August 12, 2015 ath

Major Sports Broadcasting Contracts in Canada

This article aims to educate you about which companies hold the respective sports broadcasting contracts in Canada. The industries covered include Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Motorsports and Soccer.

In Baseball, Major League Baseball, Sportsnet, with parent company Rogers Communications being the owner of its sole Canadian franchise, the Toronto Blue Jays, holds national rights to Major League Baseball in Canada. This includes assorted games from the United States (the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers), the MLB All-Star Game, and the postseason. Games air across Sportsnet and its sister national services Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360. Since May 2010, rights to ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Sunday Night Baseball have been sub-licensed to TSN, in exchange for its previous rights to a package of Blue Jays games. In 2014, after successfully sponsoring its addition to the whitelist of foreign channels approved for carriage in Canada, Rogers Cable became the first provider in Canada to offer MLB Network.

In Basketball, the National Basketball Association’s Canadian division is managed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), parent company of the Toronto Raptors. In turn, MLSE is majority-owned by Bell Canada and Rogers Communications. Therefore, coverage is contained in between co-owned TSN and Sportsnet properties, along with the MLSE-owned NBA TV Canada. Toronto Raptors games are primarily aired by TSN and TSN2, with certain games airing on Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, or Sportsnet 360. Ancillary Raptors content, including game encores, air on NBA TV Canada. TSN exclusively carries the NBA Finals.

In Football, under the Canadian Football League (CFL), TSN shows all games including playoffs and the Grey Cup. On the other hand, RDS shows all Montreal games in French; as well as playoffs and the Grey Cup. In regards to the National Football League (NFL), as of the 2014 Season, CTV airs Sunday afternoon games in both “early” (1:00 pm ET) and “late” (4:05 / 4:25 pm ET) windows, most playoff games, and the Super Bowl. CTV Two occasionally airs additional Sunday afternoon games. In Atlantic Canada, all regular-season games in the Sunday late-afternoon window are relocated to CTV Two Atlantic. Additional Sunday afternoon games, and playoff games interfering with other major events carried on CTV, may air on one or more of the TSN feeds. The divisional playoff game on late Sunday afternoon usually airs on TSN due to the possibility of a late-running game interfering with CTV’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards that evening.
TSN airs all games in the NBC Sunday Night Football and ESPN Monday Night Football packages, including the NFL Kickoff game, but excluding NBC’s game on U.S. Thanksgiving night. Sportsnet airs all games in the Thursday Night Football package, all (U.S.) Thanksgiving Day games, and the Pro Bowl.

In Hockey, under the National Hockey League (NHL), Rogers Communications is the single national rightsholder of the NHL in Canada as of the 2014–15 NHL season. Most games are aired on Sportsnet. In addition, most regional games, including teams “Vancouver Canucks”, “Edmonton Oilers”, “Calgary Flames” and “Montreal Canadiens” are aired on Sportsnet properties. The Toronto Maples Leafs air 16 games on Sportsnet and 26 games on TSN.

-John Horn