Two months after TSN expanded from two to five channels, and after a bunch of complaints from subscribers missing programming that didn’t air on TSN2 or TSN5, Videotron is joining all the other major TV providers in the country and offering all five feeds.
I wrote this story, which appears in Saturday’s Gazette, after a regional Senators game in Florida meant that Videotron customers couldn’t get the Monday Night Football NFL game on TV.
That problem, which generated a flood of complaints to both Videotron and TSN, has apparently pushed the former to move up the launch date of TSN1, which will now be added on Monday, in time for the next MNF game (even though that game will also air on TSN5, the main TSN feed in Quebec).
TSN3 and TSN4, whose main feature will be blacked-out Jets and Leafs games, and occasionally a different Premier League soccer match or college football on weekends, will be added on Oct. 29.
Some information for Videotron customers:
- All five channels are free with TSN. And selecting TSN1-5 will count for only one channel in custom packages. So you won’t be paying any extra for these other channels.
- All five channels will be in high definition. And they will be available in all regions.
- The TSN channels will be moving to keep them together. Starting Oct. 29, they will be at 186-190 in SD and 786-790 in HD.
- Analog subscribers will continue getting just TSN5, which includes regional Ottawa Senators games.
- About the same time, TSN and RDS will be pulled from Videotron’s Illico TV mobile service. Videotron blames blackouts for making these channels less desirable. Though it is looking at alternatives.
For details, read the Gazette story or this previous post on TSN’s expansion.
Steve, does the dissimilar infrastructure you detailed in the following article : http://blog.fagstein.com/2013/12/19/videotron-hd-upset/ have an impact on these extra channels?
No. I specifically asked about that. The extra TSN channels are being distributed in all regions and in MPEG2 format so they’re viewable on all digital set-top boxes. (TSN1 HD is taking up space freed up by the removal of Viewers Choice PPV channels.)
Any word if with the launch, maybe Videotron customers will have access to TSN GO as well?
I asked about that too. It would make sense, but Videotron didn’t say if that was in the cards. It did say that it is in talks about making TSN content available in some way that replaces the mobile offering. Presumably TSN GO would be one possibility, but it looks like there’s no deal yet.
Now that TSN1-5 are available in HD, will Videotron be expanding Sportsnet’s regional feeds (other than Sportsnet East) in HD too?
They already have. But those other regional feeds are in MPEG4, and only available on the next-generation Illico set-top boxes in regions that have been modernized to accept higher frequencies.
Great news to have all TSN feeds available in HD and count only as a single a-la-carte channel like Sportsnet.
Too bad that Videotron has always been a laggard when it comes to adding new HD channels (especially the English ones) and it usually takes a lot of complaining from their customer base to force them into action. Adding sports channels like TSN should had been a no brainier but not for Quebecor who are more interested in expanding their mobile telephony assets.
It’s not for lack of desire to do so. But until the analog network is fully dismantled, it just doesn’t have the space to add a bunch of HD channels.
Is Videotron now moving all its SportsNet channels to be lined up next to each other? similar to the TSN move in Oct?