TV teamwork for Canada-Russia

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

Two heads are better than one.

Or, in the case of the Canada-Russia series, a pair of Canadian sports networks. TSN and Rogers Sportsnet are joining forces again to deliver coverage of the eight-game set between junior-age players, being held to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the historic 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Series.

Jim Marshall, executive producer of events for TSN, looks upon the collaboration as another opportunity for the networks to build on the model they'll use at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. They teamed up a year ago to share coverage of the World Cup in Germany.

"It's a good experience to see how the Olympic model works," he said. "There are a lot of shows we'll both be doing (together) in Vancouver."

TSN is carrying Games 1, 4, 5 and 6 of the event, which begins Monday in Ufa, Russia, while Sportsnet takes the rest. Marshall said there's a practical reason for the two rival sides joining forces: Scheduling conflicts with football on TSN.

"We needed a partner," Marshall said. "(Sportsnet) wanted in and we wanted them in."

So it is that viewers will see Sportsnet's Peter Loubardias and TSN's Pierre McGuire calling games. They'll also share a studio set back in Toronto, with James Duthie the host for TSN and Darren Millard fronting the games on Sportsnet.

But you'll see the same studio analysts on every broadcast: A mix of TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, and Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet.

With the games from Russia all airing in the morning, the broadcasts are also being streamed live on the Internet. They can be accessed via tsn.ca or sportsnet.ca.

WHITHER MONDAYS?

Interesting (but somewhat predictable) observation by Keith Olbermann about the place NBC's Football Night in America occupies during the NFL weekend.

"The (NBC) time slot is perfect for wrapping up the week in the NFL," said Olbermann, who is marking his return to sports broadcasting by joining NBC's studio crew.

"The Monday game, it's not an appendage necessarily, but it is a separate entity. The football weekend stops on Sunday night."

Tell that to the folks at ESPN, who are paying a pretty penny to the NFL for Monday Night Football rights.


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