You've heard it before, but this time a TSN2 deal may be near
Rogers Cable has been hinting for some time that a deal is near regarding its eight-month standoff over TSN2. Needless to say, people took them as about as seriously as those villagers took the boy who cried wolf.
But a development today may indicate that settlement is at hand. The Toronto Blue Jays have placed five games on TSN2 starting May 19, meaning a Rogers-owned property is scheduled to be carried on a channel that Rogers doesn't carry.
How embarrassing would it be for Rogers to tell its Southern Ontario customers that its team's games are available only on Bell TV, Star Choice and Cogeco? A lot more embarrassing than telling irate subscribers that Raptors games are available only on its competitors' systems, that's for sure. Especially when the only place to watch a Jays-Red Sox series next month is on TSN2.
If a deal isn't done by then, somebody should do a reality show on the Rogers customer service desk for that series.
But before we get too far into reading these chicken entrails, both sides are being cautious lest hopes get raised too high.
``The two issues are unrelated," said Rogers Cable spokesperson Nancy Cottenden. ``We want to carry the channel and are continuing to work towards a deal."
TSN echoed that.
``We think we are getting closer to a deal," TSN president Phil King said. ``Do we think it will be launched by the middle of May? It's not impossible, but you'll have to talk to Rogers."
The five games are in addition to the 20 TSN is already slated to carry. The games in question are part of the package that probably would have ended up on the Rogers preview channel, or not broadcast at all.
What King did say is that the addition of five Jays games is part an overall plan to boost the digital channel.
``We will continue to build TSN2 until it's the second most popular sports channel in the country," he said.
Hmm. Wonder who the current No. 2 is? Oh yeah, Rogers Sportsnet.