Rogers TV to explode on local scene

ROB BRODIE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

School's in for Rogers Television.

And Senators and 67's hockey, curling and ringette, to name a few more.

The community TV station will present coverage of more than 250 live events in what is clearly its most ambitious season yet in terms of sports coverage.

"We're doing more sports than we ever have," said Rogers station manager Ray Skaff, adding there's a "strong emphasis on sports you otherwise wouldn't get to see."

SENATORS PRE-SEASON

On the immediate radar: Four Senators pre-season games, including the Sept. 18 game in London against the Philadelphia Flyers. Rogers will also air three Senators pre-season games at Scotiabank Place, against the Capitals (Sept. 20), Flyers (Sept. 25) and Canadiens (Sept. 29).

Molson Senators Overtime, a magazine show fronted by Ian Mendes of Rogers Sportsnet, also returns for another season.

On the junior hockey front, Rogers plans live coverage of every 67's home game and at least 24 road tilts, some of which will be picked up from Cogeco Cable.

OHL Primetime is back on Fridays at 7 p.m.

Skaff is especially excited about the increase in high school sports coverage that Rogers will offer viewers. A "game of the week" will be taped Thursday afternoons and shown that evening at 7:30.

Each Friday at 6:30 p.m., High School Sports Zone presents a magazine-style look at the local scholastic scene.

University sports gets its due as well, with the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees each seeing a number of their games hit the Rogers airwaves.

The CIS Final 8 men's basketball tourney, which begins a three-year run at Scotiabank Place in March, will get significant Rogers attention.

Right now, plans call for the station to provide live coverage of all four quarter-final games on Friday and perhaps one of the Saturday semi-finals.

That's good news for local hoops fans, who saw only one semi-final and the championship game of the 2007 tourney in Halifax on TSN.

"We want to complement what the networks do," said Skaff. "There's an appetite for the games leading up to (the final)."

Also on the Rogers slate in the season ahead are the world ringette championships at the Civic Centre in November; Canada Cup qualifier and Ontario championship curling and the Bell Capital Cup.

"It's an extensive schedule," said Skaff. "We're working hard to stay on top of the biggest sports events in the city."


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