Apparently, the CBC decided to reallocate some of their funds from their lost olympics and CFL coverage, and use it in other sports. Already the home of HNIC, Toronto FC, and a few Jays games, CBC finally figured out that to grow their youth audience, they would need to rely on the biggest youth movement in Canadian sports: Basketball. No other sport resonates with the “under 25” crowd as much, and with CBC trying to rebrand itself slightly to increase viewership, I can’t think of a better product for them to consider grabbing nationally.
No one has any details currently, as far as what games will be picked up and how the Raptors schedule will play out, now that they’ll be split between five networks (TSN, Score, CBC, RaptorsTV and Sportsnet) but I would guess that that Sportsnet is out of the picture, and there may be a reduction in TSN games as well. I know most people are hoping that RaptorsTV games will take the biggest hit, but that, in all honesty, is unlikely. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) is trying to grow both RaptorsTV and LeafsTV, and removing games is not the answer.
In addition, people have been talking about removing some of the current commentators that we have. As some of you know, Raptors fans are far from enthused about Chuck, Leo, and to a lesser extent, Jack, but few also remember the horrible days of having Rod Black and Brian Heaney as our announcers. So, I’d like to say, the grass is not always greener. It’s also very unlikely that MLSE will change their core broadcasting group as they usually produce each Raptors game, and allow others the rights to the feed, thereby creating a consistent product on all channels.
So in conclusion, good to get national coverage, bad that there’s yet another network involved, and keep dreaming if you think that our commentators will change as a result.