- The good news with the March 12-14 women's basketball tournament at McMaster is the CIS release is that Cable 14 and Shaw Direct are allowing several cable companies to redistribute it feeds in their markets. Its feed will also be used on Streaming Sports Network Canada (ssncanada.ca), which is using the feed from Cable 14.
Only the final on the Sunday (3 p.m. ET on TSN2) will be televised nationally. However, for the quarter-finals, semis and bronze-medal game, local companies may offer coverage as they see fit. That includes: Shaw in Burnaby, B.C., and Saskatoon; Access Communications
in Regina; Cogeco in Windsor; Rogers in Ottawa; Videotron in Quebec City; and Eastlink
in Cape Breton. (Just because it's cleared doesn't mean it will be shown. C'est la vie for us CIS lovers.)
TSN, which once upon a time frowned on letting in a videocaster, seems to have come around to realizing the latter is not competition. It's more of a way to serve the diehards, the niche audience which wants to watch a first-round game.
This works pretty well. It is best to be realistic; there isn't a huge ratings windfall from university basketball, but as long as people can find a live feed on a computer or a TV, that's good.
- Now, as for the men's tournament in Ottawa, TSN2's schedule is posted through Saturday, March 20, the second day of the event.
TSN2 will air both Friday night quarter-finals, a step up from The Score (which tape-delayed the final game of the night each of the past two years to show wrestling).
However, on the Saturday, TSN2 is down to show the first semifinal at 5 p.m. (all times ET) with the second game, which tips off at 7, tape-delayed to 10.
Does that mean TSN is showing it? There is no TSN schedule posted for that day yet.
A Toronto Raptors-New Jersey Nets game is on TSN2 that night. Neither major NASCAR series (Sprint Cup or Nationwide) is in action. NCAA basketball is not a factor.
Ultimately, though, if there's a videocast, that's acceptable. The point is that all games should be available for live viewing at a CIS championship.
In other words, my Friday is spoken for, even if Zooey Deschanel calls about meeting up for a late lunch.