As you may know by now, it looks like TSN is going to expand their family of networks from the current two to five. They are looking more like ESPN every day.
The reasons behind this are myriad. But the main ones are:
- More live-game coverage can be shown across the networks at the same time. Also, there is now no reason to put the same thing on TSN and TSN2 (or 3 or 4 or 5).
- March Madness, EPL, and, dare I say it, NCAA football where multiple games are on at the same time would allow more than one of the five channels to show live games simultaneously.
- The idea that SportsCentre can be a little more region-centric. West coast viewers can now see SportsCentre at 6:00pm local time rather than 3:00pm local time when a fair amount of them are at work, making money to pay for, among other things, their cable bill. Does this mean people in Newfoundland should get a SportsCentre on at 6 local time there (which would be 4:30 EST)?
- Actual ESPN programming to be shown. This is a double-edged sword. As many extra NCAA football games, full editions of Pardon the Interruption, and 30 for 30 films not delayed by a month or more for TSN we will receive, we will get more Skip Bayless, Numbers Never Lie (with Michael Smith as the only redeeming quality of the show), Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, and Skip Fucking Bayless.
This is undoubtedly a coup for sports television viewers and it shows TSN, while losing most of the NHL for the next dozen years, is serious about maintaining their spot on the top of the mountain when it comes to Canadian sports stations.
So, knowing all this, at this point, this is how I can see it changing our college football viewing here:
- The Thursday Night college football package on ESPN should pretty much fully appear on TSN.
- I still doubt TSN gets any other weekday night games.
- There should be at least 3 if not upwards of 6 or 7 college football games that would normally appear on the specialty packs to now appear on one of the TSN stations.
- A bigger chance now that ESPNews and SEC Network games end up on the specialty pack since the specialty packs will be losing at least a few games a week to TSN.
- Could this open up talks next season to include games that are either on ESPN3.com or, fingers crossed, some FS1 games? If not, there may be an issue with the feasibility of a package that doesn’t show many games, at a premium price.
The only thing not known is the exact date or even the month this will happen. Just that it will be in the fall. Hopefully updates over the next few weeks will shed light on this.