to do with it as well. Correction: TSN is carrying third round games and do not know their schedule past the first three games or June 4th.

It is interesting to note:

  • the UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2013 - Spain vs. Netherlands game is a re-broadcast of the live game from 11:45 AM ET.
  • the June 13th game is supposed to be on TSN2, but instead is being bumped by the movie Rocky?

So was this a prank by TSN to announce these broadcasts with no intention of actually showing them? A way to show disdain for the CFL, their valued partner, and its fans by bumping games for prime time replays of European soccer and old movies?

There could be other explanations. Perhaps TSN does not have the equipment and personnel available to broadcast these games. It is possible their teams are taking some time off between the hockey playoffs and the CFL season, when vacation becomes hard to come by. If such an explanation exists, TSN owes that explanation to their viewers.

Honesty is the best policy and TSN needs to come clean on their actions. Otherwise I feel like a loyal subscriber being jerked around by the corporate giant who tells me what I will watch and how much I will like it. I don’t need to subscribe to TSN year long — I’ve cancelled it for six months of the year before and I can do it again.

Do not send your complaints to CFLdb on this matter. Contact TSN and explain your disappointment in the schedule change and the lack of visibility/honesty/explanation on the matter (calm, reasonable complaints go farther than anger and threats). CFL fans need to show their numbers and be heard to effect change in the future.

Update: Expectations that other networks would fill the void for pre-season broadcasts don’t pass any real-world analysis. First, the assumption is other broadcasters have space in their schedules for these games without any verification. Second, no broadcaster would be interested in CFL pre-season games for the reason that the cost to start up a CFL broadcast team for a few games would make the effort break-even at best. Third, they would be promoting a property that belongs to the competition, with no benefit to them with the long term future of the CFL in the hands of TSN. These are the realities of an exclusive broadcast agreement. The CFL gets to benefit the rewards of the agreement, but also suffer from the lack of interest/exposure from other networks (if TSN would even consider offloading pre-season games). Even independent broadcasts of the games to local markets become more difficult with the changes in technology. TSN is the rights holder and that is who needs to be convinced to continue the showcase of these games.


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TSN’s Pre-season Prank was published on June 1, 2013 10:16 AM by dbo.

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This article is categorized under Coverage and tagged with pre-season and tsn.

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