Not so Super

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

Make no mistake about it: TSN and Rogers Sportsnet are definitely standing on guard for the red Maple Leaf during the Canada-Russia Super Series.

But with Canada already up 2-0 in the eight-game affair, the question begs to be asked. What happens to the TV ratings for the four games in Canada if the series is essentially over when the teams get here next week? You know, the prime-time portion of the schedule, which should be payback for all the morning starts in Russia. TSN president Phil King is confident Canadians won't tune out if Canada turns the series into a rout.

"There's this phenomenon in Canada with the junior (national teams)," he said. "We've had years where Canada has rolled through the world junior tournament, and the ratings still set records. People seem to enjoy watching Canadian hockey players smoulder the competition."

If Canada wins the first five games to clinch the series, "then it becomes can they go 8-0 and truly dominate?" King said. "People will want to see that."

Between TSN and RDS, nearly 300,000 viewers tuned in to the series opener Monday in Ufa, Russia -- a solid number for a morning game.

"That's in line with expectations," King said.

Now the Russians just have to turn it into a real super series.

"The games haven't been blowouts," King said. "We just have to hope the Russians don't get here (feeling) demoralized.

"The difference is, these are kids. They're still playing for their coaches and the scouts and their next teams."

BACHELOR GETS HITCHED:

Former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer appears primed to put The Bachelor in his past. The Ottawa native and former reality TV show star has inked an exclusive Canadian broadcast deal with TSN and CTV.

He'll be an NFL analyst for TSN, and a New York-based entertainment correspondent for CTV's eTalk.

Palmer's football duties include Monday Morning Quarterback, a weekly SportsCentre segment that begins next week, as well as regular columns on tsn.ca. In January, he'll be a part of TSN's Super Bowl coverage team.

AROUND THE DIAL:

Brian Duff, who was released from his Leafs TV this summer, has joined the NHL Network. He'll be a host for NHL On The Fly.


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