Fans slam broadcasters

Basketball fans are not happy with the Raptors TV schedule. (Sun Media/Jordan Verlage)

Basketball fans are not happy with the Raptors TV schedule. (Sun Media/Jordan Verlage)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

TSN is calling it a slam dunk for basketball fans. Forget the dunk, the initial response of basketball fans is that they got slammed. But that could change -- and likely will -- before too long, according to industry insiders.

At the root of all this uproar is the release of the Raptors' broadcast schedule, which, minutes after being made public yesterday morning, was the talk of basketball chat rooms and it wasn't complimentary for TSN, Rogers Communications or Raptors parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

TSN has the broadcast rights to 48 games and plans to show 25 of those games on TSN2, a new digital channel that, as of today, is not available on Rogers cable, the largest cable provider in the GTA.

All three parties -- TSN, Rogers and MLSEL -- are receiving degrees of blame from fans who feel they are being caught in the middle of a tug of war between two broadcast giants. MLSEL, which was well aware of TSN's plan to use TSN2 to carry a chunk of its allotment when the games were being farmed out, also is being criticized for letting this happen.

Industry insiders, however, are saying it's only a matter of time before TSN2 is added to the Rogers cable package. The prevailing thought is that consumer outrage alone will see that this gets done in the very near future.

MIAMI GAME

The first Raptors game scheduled on TSN2 is Nov. 16, a home tilt against Miami, so there is still plenty of time to see that happen. The next TSN2 game isn't scheduled until Dec. 15.

As of now, the cable providers in the GTA that offer TSN2 are Bell ExpressVU, Cogeco and Shaw.

Already in 3.2-million homes after just seven weeks, TSN2 would add approximate one million to that total should Rogers find a spot for the channel on its roster.

More importantly for Joe Fan, it would erase the possibility of almost a third of the schedule not being available for viewing.

---

WHERE THE GAMES ARE

TSN: Has 48 games, 23 on the main station and 25 on TSN2, which is available on Bell ExpressVu, Cogeco and Shaw.

CBC: Has 12 games, 11 of them Sunday afternoon and one on Saturday, April 4 in New York.

RAPTORS TV: Down to two games, both Monday road games, Nov. 10 in Boston and Jan 5 in Milwaukee.

THE SCORE: Has 20 games including the season opener Wednesday in Philadelphia and the home opener next Friday.


Videos

Photos