Category Archives: Radio

Bob Cole Is Being Driven Nuts By Sens French PBP Guy

Those of us with NHL Center Ice and DirecTV are being treated to something pretty unique tonight. DirecTV is relying on a wild feed for the Montreal Canadiens/Ottawa Senators matchup. That feed allows the viewer to listen in to the broadcasters during commercials, etc. Normally, DirecTV inserts their own ads on wild feeds since over the air ads aren’t shown on them. Its pretty rare for wild feeds to be shown on Center Ice and its even rarer for a CBC one to show up.

For whatever reason, for the first 35 minutes of tonight’s telecast, DirecTV allowed the whole thing to go over the air. The first gem of the night came when Bob Cole and Garry Galley first sat down in the booth. After Galley asked Cole how he was doing, Bob responded with a rather sad sounding “I’ve had better nights.” Galley then tried to make him positive, telling him the game hadn’t even started yet. Cole was clearly in a sour mood as he later uttered this –

Yes, that’s Hockey Night in Canada legend Bob Cole complaining about a fellow broadcaster. And it would appear that his beef is with Nicholas St.-Pierre. St-Pierre calls Sens games with Alain Sanscartier on CKOI. Sadly, right after Cole’s comment, DirecTV started inserting some ads during the TV timeouts. At least we got to hear this as its now a crapshoot as to whether we get to eavesdrop or not. It was fun while it lasted.

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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in CBC, NHL, Radio, Television


The Potential Fallout From The MLSE Deal

The new Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment will be a powerhouse in the sports media world. The most powerful media companies in Canada will now be joined at the hip. It’s hard to say how this will change things in Toronto and Canada but I’m gonna put a few theories out there on how it might affect various parties.


For Rogers, it makes all the sense in the world to do a joint bid on NHL rights but does Bell want to help out their largest competitor? True, they will now be long-term financial partners, but is it worth it to help each other out? The short answer appears to be yes. A potential bid helps Sportsnet greatly, but if it means that CTV and TSN are virtually guaranteed NHL rights, then Bell should work with them. It would pretty much lock out CBC and give the companies a strangle hold on the sports market.


The CBC might be the group most impacted by this deal. Having Rogers and Bell come together might make it very difficult for Hockey Night in Canada to continue. If the two parties bid together on national rights, CBC might be done. CBC’s only hope might be for the league to take bids on over the air and cable rights separately. Another possibility is for the league to sign a deal with CBC before anyone else gets a chance to make a bid. That happened last time around, but I find it hard to believe that the league will pass up the potential to make some serious cash. A Rogers/Bell bid would certainly break the bank open. Another option, and it is a wildcard, is to woo Rogers and get them on board with CBC. Sportsnet is loaded with former CBC execs and it’s hard to predict if the folks at Sportsnet are essentially ready to cede the national sports market to TSN. Regardless, it doesnt look good for CBC. The tradition might be coming to an end.


This deal only strengthens TSN. A joint bid by CTV, TSN and Sportsnet pretty much locks them in, assuming it gets to that point. TSN would also likely get the most games out of that deal. TSN is already the dominant sports network, and this helps assure that to continue. There’s also the strong possibility that TSN may gain some regional rights in the future. TSN has been aggressive in this market, and TSN has aired the Leafs regionally in the past.

For CTV, this gives them the potential to dominate the Canadian TV market even more than they do today. The thought of the playoffs on CTV surely makes CTV executives drool. True, they would have some scheduling issues, but a joint bid would likely alleviate most of those issues. As long as they get the bulk of the playoffs and a weekly game, it’s a big win for their network schedule.


This is where things begin to get interesting. Maple Leafs games are the jewel of Sportsnet Ontario. Sportsnet has been ultra aggressive the last few months, adding talent and re-positioning themselves as a legitimate competitor to TSN. If everything goes just right, this deal should keep the Leafs on SNO long-term in some form. Additionally, a potential joint bid for NHL rights might be on the table. Sportsnet would likely be the secondary partner in any Rogers/Bell bid but any hockey programming is a good thing for them. A partnership with CBC looks good on paper but it’s hard to see how it works financially.


