NFL Network still eyeing more teams

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

The NFL Network continues to have only one Canadian home. But league officials remain confident they can hike up its distribution soon.

"We are talking to many of the (Canadian) providers," said NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky.

"It's a slow process."

That group, we presume, includes satellite carriers Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice, along with Quebec cable giant Videotron (which serves the Outaouais).

Palansky believes the network's offering of 53 pre-season games during the summer might be the impetus to get more carriers on board.

"Normally, it takes something like that to get cable (and satellite) operators more interested," said Palansky, a Toronto native. "The goal is to get as broadly distibuted across Canada as we can. As a Canadian now working in the NFL's New York office, I want to see that happen."

OPENING PITCH: Counting their 103-game Blue Jays slate, Rogers Sportsnet will air a whopping 347 major league baseball games across its four-channel universe this season. It all starts with Sunday's much-ballyhooed Yankees-Red Sox matchup in the Bronx ... Some guys have all the luck. Back in February, Sportsnet's Jamie Campbell covered his beloved New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. The next weekend, he married Alison Redmond, a producer with CTV's national news. Shortly after, he landed the Blue Jays play-by-play gig. "It's been a fruitful year on a variety of levels," admitted Campbell with a laugh. "And my dad (Peter) beat cancer, which is most important of all."

HOUSE OF CONFUSION: The Ford men's world curling championships will be an adventure for viewers -- again. CBC is airing daily coverage of the morning (12:30 p.m. ET) draws from Victoria, while digital CBC Country Canada covers afternoon play (5 p.m. ET). Evening matches will only air when Canada is playing, and The Score draws into the picture then, taking Tuesday and Wednesday's draws. Country Canada has the night action tomorrow and Thursday. Playoff action airs mainly on the CBC, though The Score has a Page game next Friday night. Wouldn't it be so much simpler if everything was on one network? Say, the one with the widest reach of them all.

AROUND THE DIAL: TSN is ratcheting up its coverage of the world women's hockey championship, airing all three of Canada's round-robin games, the semi-final and final. The network is sending its No. 1 hockey team (Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire) to handle the action in Sweden ... The Team 1200 will air 20 Ottawa Lynx games this season -- 10 of them simulcasts with Rogers Television. The fun begins with the Lynx home opener April 16 vs. Rochester. Steve Warne is your play-by-play voice ... Just what the world needs. Yet another so-called "reality" series (ugh) featuring the tennis playing Williams sisters (double ugh). Heaven help us all.


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