Final 8: TSN does it again; SSN SOL

A week after blocking SSN from webcasting the women's basketball national championship game, TSN is going to do the same (and more) for the men's Final 8.

SSN is now unable to show any games except the early quarter-finals on Friday afternoon. [UPDATE: As noted in the comments below, video for all championship-side games will be available with audio in French (probably because RDS isn't showing anything). Thanks to Alexandre Tourigny, who will be calling those games. We've also learned that there will be English-language audio for these games as well, so unilingual fans could mute the French webcast and listen in English if they so choose.]

Last year, they showed all seven championship-side games, even the ones that were televised on The Score. This means nobody without TSN2 can watch the Canadian version of the Final Four and nobody will be able to see the second semifinal live. TSN2 is showing that game on a tape-delay starting at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday.

TSN's CIS coverage is descending into self-parody at this point, especially their release stating that they are "showcasing" the women's and men's finals, and they have already been mocked mercilessly by CIS followers.

Again, the point should be made that cutting off SSN like this does not necessarily increase viewership of TSN2. If you get the channel and are planning to watch the Final 8, you're probably already going to watch it on TSN2. If you don't get TSN2, you aren't about to order it for a CIS basketball tournament anyway. So what's the point?

In case you forgot, Cable 14 out of Hamilton broadcast nearly the entire women's tournament last weekend, with a simulcast online for SSN, but were shut out for the final, so that TSN could be the exclusive source for the championship game (after not broadcasting one women's basketball game all year, I should add). Just before the final between Simon Fraser and Windsor, the Cable 14 ad boards around the gym were taken away. However, their banner flew up high from the camera bay during the entire game, leading The Silhouette's Brian Decker to dub this event, "Remember the Burridge."
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  1. Sumant Kumar3/17/2010 2:25 am

    TSN Sucks.. thats all I can say.

    I now live in KL, Malaysia, and was really looking forward to watching the webcasts all weekend. Now I only get to see the two early QFs (which incidentally are in the middle of the night here)

    Do they really think that by cutting of SNN Canada, people are going to order TSN2. They are dreaming. WTF. Can't express how disappointed I am.

  2. How long does TSN have the rights to broadcast CIS Championships? I hope it goes back to The Score channel as they know how to display CIS quality events. Also, games should not get taped delay and should be on webcast. What a joke.

  3. Having watched games (men's and women's) from coast to coast on SSN all season, I was extremely disappointed to be blacked out of the women's championship final. Initially, the men's games were going to be webcast on SSN but fortunately I decided not to trust TSN this time and decided to actually go to Ottawa for the games. It looks like that was a good idea.

    From what I have read and heard of the TSN2 broadcast of the women's game, the CIS would be better served in supporting the various webcasts but if they really want televison, The Score seems to be the way to go.

  4. I've called Ravens basketball games on SSN all season, and I've been constantly infuriated by the bigger networks trying to infringe on our turf. Rogers affected the times of the womens playoff games so that it suited their schedule better, but did they cover any regular season games? Did TSN? No. I did. These bigwigs can fuck themselves. CIS basketball does not get enough coverage as it is, last thing we need is for them to block out an entire population who both want to watch their own country's athletes perform, and who are smart enough to NOT order TSN2, which does not even show games of their own, their mostly just steal American feeds. Anyone else thing it's disturbing that it's easier to watch NCAA in Canada than it is to watch CIS?

  5. TSN coverage of the CIS is terrible.

    But blame the correct people. That's right, the CIS head office types who gave the rights back to TSN. Why they would not continue and grow their relationship with the SCORE is anybody's guess. It is so short sighted! The CIS head office has no long term plan, no long term vision, no strategy. They could have easily negotiated certain conditions with TSN before handing over the rights (like allowing web broadcasting). But no, just take the money and go back to sleep.

  6. As a basketball fan I am completely outraged by the refusal to let ssn broadcast the men’s final 8 tournament…last time I checked ssn broadcasts significant more cis basketball games this season. This is easy to do though as tsn has shown the Canadian public how much they care about the cis basketball by showing zero, none, nada, nothing, not even highlights of any games played this year

    It is a joke that the cis continues to bend over for tsn time and time again and I am not amused by the complete and utter disregard/disrespect of the basketball fan.
    Once again the CIS and TSN has ruined a great event, but hey they can all sleep happy at night knowing that their pockets get fat while they put the screws to the rest of us…oh btw tsn great coverage of the women’s final this past weekend, another prime example of how much you care about the cis product

  7. I don't blame TSN so much...they are what they are.
    But the so called leadership of the CIS not only dropped the ball, they booted it out of bounds.
    For just a few dollars more the CIS compromised coverage of the basketball championships.
    They've crapped their bed, now they have to lie in it and smell it.

  8. One major problem is having the CIS Men's Championships smack up against the first weekend of NCAA DI Men's March Madness.

    Frankly, this is insane.

    I wouldn't be surprised if The Score didn't even want the CIS this year since it would have cut into their DI stuff.

  9. For what it's worth, both the TSN website and the on screen programming guide now list both semi-finals as being broadcast live.

  10. ashermerlin86 : I'm calling UQAM games since 2005...I feel your pain (at least, I don't have to live through the same thing here in Quebec).

    However, I just want to let you all know that SSN and TSN reached an agreement, allowing SSN to broadcast ALL THE French.

