Tag Archives: Montreal-Impact

TVA Sports takes away MLS rights from RDS, will broadcast all Impact games until 2021

TVA Sports, which is aggressively fighting with RDS for broadcasting rights to sporting events that Quebecers want to watch, scored a pretty big coup today, wrestling away the national French-language Major League Soccer rights from RDS.

So big they even issued a press release in English, this means TVA Sports will air all Montreal Impact games, since they already have a deal with the Impact for the games the team sells the rights to.

Similar to the NHL and other leagues, MLS sells a national package, which includes marquee matchups, events like the all-star game and all playoffs, while the team sells rights to other games in the regular season. (Thankfully, unlike with the NHL, we don’t have to deal with regional game blackouts with MLS.)

TVA Sports’s national rights deal is for five years, from 2017 through 2021.

On the English side, TSN extended its rights agreement for an unspecified number of years (but probably five as well). That means some Impact games (including most likely its matches against Canadian opponents) will continue to be aired on TSN. TSN has all the rights to Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps games, but the English-language package sold by the Impact for its remaining games still seems to be up for grabs.

Financial aspects of the deal were not disclosed, but there were rumours that Sportsnet might try to outbid TSN, and I’m certain RDS wanted to keep its MLS rights.

I won’t compare TVA and RDS broadcasts of Impact games, since everyone seems to have an opinion on stuff like that, but I will note that this means we won’t hear the voice of Claudine Douville doing play-by-play of Impact games anymore. When the number of female voices doing play-by-play can be counted on one hand, it’s unfortunate to lose one.

Radio rights, which are held in English by Bell Media (TSN 690 and CJAD) and in French by Cogeco (98.5fm, though it airs only select games), are unaffected by these deals.

Impact 2016 broadcast schedule announced

We now know where the 2016 Impact games — at least those played in the MLS regular season — will be broadcast, on TV and radio, in French and English.

Like with the NHL’s national/regional split, the Impact’s MLS games are split between those whose broadcast rights are sold by the league (which partners with TSN and RDS) and those whose rights are sold by the club (which partners with TVA Sports).

RDS: 13 games plus playoffs

RDS announced it will broadcast 13 Impact games, including all MLS games against Canadian opponents (Toronto or Vancouver), plus all playoff games. Its schedule also includes 10 Toronto FC games (three of which are against Montreal) and 10 Vancouver Whitecaps games (one of which is against Toronto and one of which is against Montreal), for a total of 28 games. Games not involving Montreal will generally be put on RDS2.

The RDS broadcast team is Claudine Douville on play-by-play, with Jean Gounelle doing analysis, plus Olivier Brett and Patrick Leduc during pregame and halftime.

TVA Sports: 21 games

TVA Sports, meanwhile, has the remaining 21 Impact MLS games, including the two games at Olympic Stadium, and the season finale on Oct. 23. Most games will be on the main channel, with Saturday night games moved to TVA Sports 2.

The TVA broadcast team is Frédéric Lord on play-by-play, with Vincent Destouches doing analysis.

TSN: 10 games plus playoffs

Ten games will be carried in English on TSN channels, including the season opener in Vancouver, the Saputo Stadium home opener April 23 against Toronto, and the last home game of the season, also against Toronto.

The TSN TV broadcast teams are Like Wileman/Jason deVos and Vic Rauter/Greg Sutton.

TSN Radio 690/CJAD: all regular-season and playoff games

On radio, all games are set for broadcast on TSN Radio 690, though that will likely change when scheduling conflicts arise with Alouettes games, Canadiens playoff games (don’t laugh) and next season’s Canadiens games in October. (That goes for RDS as well.)

98.5FM: minimum 21 games

Only 21 games are set for radio in French, on 98.5 FM, though that’s more than last year, and the press release describes it as a “minimum”. That station doesn’t have a backup in case of conflict, so can’t really broadcast games when the Canadiens or Alouettes are playing.

Jeremy Filosa is the voice of the Impact for 98.5. Each match will have a 30-minute pregame show and a postgame show.

