Faffing by CTVgm and Rogers screwing footie fans too

Toronto-area basketball fans spent much of this past season grousing that Rogers Cable (by far the largest provider in the GTA) wouldn’t carry TSN2. As a result, a lot of them they saw 25 less games from the comfort of their own homes. Now it’s the GTA’s footie fans getting the short end.

Next week, only one semi-final matchup (Man U vs. Arsenal) is on the main TSN. So sorry Chelsea and Barca supporters (at least those of you subscribing to Rogers). Unless you subscribe to a service that carries TSN2 — Star Choice satellite or Shaw cable for those in the West — you’re only choice is the local pub. (Or TLN if you want to watch in Spanish.)

The same thing happened with the Tuesday games in the quarterfinal round.

While CTVglobemedia, which owns TSN and TSN2, and Rogers are chummy when it comes to their consortium bid to televise the 201o Vancover Olympics, they’ve been at loggerheads on the issue of carrying TSN2.

The haggling likely has to do with the fact Rogers has its own specialty sports channel, Sportsnet, that competes directly with TSN, and many competing cable sports broadcasters in this country thought TSN2 should never have been licensed in the first place. CTVgm is trying to load up TSN2 with enough sporting goodies (and also simply use it as an another outlet for its extra broadcasting inventory) to make enough people complain loudly to win carriage on Rogers.

So far Rogers hasn’t budged, and what with the death of Ted and the subsequent leadership vacuum, the negotiations haven’t been top priority.

Complaining to Rogers will probably only result in some customer service rep politely telling you to complain directly to TSN (to be fair, I haven’t contacted the company to try).

Either way, nothing will change in the next two weeks, so the best bet is to hope things will be sorted by next season. In the meantime, there are plenty of somewhat less than legal ways to watch the games via the Internet.

You might discover you don’t even really need a cable subscription anymore anyway. See what the Rogers customer service rep says when you call him and tell him that.

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