Crosby show goes prime time

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

At last, some TV hockey on a Saturday night.

And while Gatineau Olympiques-Rimouski Oceanic isn't exactly the NHL, Rogers Sportsnet figures a nation will tune in to an opportunity to watch 17-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby tomorrow (7 p.m.).

An audience of better than 100,000 isn't out of the question. In other words, substantially more than your average junior game.

"We're expecting that, with the chance to see (Crosby) on a Saturday night with not a lot else going on, that it'll attract a fair amount of interest," said Scott Morrison, Sportsnet's director of news and hockey.

Sportsnet plans to pump up the broadcast by bringing its HockeyCentral panel of Darren Dreger, Nick Kypreos and Gord Stellick into the mix during intermissions.

COVERING THE CUP: If it's a big game, it gets big hype. And the national sports networks figure to deliver plenty of that in the days leading up to Ottawa's Grey Cup. On Rogers Sportsnet, Jamie Campbell begins filing reports to Sportsnet News on Sunday night. CFL analyst Marty York will be on board that night, with reporters Ian Mendes, Louis Jean and Scott Rintoul joining the fun on Monday. Renegades WR Pat Woodcock is a guest analyst ... The Score will have a gang of four on site -- Ottawa reporter Lisa Hillary, along with James Cybulski and westerners Jordi Weidman and Sara Orlesky ... To the Point, a new Score show fronted by Greg Sansone, debuts Monday at 6 p.m. with a Cup preview and is live here from Wednesday-Friday.

MONDAY NIGHT SWITCH? The apparent reason the NFL didn't announce a new prime-time TV deal this week (Fox and CBS renewed their Sunday contracts through 2011)? ABC/ESPN have yet to decide how much longer (and how much more) they can stomach in the way of losses on Monday Night Football. ABC will reportedly lose at least $150 million (all terms US) on the package this season. They're paying $550 million per season under the current deal, but the price tag for a renewal could exceed $700 million. NBC looms if ABC bows out.

AROUND THE DIAL: Tiger-Cats QB Danny McManus is a guest studio analyst for CBC during its CFL division finals coverage on Sunday. That's because regular panelist Darren Flutie is working alongside Mark Lee at the Western final in Vancouver ... Sportsnet has the AHL Manitoba Moose's first game in Winnipeg's new MTS Centre on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ... The West semi-final was the biggest winner with CFL fans last Sunday. An audience of 1.078 million watched Saskatchewan-Edmonton on CBC, while Toronto-Hamilton pulled in 923,000 last Friday night ... The Team 1200 begins broadcasting live from the Grey Cup Fan Fest on Wednesday afternoon ... Monday's HockeyCentral includes a feature on the Sens' Shaun Van Allen playing Mr. Mom during the lockout.

TV:

1) CFL division finals, Sunday, 4 and 7 p.m., CBC

2) Vikings at Packers, Sunday, 4 p.m., Fox

Radio:

1) Vikings at Packers, 4:30 p.m., Bills at Patriots, 8:30 p.m., Team 1200

2) 67's at Frontenacs, Sunday, 2 p.m., Team 1200


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