    I'll be calling every UQAM games at the tournament for CHOQ FM / SSN Canada (so I will do UQAM/Carleton on Friday).

    At least, people will be able to see the games, even if they don't understand french.

  11. Am I the only one who noticed the comment by anon @9:54 am? Does this reflect a response to fan outrage or is it simply a very old schedule that has not been updated since TSN announced the tape delay?

    For what it's worth, the TSN CIS page also lists the games at 6:00 and 8:00.

  12. @Jason: Not quite. That schedule is for Friday. The Saturday schedule shows:

    5:00 PM 2010 CIS Basketball: Men's Semifinal #1
    7:00 PM 2009 Winter X Games Classix: Slammed/Stomped
    7:30 PM NBA on TSN: Toronto @ New Jersey TSN HD
    10:00 PM 2010 CIS Basketball: Men's Semifinal #2

  13. Here is a suggestion...

    Anybody with TSN2; please broadcast the games over your computer using either or or and then let us know which you're broadcasting on. Let's go pirate on TSN!

  14. had a beer with someone from the score last week, problem is as stated earlier, by going head to head with March madness there is no way the score can cover CIS as well. Last year I remember the CIS being the week of the conference tourneys so no conflict. I guess TSN(2) is most likly the best alternative.

  15. The Score is the best channel to broadcast CIS games they care the most and have an interest in Canadian athletics. I met someone at The Score and they problem was that the CIS sold the rights to the Vanier and the Final 8 as a package deal and The Score couldn't give up the NCAA March Madness package that they offer. So blame the CIS for competing with the NCAA.

  16. We will do all games in French to open up the accessibility as much as possible, and will do the consolation rounds as given to us at this time.

    We're sorry about this, really to our fans. I believe the CIS to have their heart in the right place and doing their best, although network tv does have considerations that I seem not to understand, but am forced to abide by.

    We will also broadcast the english audio, and english video for the consolations and two first quarter finals. There just won't be video for the last quarters, semis, and gold.

    Sorry again folks, we pushed so hard I'm afraid we may have jeopardized our relationship overall with the CIS, and I hope we haven't hurt it irreparably. It has been a long haul subsidizing this to the point that we are at now, but we will continue to push. We believe in our athletes, and building this grassroots made-in-Canada style network.


  17. Hi Bengt,

    Not your fault. The CIS should have ensured that vidcasting is part of the TSN contract; and that all CIS championships be vidcast; whether with TV or not.

    Mike Aylward

  18. How will basketball grow in canada if TSN disrespects basketball homegrown from the CIS? Basketball has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years in canada and media like TSN does nothing to acknowledge it or assist the growth by giving the games prime times with no tape delays and allowing the CIS to get a fair shot, The SCORE is the only sports channel in canada i watch, TSN has the biggest hockey boner i have ever seen and its a joke how they disregard growing sports like basketball which happens to be canadian and deserves respect in the country in which it was invented

  19. Hey Bengt: Nice to see your so-called "partners" taking a leadership role supporting you and your fine efforts to find a workable solution to this that recognizes that growth in the sport can only come with more eyeballs being part of the event. Interesting to note that there has been no word from the executive team leading your "partners" on this issue. Pop quiz: can anyone following this blog name the person who heads up CIS Marketing without checking the CIS site ?.... thought so. A suggested piece of investigative journalism that could help us fans is to interview that person (if you can find him/her) and pose the question as to why this is happening and how cutting such a deal with TSN works to the benefit of our sport.

  20. Hey Bengt: Nice to see your so-called "partners" front and center actively working to solve an issue that only benefits the value of their property in the long run by allowing more eyeballs to watch what should be the national showcase. It appears they are taking their usual hands-off approach (ask the organizers of the tournament). If anyone can find (or even name) the person at the CIS who runs Marketing, a solid piece of investigative journalism could be discovering the details of the CIS/TSN deal and why it shuts out SSN and more importantly why the deal was cut in that way and why that person isn't working with their SSN partners to do what is quite obviously wanted by their fans.

  21. @7:56 We have quotes from Peter Metuszals on the site right now.

  22. i see that SSN's french video coverage was blackedout by TSN??? When did that happen? The CIS keeps changing the broadcast schedule..WTF?

  23. My fault on the lost French coverage. It basically happened after my interview with one of the leading newspapers. It apparently made Phil King's attention, and he was not happy.

    TSN is a business and I can't blame them for protecting their rights and wanting to expand TSN2. I only wish everyone could remember that these are unpaid athletes who for many, this could be their last games. I think they deserve as much exposure as possible, if at least to expand the interest for future programs.

    My personal apologies anyhow.


  24. Wow...Unbelievable...When were these games scheduled?...How long have we known the Championship Game would not be televised?...Hello,Canada....2010...Some home boys playing the game of their lives while we watch American College doesn't matter who you blame if nobody steps up.

  25. I understand the arguments. I understand the blaming. I don't understand how this could happen.

    Seems simple. Set up the schedule set up the televised games. If the Championship game can not be televised either change the schedule or look for another source. Why would a company block televising of a game they refused to broadcast? If the error is with the CIS and due to contract issues then obviously this should have been dealt with.

    Who suffers the poor judgement? Canadians, again.

    Never happened with CBC. Oh, sorry, that is Canadian.