GolTV hopes to strike gold with Real Madrid
This might just be another Friday in August, but it may be the biggest day in the brief history of GolTV.
The digital soccer channel is providing the world feed for Friday night's game between Toronto FC and Real Madrid from beautiful and newly grassed BMO Field.
``This is a big deal for a little channel," says Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment broadcasting boss Chris Hebb.
Indeed it is. The channel, purchased by MLSE a few months back, has a reach of about 700,000 homes. Tonight, it will expand to more than 9.5 million as the channel will be available on free preview to anyone who has digital televsion capabilities as well as Rogers analog (old-fashioned) customers.
If you're scoring at home, that's channels 1, 428 and 501 on Rogers, 404 and 390 on Bell TV.
GolTV will provide all the sounds and pictures of the game for ESPN and European television. Luke Wileman and Jason DeVos will call the game for Canadians.
The game will be in HD, a first for GolTV, which hopes to have a full-time HD channel by next year.
Hebb is hoping that Friday's broadcast will spur interest in the channel's new lineup, which features 300 live games a year. He says GolTV is in talks with CBC in hopes of landing some of next year's World Cup as well as some of the English Premier League schedule starting next summer.
No matter what happens, Friday's game will put GolTV on the map.