Basketball: TSN to air Final 8 tourneys ... only one game for lady ballers

There are positives with getting the basketball nationals back on TSN. One hopes women's basketball did not get hosed in the move from The Score.

TSN has the most viewers and can do an event up big-time . On the whole, it's good that it is showing an interest in hoops. There should be some optimism that they are earnest and see this as an untapped resource, not unlike the World Junior Hockey Championship 20 years ago, or NCAA basketball was 30 years ago.

However, it really stuck out like a sore thumb that only the final of the CIS women's Final 8 from Hamilton is to be televised. That's not good enough, but bloggers can't be choosers, eh:
"TSN, which last broadcast CIS events in 2005,* and TSN2 will also televise the CIS men's basketball quarterfinals, semi-finals and final, along with the CIS women's basketball championship match." (Emphasis mine.)
The Score aired aired the semi-finals and finals of the women's tournament last March in Regina. Committing to air only the final feels like a bit of a rip-off, especially since the Bronze Baby is going to be in Hamilton. Travel costs will not be an issue, let alone for TSN.

The CIS press release says, "The ultimate objective of CIS is to ensure that as many Canadian fans from coast to coast have the opportunity to witness CIS championship events." TSN's greater base of viewers is moot if they don't air as many games as in the past.

Anyway, to TSN, welcome back and one would hope they are flexible. There is plenty of time to reconsider and if a videocaster such as Streaming Sports Network Canada (full disclosure: I volunteer my time with SSN) wants to show games which are not going to be on TV, hopefully they can fill the void. It should be about making all seven championship-side games available..

(* TSN aired the men's basketball championship in '07.)
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  1. And men's hockey in 07

  2. Let's get serious for a moment, or at least realistic. TSN considers themselves the ‘big network’ and is only showing the occasional CIS game to fulfill their moral and legal Canadian content obligations.

    I have little faith in TSN or Rogers Sportsnet and their dedication to Canadian University sport. In many ways I feel that supporters of CIS sport have to come to the conclusion, much like the NHL should have in regards to US television coverage, that we should make the most of what we currently have. We have a network, in The Score, which actually cares about the stories and history of Canadian university sport. Let's explore that relationship to the very extreme and therefore create a true home for CIS athletics.

    Chasing the 'big network dream,’ in the hopes of better ratings, is an exercise in eventual disappointment and failure. TSN, CBC, CTV, and Rogers Sportsnet will all let the CIS down when opportunity presents itself to them. Ad revenue or ‘big sport’ obligations will always be the formula that pushes the CIS to the sidelines on those high viewership entities. However, if the CIS stakes it's future on The Score and creates a home and destination for university sport we may be able to foster and nurture a following that exceeds our current 'hardcore' audience, so to speak. Let’s make The Score our Waterloo. Let’s make the little sports channel with the ticker our home and dedicate ourselves to getting CIS sport on TV, to a destination where people don’t have to wonder where the next game is going to be.

    No, without a doubt, the choice to ‘visit’ TSN for a while is like spinning your tires in the mud or snow. You feel like your making a difference but in reality you aren’t going anywhere. We’ve been down this ‘big network’ road before and we know where is got Canadian university sport, even more marginalized. It’s time to grow up and count our blessings for what they are. In The Score we have a foothold for what could be a true genesis and rebirth for CIS athletics in the Canadian sporting dialog. Let’s not get lost while we stare at the stars.

  3. Certainly valid. I've gone back and forth, but with the cuts the Score has had and the fact TSN gets $1.07 per month for every cable subscriber and the Score gets less than Sportsnet (68 cents), maybe that has forced the hand. The Score has heart and will, but money talks.

    TSN = bigger platform, but being a small fish in a big pond
    Score = bigger fish in a small pond

    Devil's advocate — they've been on The Score and people have wondered where the games are.

    Honestly, a lot more has to be done beyond which network airs the big games. It's multi-pronged.

  4. TSN [...] and TSN2 will also televise the CIS men's basketball quarterfinals, semi-finals and final, along with the CIS women's basketball championship match.

    What's the over-under on the number of games, out of the eight mentioned there, that get pushed to TSN2? It's not a bigger platform if it's not TSN.

    Why does this sound familiar? Has there been another CIS thing that was rumoured to be moving to "Something," but a few people didn't realize it was actually "Something 2"?