Shenanigate – An update on Rogers Sportsnet One

By , August 25, 2010 2:12 pm
Rogers Sportsnet One... get on it already, TELUS/Bell/Shaw

Shenanigate... not to be confused with Shannahanigate

So for those who aren’t sure where to point the finger (is it Rogers’ fault, or is it the other carriers’ fault?), it sounds like there is enough blame to go around, although Rogers feels that it rests on the shoulders of the competition. Rogers Sportsnet President Doug Beeforth stated recently that people are wrongly blaming Rogers for the lack of Sportsnet One on competitive carriers. “We have made this signal free of charge to all the carriers for the first three months,” he said in an interview with Globe And Mail. “We gave them two months’ notice of our plans. Why aren’t they offering a free channel to see whether the public wants the service? We are absorbing the production costs of games so people can see what we’re offering. I think fans have to be asking the other carriers why they’re not carrying the signal rather than blaming us for providing a new service.”

So the problem is simply this… Rogers bought up the rights for broadcasting certain games. It’s already available on their TV service (which we don’t have here in Western Canada). Shaw, Bell, TELUS and any other competitors out there would (presumably) have to pay a premium for this channel, and they’re currently refusing to do so (it would seem), which would actually be a bit of irony. According to The Province, when TSN launched TSN in August of 2008, it was believed that TSN wanted Rogers customers to pay an additional 30 cents per month for this new channel. Rogers held out for a while (much to the chagrin of their subscribers, who missed several Raptors games). So now karma is a bit of a bitch, and unfortunately, us fans are caught up in the dick-slapping, tug of war battle between these companies. If this is the case though, the vengeance on Rogers’ part seems a bit misguided, as the real enemy isn’t the competing networks, but TSN in the aforementioned case.

At any rate, if the channel is currently being offered free of charge to all carriers right now, I’m not sure why they haven’t jumped on it. I have to wonder what charge Rogers Sportsnet is asking from the carriers, but if it’s $3 or less, I’m more than willing to pay for it. These PPV games were $17 each.. some months we had 4 PPVs… I think I can handle the $3/month.

So what’s the CRTC’s position in all of this? Well, they’re staying out of it. One rep stated: “Sportsnet One has no ‘right of carriage.’ This means its carriage is strictly a contractual matter between the TV service provider (cable or satellite) and the broadcaster. The CRTC does not play a role in such matters.”

So, as far as I can figure, if you’re going to pressure anyone to get this channel, it’s got to be your current carrier. It doesn’t seem that any of them are in any hurry to redirect blame from Rogers. And while it might not make people happy to think that Rogers bought up the rights to a bunch of games for their network and we can’t see any of them, just start by thinking of what the alternative for those games was.. the $17 (for HD) PPV. Then think why we can’t see those channels. They are available to Shaw, Bell, and other carriers. It might come at a premium, but is it $17 / game / customer? I kind of doubt that. Count me down for my $2.99 / month contribution, Shaw.

On the other hand, if these carriers don’t play hardball.. what good is a channel of regional coverage not viewable by anyone? I can see the motivation by Shaw, Bell, TELUS and others, but I’d rather just pay my small fee, and watch the Oilers tank another season.

17 Responses to “Shenanigate – An update on Rogers Sportsnet One”

  1. Racki says:

    310-SHAW… 310-2255 (TELUS)…

  2. Trogdor says:

    We could also blame our beloved Oilers, and fans of the Canucks and Flames likewise to their organizations for selling the broadcasting rights to an East coast network with no agreement in place for the channel to be provided in the West.

    I won’t complain too much since I didn’t purchase a single ppv last season, but the option to add the channel would be appreciated and likely acted upon.

  3. Racki says:

    I foolishly purchased a number of those PPVs last year. So I’m happy that I won’t be dropping the big coin for games this year.

  4. chucker says:

    Happy that I didn’t drop a dime on any of those games.

  5. RyanB says:

    I paid for four PPV games last year. After one of the weaker PPV performances I said no more and instead took my $17 bucks and bet it against the Oil on future PPV nights. I won just about enough to offset the cost of the PPV games I had paid for.

