Knights' game bumped by curling

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

The London Knights have been bumped out of the house tonight by curling.

The Knights' sold-out Ontario Hockey League game against the Sarnia Sting at the John Labatt Centre will be tape-delayed at 10:30 p.m. on Rogers Television so it can show the Ontario women's curling championship live from Ottawa at 7:30 p.m.

Rogers has chosen to tape-delay all of it's OHL Prime Time telecasts tonight to air the curling.

The move caught the Knights by surprise yesterday.

"You obviously like to be live all the time as it would give our fans who don't have a ticket a chance to watch our game," said Knights assistant general manager Jim McKellar.

"We have a good relationship with Rogers locally and they do have the option where certain events take precedence and it's not under our control."

It would appear to make some sense to show the Knights' game live and tape-delay the curling as some hockey fans attending the game may also want to see the curling.

"Curling has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years and we're especially delighted to provide extensive coverage," Mike Patterson, station manager for Rogers Television London region, said in a statement.

Knights fans were denied an opportunity to watch last Sunday's game from Ottawa when there was a mixup in communication between the Ottawa Rogers Television people and Rogers Sportsnet in Toronto.

Rogers Ottawa thought Sportsnet was broadcasting the game but it wasn't and as a result there was no TV.

Rogers Television will air tomorrow night's Western Mustangs hockey game against the Lakehead Thunderwolves at the JLC also on a tape-delayed basis.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m., but won't be shown until 10 p.m., after the curling semifinals, which start at 7 p.m.

Western athletic director Mike Lysko said the plan from the beginning was to tape-delay the hockey game.

"It's our first game in about four years on Rogers and we're happy just to have it on TV," he said.

Lysko said as of late yesterday more than 4,000 tickets had been sold for tomorrow night's game as the Mustangs try to break the Canadian university hockey attendance record of 4,500 set at a University of Toronto game against York.


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