Dispatches from the front in the Rogers-versus-everyone-else battle over Sportsnet One's launch this past Saturday - a launch seen only on Rogers systems so far.
"Thank you for taking the time to contact Cogeco Cable. Cogeco is currently exploring the possibility of adding Sportsnet One to our lineup. However, we have not yet reached an agreement with Rogers. Prior to launching a new channel, we must consider network, contract, and other impacts to evaluate all factors involved to ensure the right business decision. As Cogeco continues to remain competitive in the market, we are taking all necessary steps to launch the Sportsnet One Channel for our customers."
Translation for Blue Jays fans: Don't hold your breath. That's probably good news for recruitment on the new Facebook site advocating a boycott of "Rogers' Blue Jays" over its new channel. But it will do nothing for the many steamed customers who've e-mailed us this weekend. (As of press time, there were no new takers for carrying Sportsnet One.) Which is a turnabout of sorts after Rogers delayed putting TSN2 on its dial as long as it could.
What a great TV story for Dustin Johnson, coming back from his Pebble Beach last-round meltdown to win on the final hole of the PGA on Sunday. Scratch that. Johnson self-destructed with a boneheaded penalty for grounding his club in a hazard, sending the CBS TV crew into a rulebook frenzy. So, to the consternation of CBS, German Martin Kaymer became the third non-American to win a major in 2010.
But let's keep our priorities. Despite Tiger Woods spurting oil all weekend, TBS/ CBS didn't spare the blanket coverage of the world's No. 1 player and punchline during Johnson's dramatic win. Virtually every Woods shot was covered once CBS took over on Sunday - even though he was never less than nine shots back. Plus there was an obligatory non-interview interview with Bill MacAtee that elicited more Tigerspeak.
The Wall Street Journal catalogued Woods's first round overexposure on TBS/ TSN: "Woods's front nine on Thursday - which lasted 2 hours, 13 minutes and was broadcast on TNT - showed Mr. Woods playing, walking the course or replays of him for 23 minutes, 14 seconds, or about 17.5 per cent of the broadcast. That's more than the amount of time that was dedicated to commercials (22 minutes, 4 seconds) and miscellaneous footage that included mini features, weather updates and shots of the MetLife blimp (17 minutes, 38 seconds)."
"Stuart Appleby, the next-most shown golfer, got 11 minutes, 6 seconds of air time. Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari, who shared the tournament lead at the end of the day, received a combined 3 minutes, 59 seconds."
Kudos to Bruce Rainnie of CBC for noting Andy Murray's aggressive fitness routine at the Canadian Open men's tennis final. Talking about the stifling humidity in Toronto, Rainnie noted that Murray worked out for a half-hour on each side of the net just before the match with Roger Federer.… After watching Elliotte Friedman counting rain drops courtside, could he be the new Percy Saltzman? … Wonder how the PGA felt about Jim Nantz of CBS calling the Wannamaker trophy a "monstrosity"? … "Seems like a lot of guys bought a ticket for the train wreck today," was Nick Faldo's felicitous description of young players Nick Watney & Co. faceplanting in the final round. You can't make this stuff up.
Good hustle for TSN getting Hamilton Tiger-Cat owner Bob Young in studio on Friday to explain his side of the struggle over a new stadium for the club. Young made his position clear to host Dave Randorf on why he doesn't like the city's site. But in the interest of advancing the story, TSN needed to get more than a scrum clip from Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger saying he wants the Tiger-Cats to stay.
Viewers watching the segment were left wanting a rationale from Hamilton's politicians for their site - particularly after the three studio panelists - Chris Schultz, Milt Stegall and Matt Dunigan - came down so heavily in favour of the TiCats' position.
Finally, our long national nightmare is over. Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle is not going anywhere. Toronto GM Brian Burke has played the Toronto media (which means the national media at TSN/Sportsnet) like a fiddle the past 18 months on the enormous trade value of the diffident defenceman. Apparently the rest of the hockey world is not quite as enamoured of Tomas as is the Toronto media. Let the Phil Kessel rumours begin!
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