    While I wouldn’t mind forking over a couple of bucks for the new station I have a feeling that my carrier (Shaw) will package Sportsnet One with a bunch of other stations – Sportsnet Pacific and Ontario more than likely – that I don’t want and they’ll charge me through the nose for the package.

  6. Racki says:

    RyanB: I paid for four PPV games last year. After one of the weaker PPV performances I said no more and instead took my $17 bucks and bet it against the Oil on future PPV nights. I won just about enough to offset the cost of the PPV games I had paid for.While I wouldn’t mind forking over a couple of bucks for the new station I have a feeling that my carrier (Shaw) will package Sportsnet One with a bunch of other stations – Sportsnet Pacific and Ontario more than likely – that I don’t want and they’ll charge me through the nose for the package.

    Ungh, you could be right. I hope not, cause I’m not really interested in those other channels either. Although they DO have junior hockey on them that occasionally I wish I could watch.

  7. Smokin' Ray says:

    I bought every ppv game there was last year and I’d do it again if I have too. But I really want the $3 channel. Hell, I’d pay $5. I WANT THAT CHANNEL!!! *shakes fist*

    *dialing phone*

  8. Racki says:

    I think I might have even ordered every PPV. I seem to recall ordering several horrible PPVs. By 1/3 of the way into the PPVs, I recall saying to myself before every one “there’s no way I’m ordering this PPV!!! I’ll just watch it online”. Then I’d try and watch it online, and the feed would be busted, and I’d break down, sobbing, and order the PPV anyways. God damn you Oilers… why can’t I quit you?!

  9. dawgtoy says:

    Racki: I think I might have even ordered every PPV. I seem to recall ordering several horrible PPVs. By 1/3 of the way into the PPVs, I recall saying to myself before every one “there’s no way I’m ordering this PPV!!! I’ll just watch it online”. Then I’d try and watch it online, and the feed would be busted, and I’d break down, sobbing, and order the PPV anyways. God damn you Oilers… why can’t I quit you?!

    LMAO

  10. Trevor says:

    I agree that it will inevitably be a better deal than forking out for pay per view ($15.95 per HD game unbundled, not $17) but Rogers doesn’t get to paint itself angel white in all this. They are obviously asking waay more for this channel than is usual for negotiations to go on this long. If they get what they ask without better negotiating from Shaw and the likes than it would set a precedent for future channels and we the consumer would eventually lose big time in having to fork out an extra $3 for every additional channel. It adds up. Rogers is employing a tactic that makes us the consumer do the hard negotiating for them. Every piece of Rogers marketing on radio and TV (and yeah they know our region can’t get it) is saying the channel is now available and to contact our provider. It is a well thought out plan to play hardball with the providers so they get really close to their ridiculous price while we do most of their work by complaining to Shaw, Bell and Telus asking why we don’t have it yet. As a die hard Flames fan I am thrilled about the inevitable availability of this channel and what it means for the future but I do not like the way Rogers is doing it.

  11. Racki says:

    First off Trevor, thanks for posting here in Oiler land ;) (and respectfully, despite your loyalties!)

    Secondly, that is definitely a good point. I have to wonder though what Rogers is charging providers for this channel. I don’t have a LOT of problem with it, just based on the fact that they are obviously paying a cost to the NHL to show these games. They are also not charging the providers at all, currently, to show the service to see if people like the channel.

    I do though agree that setting a precedent for other channel providers probably is one reason for Shaw, and other providers to hold out. So I do respect them for that.

    But really the way I see it, this is saving me quite a bit per month, in the long run, so I’d just as happily pay that extra cost, so long as it is reasonable (again $3 a month is definitely pretty reasonable, but that is pure speculation.. I don’t think anyone knows the actual cost these providers would need to charge).

    Anyways, again, thanks for the post!

