Canadian Baseball Fans Getting Screwed

Canadian Baseball Fans Getting Screwed

Toronto Maple Leafs Fan

Last year it was easy for Canadian fans to tune in to playoff baseball. This year, not so much thanks to the slack-jawed Canadian yokels we like to call hockey fans that the sports networks cater to.

To give an example of what Canadian baseball fans have to endure, on Sportsnet (the network that owns the Jays and carries playoff programming) the Tribe clinching the ALDS was the fourth story behind mediocre CFL football and a minor injury to a fringe player in the NHL. William Houston from the Globe and Mail is on the ball and had this to say on the topic:

Tuning into baseball’s championship series used to be pretty easy for Canadian viewers.

Not any longer.

On Monday night, baseball fans in the Rogers Sportsnet West region (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) got a preview of what’s ahead this week when the National League Championship Series begins.

They were denied the fourth and last game of the Cleveland Indians-New York Yankees series because Sportsnet was committed to airing an Edmonton Oilers-Detroit Red Wings telecast.

The coming NLCS (Colorado Rockies-Arizona Diamondbacks) faces several potential conflicts.

Viewers in Sportsnet West and Pacific (British Columbia) will miss the first 90 minutes of Game 2 on Friday because of a scheduling conflict with a Vancouver Canucks-Oilers telecast.

In Sportsnet Pacific, next Monday’s Game 4 won’t be seen. San Jose Sharks-Canucks will take precedence.

Game 6, if needed, presents another problem. The Rockies-Diamondbacks game would start at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). Sportsnet Pacific will have Los Angeles Kings-Canucks at 10 p.m.

There’s one conflict in the American League Championship Series (Boston Red Sox-Indians).

Game 3 next Monday will be up against Toronto Maple Leafs-Buffalo Sabres and, therefore, won’t be in seen in Sportsnet Ontario.

However, with Fox Television airing the ALCS, viewers will be able to switch channels. That’s what they did in the past, when Fox owned rights to both championship series and Sportsnet, which aired the Fox broadcasts, ran into conflicts.

But viewers no longer have the Fox option all the time, because Atlanta-based TBS now shares the rights to the championships series with Fox. And TBS, the NLCS carrier, isn’t available in Canada.

The channel Canadians assumed to be TBS, the Atlanta-based Superstation, was recently renamed PeachTree TV, and PeachTree doesn’t carry baseball’s postseason.

PeachTree’s companion channel, TBS, is the baseball-rights holder, but isn’t licensed for carriage in this country.

Obviously, baseball in October is more important than an NHL game. However, Sportsnet is contractually obliged to carry hockey. And the audiences are larger.

What are baseball fans to do? To see all the NLCS games, there is no option but to pay for digital TV. If you buy or rent a digital box or acquire a satellite dish, you will have access to all four of Sportsnet’s regional feeds, and that will give you baseball without conflicts.

The good news: The World Series is still on Fox, and it’s available on basic cable.

More from Callum Hughson
Roy Hobbs Scouting Report
Surfing around this morning I found a nice little blog dedicated to...
Read More
10 replies on “Canadian Baseball Fans Getting Screwed”
  1. says: Early

    Good article andI agree. I kept looking for the Monday night game out here. When there is a game scheduled they have the PeachtreeTV thing on where TBS normally is. When the Coilers or Flamers are playing we are virtualy blacked out from playoff action because TBS is playing movies or Fresh Prince reruns.

    However, as Canadian baseball fans across the country will still see 120 games on cable television and Jerry and Andy are syndicated across the nation. There are very few teams that have that kind of market. I feel this is more baseball than alot of country really wants.

    Still, I feel worse for US hockey fans who, especially Sabre fans, where they cut out on an playoff overtime game for the Preakness pre-race last May.

  2. says: Callum

    The Jays are the only team in Canada, so the entire nation is their market. The NHL has 6 teams in Canada. Is there ever an instance where a Canadian team’s game isn’t televised in its own market?

  3. says: Kman

    Best photo ever, although he does look like 80% of the Leaf fans out there.

    If the Jays make the playoffs again, I’d bet on the Leafs getting the lead story on TSN, Sportsnet, etc 9 times out of 10.

  4. says: Early

    They have Flames games on PPV, Leaf games on LeafsTV. They are all paper view and not accessable to the normal market. 12 games in Calgary’s case for $100 or something.

  5. says: Patrice Brisebois

    Try living in Ottawa when you’re a Leafs fan. The guide will tell you NHL Hockey (Leafs vs. whoever) is on, and when you tune in you get, Poker! or billiards, or something else that borders on even being a sport at all. It’s very frustrating, though perhaps not as aggrivating as the replacement of TBS by Peachtree TV just in time for playoffs. Way to go billionaire cable giants.

  6. says: Reacharound

    Yea thats Canada, the sports highlight shows are full of hockey, golf, and then maybe 5-10 minutes spent on the rest, the actual channels themselves, show poker, snooker, and strongman reruns. To get the daily highlights and news I need I have to watch various shows on Fox sports world, NFL network, Raptors TV, and even that doesnt cover baseball… or college fball, thers literally no place to see any highlights of college football here

  7. says: shik

    ITS NOT OUR FAULT YOU ARE ALL TO SOFT TO APPRECIATE HOCKEY… SLACK JAWED YOKELS? THATS A GOOD ONE IM PRETTY SURE BASEBALL BREADS REDNECKS AND IS ONE OF THE ONLY SPORTS WHERE YOU CAN BE 400 POUNDS AND CHEW YOUR WEIGHT IN DIP AND STILL BE CONSIDERED AN ATHLETE…IF THATS WHAT LEAF FANS LOOK LIKE ID HATE TO SEE WHAT KMAN LOOKS LIKE…MAYBE WHEN YOUR BALLS DROP YOU CAN APPRECIATE SEEING A SPORT AT ITS FINEST

Comments are closed.