You’d think this would open up an opportunity for Montreal’s all-sports-talk station 91.9 Sport to pick up those games. But it hasn’t chosen to do so. Even if the rights are dirt cheap, it’s expensive to produce such matches. That said, the thing 91.9 needs most right now is marketing and recognition, and broadcasting games would be a big step in that direction.

The full schedule, with broadcast partners for each game, is posted on the Impact’s website.

Impact broadcast schedule same as last year

Impact scarf

The broadcast schedule for this year’s Impact games has come out, and it’s exactly the same as last year:

  • Radio-Canada will broadcast nine home games and one away game, as well as all playoff games
  • CKAC and the Team 990 will broadcast all 15 home games, two Canadian Championship games at Saputo Stadium (against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC) as well as all playoff games

Both press releases talk about how the Impact has become more mainstream in Montreal and has attracted a lot of fans, especially thanks to its CONCACAF Champions League run this year.

But the news is still disappointing to me. None of the broadcasters has increased its commitment, and none of them will be broadcasting regular-season away games (besides the one on RadCan). Choosing only to broadcast home games during the regular season no doubt saves a lot of money, but it sounds pretty half-assed.

So for another season, Impact fans who want to catch away games will be forced to fork over money watch it online for free at USLLive.com

Deep Impact

They were up 4-1 after 135 minutes. Club Santos Laguna needed four goals in 45 minutes. Hard, but not impossible. The CBC analyst said it was probably not going to happen.

It was 4-2 with 20 minutes to go. Three goals in 20 minutes is extremely unlikely, but miracles do happen.

It was 4-3 with only a few minutes of added time left before the whistle. This game was over with a goal to spare (under the tie-breaking rules, they would have lost had it ended 4-4). The guy on Radio-Canada talked about people getting tickets for the next game at the Olympic Stadium, about how great it is that a Montreal-based soccer team would enter the CONCACAF Champions League final four.

And then, the meltdown. Choke. Of. The. Century. Humiliation.

I’m still proud of my team. They beat out Vancouver and Toronto FC to become the Canadian champion, and then slowly rose through to reach the quarterfinals, beating everyone’s expectations. I don’t regret buying my blue T-shirt at last week’s game, and I’ll cheer for the team during the upcoming USL season.

But what an awful way to end that run.

At least I know my disappointment is small compared to the heartbreak of the players who let it happen.

Team 990, RadCan to air Impact games

The Montreal Impact (you know, one of our other sports teams) has signed deals with Radio-Canada and The Team 990 to air games this season.

The Team 990 will air all 15 Impact home games throughout the season and all playoff games, with CTV regular Brian Wilde doing the play-by-play. He’ll be joined by former Impact player Grant Needham and The Team’s Noel Butler, who will also host a weekly, one-hour soccer show beginning in May. The same is the case for the 2009 season. The station is the team’s only English broadcaster. 

Radio-Canada will air 10 games (9 home games and one away game) on TV, online and on Sirius satellite radio. Play-by-play will be done by Claude Quenneville, with Guillaume Dumas on analysis and Marie-José Turcotte, Marc Durand and Andrea Di Pietrantonio hosting. Radio-Canada is the team’s only television broadcaster, and “could” also air the playoffs.
The Impact’s home opener, which will be covered by both stations, is May 19, playing host to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The first game of the season is Saturday at Vancouver.

Home games are also on CKAC and all games available at USLlive.com (if you’re willing to pay for it)

Impact player does home videos

Luis Aguilar, a Californian who was traded to the Montreal Impact this summer, is moonlighting as a content provider and marketer for badly-designed Web 2.0 startup Spongefish.com. The website seems to be Facebook meets WikiHow, but without the things that make those two sites so great.

Aguilar’s “lessons” are text entries sprinkled with photos and amateur video. Particularly interesting are his video on experiences in Montreal cooking a pizza (I’ve never understood “put the pizza directly on the oven rack” frozen pizza box instructions either) and his discussion of what it takes to get into professional soccer.