  12. MetalOil says:

    Does anyone know of the availability of Rogers TV in Western Canada? I have heard conflicting comments as to if the service is available in this neck of the woods or if it will be soon. I do know that Rogers securing the naming right to Vancouver’s building(formerly G.M. Place) had something to do with them wanting to expand their presence in the west.
    http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Rogers+Arena+name+former+General+Motors+Place/3241587/story.html
    I have to assume that at some point in the non too distant future that this TV service provider will be available here in the west. Maybe all of this is a ploy by rogers to recruit TV costumers in the west once the service is available here if it is not already.

  13. Stu Pender says:

    Rogers are greedy corporate shysters to be sure, but they are not totally to blame for this fiasco. Place some blame where it is deserved. The Canucks, and whomever allowed such a travesty to transpire, are just as guilty. Who signs a deal with someone not knowing the full details of the deal? The Canucks, or so it would appear.

    Rogers tells you to pressure your local cable company and say you want Sportsnet One. Of course they do. This would put them in an unfair bargaining position with respect to entering into an agreement with Shaw/Telus/Novus/etc. Rogers corporate greed is only exceeded by their unwillingness to suggest that they have done anything wrong with regards to using these underhanded tactics. Smacks of collusion, with both the Canucks and Rogers using deceptive and misleading practices to enhance their position.

    The Canucks finally get rid of those terrible PPV broadcast and instead sell the rights to a channel that has no cable providers west of Ontario. Smooth move there geniuses. The Canucks pledged all games would be on local tv this year. It appears not, or at least not without some “added” costs. Let’s say Rogers finally makes a deal with Shaw/Telus/Noves Et al., and they show the games on whatever provider you have. Who do you think will pay for this? Still thinking? You will of course. Rogers will either get a sweet deal from the cable providers because they pushed a package of channels they must buy from Rogers down their throats, so that the cable providers can end the stream of customer calling to complain that they can’t see the Canucks or the Blue Jays, or Rogers will bow to pressure from advertisers who don’t want to pay for commercials that nobody watches and will give the cable providers a sweet deal. In either case, sweet deal means a package of premium sports channels will need to be added to your cable package. It will likely be in the neighbourhood of $10.00 a month. Hmm, didn’t the Canucks issue a press release stating that ALL Canuck games will be available for all BC and Yukon fans on FREE tv? There will be nothing free about this when it is all said and done.

    Rogers has screwed over the people in Western Canada all year with regards to Blue Jays games and this same issue. My 92 year old Grandma loves her Blue Jays and hasn’t seen many games due to Rogers callous disregard for who actually pays their bills. I bet advertisers are getting some awesome ad rates on Sportsnet One right about now.

    We have season tickets so for the most part not having games on tv doesn’t affect us much, but as long-term Canuck season ticket holders, we take it as a slap in the face that the Canucks organization would allow this to happen. I guess the Canucks only want to talk about loyalty when it is time for negotiating salaries, and the fans reward for years of sold out crowds, is being SOLD OUT.

    Shame on you Vancouver Canucks and shame on your Rogers. I guess you are blinded by staring at your shining corporate balance sheets, or perhaps your greed overrules your common sense. Whatever the reason, your wanton disregard for the FANS is a black eye on you. 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and 5 for fighting. See the trainer after for some smelling salts to clear your head and open your eyes. Hard to succeed if you lack vision.

  14. Mike Morris says:

    If they don’t get an agreement soon, I hope the Canucks start leaning on Sportsnet/Rogers to find a way to get the games into our market.

    Rogers is setting us up as consumers to do their dirty work and complain to the cable providers to carry the channel. They suddenly switched 25 Blue Jays games to SNET One midway through the season. I’m not totally versed in what happened, but if the report is true that Sportsnet advertised the entire season of Jays’ games would be available on their existing package and then they switched a bunch of games to their new channel, then there could be grounds for an investigation from the CRTC.

    I don’t want the same thing to happen with the Canucks. I don’t think you can blame Shaw. What kind of company would create and release a product but not find a retailer to carry said product? That seems more like disorganization from the producer, not the failings of the supplier.

