TSN 690 picks up rights to Alouettes games for 3-4 years

To the surprise of absolutely no one, TSN 690 announced Friday morning that it has acquired the rights to Alouettes games from now sister station CJAD, completing the trifecta of Montreal major sports rights.

The deal is for three years, starting this one, with an option for a fourth, Bell Media tells me. It includes the two preseason games, all regular season games and all postseason games, including the Grey Cup. TSN said it would also air special events like the CFL draft, training camp and Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductions.

Rick Moffat and Dave Mudge will be the broadcast team, as they were at CJAD.

The station also announced that it is moving The Als This Week to Mondays at 7pm, and that Alouettes general manager Jim Popp will be a guest every week on the show.

The Alouettes’ first game is June 14.

The regular-season schedules of the Alouettes and Impact this season includes three conflicts where both teams are playing simultaneously: July 19, Aug. 16 and Oct. 18, all Saturdays. In those cases, expect Impact games to move to CJAD.

We’ll see what happens when the Alouettes conflict with fall Canadiens games. TSN has said it plans to broadcast all games from both teams.

Financial terms of the deal were not discussed on air and are usually not disclosed.

As silly as it is for TSN 690 to wrestle rights away from a station it now shares not only an office but a program director with, this deal more importantly represents a renewal of the broadcasting rights, which expired after last season.  It ensures that Alouettes games will continue to be carried on English radio through the end of 2016, and likely 2017 as well.

8 thoughts on “TSN 690 picks up rights to Alouettes games for 3-4 years

  1. Media Man

    Well you’re right, no surprise, where else would the Als go to in a market with a few stations and where a company owns 80% of the commercial stations (anglo)..

    Again where’s the competition.?? Again was the Bell-Astral merger good? The answer will always be an unequivocal no..except possibly for shareholders’ pockets..

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Again where’s the competition.?? Again was the Bell-Astral merger good?

      This is arguably one of the cases where the merger benefits radio listeners. CJAD can focus on news and talk programming instead of having its schedule disrupted by sports broadcasts, and TSN 690 gets as much live sports as possible. The fact that they’re not competing with each other also avoids driving up the price for radio broadcasting rights, which means more money could be put into actual programming.

      TSN 690 was still a money-losing operation at last report, so it’s hard to say that this is a way to line shareholders’ pockets with extra cash.

      Reply
      1. Dilbert

        “This is arguably one of the cases where the merger benefits radio listeners. ”

        If you squint really hard, you can find a benefit. Only if you squint hard. The reality here is that with a lack of competition, it’s likely that Bell is paying the least amount possible for the rights to the games, because nobody else would be bidding for the english rights. That in turn cuts the team income down somewhat, and can hurt the product that makes it to the field.

        “which means more money could be put into actual programming.”

        Umm, no. It means a net bottom line savings, an artificial one created by a singular lack of competition in the field. Bell is in the position to name a price and say “do you want it or not?”. If they save $50k a year, do you honestly think someone would say “hey, we saved 50k, let’s go hire a couple more journalists to make this station really go!”? In the real world, they just let the savings fall to the bottom line and the station manager looks good for making the budgeted bottom line result (or better).

        This is a perfect example of how a lack of competition hurts everyone – including those trying to sell programming to the stations.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          it’s likely that Bell is paying the least amount possible for the rights to the games

          Sure, absolutely. It’s not great for the team.

          If they save $50k a year, do you honestly think someone would say “hey, we saved 50k, let’s go hire a couple more journalists to make this station really go!”?

          Maybe. It’s more a question of if they lost $50k more, they’re more likely to let more people go to meet their budget.

          Reply
          1. Dilbert

            The question isn’t TSN by itself, but rather the net with ‘AD overall. If ‘AD was profitable with the Alouettes in the past (and not reason to think otherwise), moving the whole thing to TSN should be equally profitable. Kick in the lack of competition and you get a recipe for a better bottom line overall, which is what a monopoly is all about.

            You can only find benefit here if you look past the foul smelling elephant in the room.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              If ‘AD was profitable with the Alouettes in the past (and not reason to think otherwise), moving the whole thing to TSN should be equally profitable.

              I don’t know if CJAD’s Alouettes broadcasts were profitable. Even if they were, that doesn’t mean TSN Radio will suddenly be profitable just because it has Alouettes games.

              Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Do the Impact or Alouettes have french radio deals?

      Alouettes games are on 98.5 FM (except where they conflict with Canadiens games). I don’t believe there’s a deal for Impact games, but the station does carry some of those as well.

      Reply

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