What TSN broadcast tonight instead of the Canadiens’ home opener pregame show

The Canadiens aren’t the best hockey team in the world. After losing most of their preseason games and all but one* of their regular season games so far, that much is obvious. But where the team excels is in its ceremonies. And the biggest one of those (at least when there’s no obituary or jersey retirement) is the home opener.

TSN, in the first year of its five-year regional rights deal and only the second broadcast under this deal, had a great few minutes of go-Habs-go content they didn’t even have to produce.

Except they didn’t air any of it. A couple of short clips of two player introductions (one without audio) and the national anthems. I’m not sure if there was a technical problem (more on that later), but there were 10 minutes of player introductions that didn’t make it to air. Instead, here’s what TSN2 showed tonight:

7:00-7:30 pm: An episode of TSN’s That’s Hockey. Mostly panel discussions, but includes some pregame hits from reporter John Lu, including a quick chat with Karl Alzner. Ends with a 20-second wide view of the Bell Centre with no audio — instead we hear host Gino Reda saying the Canadiens game is next.

7:30: Promo IDs, intro montage and intro theme.

7:31: Tessa Bonhomme begins the regional broadcast over video of players in the dressing room and introduces Pierre LeBrun.

(Meanwhile, pregame ceremony at Bell Centre begins with introduction of Canadiens staff.)

7:32: TSN airs pre-recorded discussion with the broadcast team of John Bartlett and Dave Poulin.

7:34: Bonhomme presents graphic showing Canadiens lineup.

(Pregame ceremony introduces head coach Claude Julien.)

7:35: Prerecorded video of Lu interviewing Claude Julien.

(Pregame ceremony begins introducing players.)

7:36: More discussion between Bonhomme and LeBrun in studio.

7:38: Bumper to commercial break with five-second video of Charles Hudon coming onto the ice during player introductions as Bonhomme mentions puck drop coming next. Ads.

(Pregame ceremony ends with introduction of captain Max Pacioretty.)

7:40: Return from commercial break with 25-second video of Jonathan Drouin being introduced “just moments ago”. Video switches to live shot of Bell Centre as Bonhomme awkwardly throws it to Poulin. What follows is 25 seconds of no one speaking until Brigitte Boisjoli begins singing the national anthems. (There’s no graphic or announcer statement to identify her to TSN’s audience, just muffled audio of arena announcer Michel Lacroix.)

7:41: This.

The audio switches a few times between sources that are obviously not in sync, resulting in echoes and jumps during both anthems. Throughout it all you hear booth audio, including some breathing sounds.

7:43: Starting goaltender introductions, listing of officials.

7:44: Puck drop.

Considering what happened with the anthems, maybe it was a technical issue that prevented TSN from getting proper audio from the ceremony. But either way, we expect better from TSN. A lot better.

RDS, of course, broadcast the entire ceremony.

*Correction: I forgot about their win against Buffalo. The Canadiens are 1-3, not 0-4.

15 thoughts on “What TSN broadcast tonight instead of the Canadiens’ home opener pregame show

    1. dilbert

      Reality is that the Leafs are the default because, well, Toronto and Toronto centric world that Canada is. The Canadiens would likely get more coverage if they actually had a hope, but it’s been 24 years since the last cup (been there, done that, carried the cup around – quite seriously!) . It’s not going to happen again any time soon either, the current organization has neither the depth to go to the end nor the real money to go after the players to make it happen.

      It was important for Montealers and most people in Quebec. it wasn’t important for someone from Frozen Goose, Manitoba. It’s not worthy of being national anymore.

  1. Media Man

    To be expected. Being bilingual, I’d rather listen to RDS anyways as Pierre Houde is so many miles better than anything TSN and Rogers can throw in.
    Where’s Danny Gallivan when you need him..?

    Bell overcharges its users for any of their services, produces cheap broadcasts, cuts sports from Canada’s local newscasts, increases local news coverage, but not staff, and we the listeners and viewers suffer. That’s a fact..

    1. Sean

      This comment sounds like you are unaware that RDS is the French language version of TSN. You’re bilingual, translate “The Sports Network” and then think for a moment.

      1. Media Man

        Oh yes I’m very aware and it’s the same owner, Bell Media but the master production is from two different areas.
        RDS is Montreal produced with the incomparable Pierre Houde and the TSN stuff is produced you know where.
        Which is why the cynical among us call TSN, the ” Toronto Sports Network “

  2. Ian Howarth

    Maybe another reason for many viewers to go to RDS. Certainly not an auspicious beginning for TSN and a missed opportunity to grab a few percentage points of anglo viewers. Oh yeah, and is there anything more boring than the introduction of staff and players? Maybe throw in the players wives and I’m there.

  3. Some Guy

    Well, it’s not really surprising, TSN only have their talents and 2 or 3 technicians onsite. They’re using a “clean feed” from RDS for replays and live action. They put all the graphics back in a master control in Toronto.
    So when there’s a special event, they don’t have access to alot of ressources to do a proper show.

  4. Mario

    Ask yourself this? Would they do the same if this was a Leafs home opener ? No. They’d be broadcasting live at the rink since 5pm.
    Last week TSN did the Senators home opener. Their entire A team were broadcasting pregame live from Canadian Tire Centre.

    1. Btett

      It seems like Bell cares more about the French market. If they are doing a much smoother job on RDS it may be due to fact their audience is larger. Though if this where a team in any other province things would be different.

      The English market for TSN in Montreal is smallee during Habs games are much smaller compaierd to that of Toronto. Yet you would expect much better from a broadcast team who had good history with NHL broadcasts.

      If things don’t improve you may see a dip in ratings for TSN and an increase for RDS as fed up Anglophones watch the French broadcast.

  5. Nigel Anthony

    TSN2 is blacked out for the Montreal games by Shaw in Newfoundland. I missed all the fun. RDS here I come…

    1. John C Jepson

      Nigel you better call your Shaw provider. Newfoundland is within Habs and Sens territory and your games on TSN 2 should not be blacked out. Shaw Direct is likely master controlled by a tech in Calgary and he may not know where Newfoundland is.

      1. Nigel Anthony

        I have spoken to them numerous times and its the same old story. The games are blacked out here on TSN2. I’ll be hooked up to Bell in a few days and I’m getting RDS and TVA just to be sure. As far as I’m concerned, this all started with Rogers. Before they bought out the games I never missed a Habs game in 30 years. Now, every year, its a scramble to find their games.

      2. B. Scottsman

        From Calgary, long-time reader, first-time commenter!

        Shaw Direct blackouts are controlled by each individual box – you put your postal code in, it figures out what should be blacked out/simulcast, etc.

        Likely bad data caused it, not some country-bumpkin from Calgary (FYI, Mississauga is the head end for Shaw Direct).

  6. Mike

    “After losing most of their preseason games and all of their regular season games so far, that much is obvious…”
    They’re undeniably bad but in fact they did win their first regular season game…


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