One area of contention between the parties could be those regional rights. For Bell, they would gain little from Leafs games airing on SNO. They might want the games on a network where each party has a stake. So here comes Leafs TV to the rescue. Sure, Leafs TV lacks some distribution but it might be the fairest place for the Leafs games to air. It’s true that losing some or all Leafs games on SNO would be a blow to Rogers but Leafs TV needs a boost. Rogers might be willing to give up some games if they can gain a national package for Sportsnet. One thing to keep in mind is that Sportsnet’s Leafs rights deal still has some time left on it so don’t expect any changes in the short-term.

As far as the future Real Sports cable channel goes, that’s likely done. I’m not sure it has any future since it was largely being created to compete with TSN and Sportsnet. I suppose there’s still the possibility of it being green lighted but it’s not looking good at this point.


This is another potential issue since Rogers and Bell each have their own sports radio stations that are salivating to air Leaf games. Corus and AM 640 might as well pack it in now. Nobody expected them to retain the rights before and this pretty much seals that. Supposedly, Rogers Sportsnet 590 The Fan and TSN Radio 1050 will share the rights, splitting the games evenly. According to the Toronto Sports Media Blog, the NBA Raptors will do the same once their deal is up. That will certainly make things interesting but it its the fairest way to do it.


The real negative out of this deal is likely for the fans. Prices will probably go up but even more, accusations of Toronto bias will only get stronger. It might be hard to take these companies as neutral parties since they will be directly benefitting from the Leafs. Besides that, the Leafs might get even more coverage on each network.

Personally, I think they will be able to be fairly neutral on the subject. Yes, the Leafs will dominate the media market, but it’s been that way for years. This deal won’t change that. Besides that, thanks to the internet, the place to find news and info for each team is much wider than ever before. If fans think a party is being biased, go get the info from someplace else. I don’t think the Leafs will be able to censor all parties in the media even if Brian Burke would prefer that.

Bottom line, this deal is all about the money and everyone involved stands to gain a lot except for the fans. The shareholders will love it, the suits will love it, the accountants will love it. The fans, on the other hand, might get the short end of the stick. Time will tell whether this deal pays off for long suffering Leaf fans everywhere.


Puck Daddy Radio Returns On Monday

Puck Daddy Radio will return to the airwaves on Monday but in a slightly different form compared to its Score Radio days. From Puck Daddy/Yahoo! Sports –

After various and sundry delays, our new daily hockey radio show “Marek vs. Wyshynski” will debut on Monday, Nov. 14, streaming live from 2-3 p.m. ET. It’s a joint venture between Yahoo! Sports and Sportsnet, and Marek and I can’t thank these giant conglomerates enough for finding a way to make this work.

It will run Monday through Friday throughout the NHL season and into the offseason. It will stream live on Puck Daddy and on Sportsnet daily. It will be downloadable as a podcast on iTunes and on

Yes, that’s longtime radio host Jeff Marek joining Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski as host. For Marek, it’s a return to his radio roots. Marek was the voice of Hockey Night in Canada Radio for the last four years and worked for Toronto’s AM 640 prior to that.



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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in NHL, Radio, Rogers Sportsnet


Canucks Re-Up With Team 1040, HE Extends Deal With NESN

A couple quick media notes. Bell Media’s Team 1040 has signed an extension with the Vancouver Canucks. The extension lasts until 2016-17 and helps solidify Bell’s strength of covering the NHL on the radio in Canada. Bell also holds rights in Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg. While 1040 hasn’t been re-branded as TSN Radio yet, there’s a good bet that this will happen down the road, especially with this renewal in place.

Over in college hockey, one of the longest broadcasting partnerships will continue for four more seasons. Hockey East and NESN have come to an agreement which will see the net air at least 16 games per year. The deal also adds “flex” scheduling, giving NESN the right to pick the most attractive games during the last few weeks of the season. Additionally, the women’s hockey championship will get TV time. All ten HE teams will have at least one game aired on NESN.


HNIC Announces Their New Hires & What’s Next For The Stars

CBC has officially announced the changes at Hockey Night in Canada for 2011-12. While many names had already been leaked out, there’s a few surprises and we now know who will be doing what.

