Read it and weep Raptors fans

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:59 AM ET

Television schedule release day used to be an exciting sign for Raptors fans that the season’s opening tip was nearing.

But, for the second year in a row, hoop heads in this country are being thrown lumps of coal by a major sports broadcasting entity.

Though the TSN2 debacle surely is one the folks at Bell will not soon forget, it appears their main rivals, Rogers and specifically, Sportsnet, did not learn a thing from the incident — except, perhaps, that there is money to be made by holding the sports-mad public hostage.

A huge chunk of Raptors games were inaccessible to many viewers a year ago when Bell and Rogers got into a row about the addition of TSN2 to the dial, leaving the channel off of Rogers until the issue was finally resolved in May.

This time around, Bell and other non-Rogers subscribers will be the ones left in the dark as at least seven games will air exclusively on the new Sportsnet One channel.

TSN and TSN2 will carry 47 games with the remaining 35 going to Sportsnet or Sportsnet One. CBC is out of the picture this year, having lost interest in hoops.

Other NBA regular season and playoff games will also be broadcast on Sportsnet One. TSN will have the conference finals, finals, all-star weekend and other playoff games.

Sportsnet One’s Raptor schedule does not commence until Dec. 28, so there is a chance it will be available everywhere before any games are missed, but judging by last year’s glacial negotiating pace, that is no certainty.

Radio broadcasts will once again by on the FAN 590.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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