First off, CBC made the hiring of Gord Stellick official. As I noted before, Stellick will be replacing Jeff Marek as the new host of HNIC Radio. Stellick will make some TV appearances and will be a writer for

The role of Andi Petrillo has now been figured out. Petrillo will host a new “interactive” pregame show called Game Day with P.J. Stock. The show will air for an hour every Saturday at 5 PM ET starting on October 8.

As previously mentioned, David Amber will be joining HNIC. Amber will become a rinkside reporter for the program, primarily working in Toronto taking over for Elliotte Freidman. Friedman will replace Pierre Lebrun as the program’s primary insider during the Hotstove segment although he’s also expected to continue to do some reporting and feature segments. Amber will also work some Montreal games while Cassie Campbell-Pascal will return as the primary Montreal based reporter.

Perhaps the biggest news and the only real unknowns were CBC’s plans for Winnipeg Jets games. The play by play role is not going to the sentimental favorite Curt Keilback. Instead, Vancouver radio man Rick Ball will get the job. Ball currently rotates with John Shorthouse as the Canucks radio play by play man. In an even bigger shocker, Dallas Stars analyst Daryl Reaugh will be CBC’s Winnipeg analyst. While Ball and Reaugh are slated to call mostly Jets games, they may make the rounds and pick up some other Western matches as the season goes along. The rest of the announcing teams are expected to look the same and in their usual places.


Reaugh is a terrific addition to the HNIC team but since he will apparently be juggling jobs, the Stars will probably need some more broadcasting talent. Enter Mike Modano. Nothing has been confirmed yet but I mentioned last week that Modano was headed for television. And just last night, Modano himself confirmed that he will be doing some work for FS Southwest. I would guess that we’ll see Modano and Craig Ludwig take some of Reaugh’s duties. Brent Severyn is another possibility as he’s done radio work before and he currently contributes to some Dallas telecasts.

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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in CBC, Dallas Stars, Fox Sports, NHL, Radio, Television


Report: Stellick & Amber To Join HNIC?

There’s more news when it comes to CBC’s venerable Hockey Night in Canada program. Coming on the heels of the report that Andi Petrillo is headed to CBC, we now have word of two more additions. The Toronto Sports Media Blog is reporting that Gord Stellick and David Amber are on their way to CBC. Stellick will replace Jeff Marek as the host of HNIC Radio on Sirius. Amber would likely replace Marek on the TV side although his addition is yet to be confirmed.

Stellick has most recently been with Toronto’s Sportsnet Radio Fan 590. He’s a former GM of the Maple Leafs and has made frequent appearances on Rogers Sportsnet’s Hockey Central. Amber has been with NHL Network the past two seasons along with making appearances on NBA TV Canada. He previously worked as a reporter and host for both TSN and ESPN.

Stellick would be a pretty solid addition to the HNIC team and it would make sense for him to make appearances on the TV side as well. Whether its a part of the I-Desk or as a studio analyst, I think he’d do a good job. On the other hand, Amber is pretty weak and is not a very popular member of the NHLN team. Should Amber leave NHLN, it would probably be considered an upgrade to On the Fly. I really can’t see him on HNIC and he would join P.J. Stock as the weakest links on the program. It will certainly be a year of change on HNIC and it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

UPDATE: Canadian Sports Media Fan is reporting on their Twitter account that Nabil Karim will be a part of the I-desk. Karim has updated his Twitter profile to list himself as host of the Idesk. We shall see if Amber will still be a part of it or not. HNIC Radio will officially announce their plans for this season on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Stellick has confirmed that he’s joining CBC and besides the duties I already mentioned, he will also write an online column.

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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in CBC, NHL, Radio, Television


Dollas and Momesso To Round Out Habs Radio Team

Montreal and radio station Team 990 have now made their Habs broadcast team official. Bobby Dollas and Sergio Momesso will join John Bartlett as the Montreal Canadiens English language radio team on Team 990. Bartlett was named the new Habs radio voice last month as part of Team 990 acquiring the broadcast rights from CJAD. Dollas has been a regular guest on Team 990 and he will rotate with Momesso in the colour analyst role. Momesso joined the Habs last season after Murray Wilson retired.

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Radio