  15. John says:

    Stu Pender: Rogers are greedy corporate shysters to be sure, but they are not totally to blame for this fiasco. Place some blame where it is deserved. The Canucks, and whomever allowed such a travesty to transpire, are just as guilty. Who signs a deal with someone not knowing the full details of the deal? The Canucks, or so it would appear. Rogers tells you to pressure your local cable company and say you want Sportsnet One. Of course they do. This would put them in an unfair bargaining position with respect to entering into an agreement with Shaw/Telus/Novus/etc. Rogers corporate greed is only exceeded by their unwillingness to suggest that they have done anything wrong with regards to using these underhanded tactics. Smacks of collusion, with both the Canucks and Rogers using deceptive and misleading practices to enhance their position. The Canucks finally get rid of those terrible PPV broadcast and instead sell the rights to a channel that has no cable providers west of Ontario. Smooth move there geniuses. The Canucks pledged all games would be on local tv this year. It appears not, or at least not without some “added” costs. Let’s say Rogers finally makes a deal with Shaw/Telus/Noves Et al., and they show the games on whatever provider you have. Who do you think will pay for this? Still thinking? You will of course. Rogers will either get a sweet deal from the cable providers because they pushed a package of channels they must buy from Rogers down their throats, so that the cable providers can end the stream of customer calling to complain that they can’t see the Canucks or the Blue Jays, or Rogers will bow to pressure from advertisers who don’t want to pay for commercials that nobody watches and will give the cable providers a sweet deal. In either case, sweet deal means a package of premium sports channels will need to be added to your cable package. It will likely be in the neighbourhood of $10.00 a month. Hmm, didn’t the Canucks issue a press release stating that ALL Canuck games will be available for all BC and Yukon fans on FREE tv? There will be nothing free about this when it is all said and done. Rogers has screwed over the people in Western Canada all year with regards to Blue Jays games and this same issue. My 92 year old Grandma loves her Blue Jays and hasn’t seen many games due to Rogers callous disregard for who actually pays their bills. I bet advertisers are getting some awesome ad rates on Sportsnet One right about now. We have season tickets so for the most part not having games on tv doesn’t affect us much, but as long-term Canuck season ticket holders, we take it as a slap in the face that the Canucks organization would allow this to happen. I guess the Canucks only want to talk about loyalty when it is time for negotiating salaries, and the fans reward for years of sold out crowds, is being SOLD OUT. Shame on you Vancouver Canucks and shame on your Rogers. I guess you are blinded by staring at your shining corporate balance sheets, or perhaps your greed overrules your common sense. Whatever the reason, your wanton disregard for the FANS is a black eye on you. 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and 5 for fighting. See the trainer after for some smelling salts to clear your head and open your eyes. Hard to succeed if you lack vision.

    Wow, very sad & thought provoking for sure. To expand on your point of the providers passing the cost on to us I would go one step further & suggest that the provider would not only want to recoup their actual cost but also to charge us a little extra for their troubles thereby increasing the cost to us even more than necassary. I don’t want start a litteny of conspiracy theories but would it be possible that Rogers may have promised the Canucks a little extra pocket lining for agreeing to this joke of a contract? Like you mentioned it must have been obvious at the time (even to the Canuckleheads) that we (the western viewers) would all be forced into the position of pressuring our providers to buy into this channel thereby almost guaranteeing a financial windfall for them. Just sayin.

  16. Stu Pender says:

    John: That is pretty much what I said. They(Shaw in my case) will be forced to pass along the cost of this new channel, or group of channels that Rogers will make them take to get Sportsnet One. It almost certainly won’t be a $2 or $3 charge for an extra channel. The Canucks put on a huge dog and pony show, saying how ALL games will be available free of charge for BC and Yukon viewers, I’d assume the same would be true on Alberta for both the Oilers and Flames. This, it appears, will not be the case at all. Hockey fans across Western Canada are the pawns in this power play, and that is not only not good business practices, but in these times of recession hurts those fans with little extra disposable income. Rogers could care less, and so too for the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers. They must have been aware of the situation. Maybe Mr. Bettman was advising them, with his vast hockey and TV knowledge. It is shameful that Rogers expect consumers to pressure their local cable providers, and force them to cowtow to Rogers demands. I feel sorry for people at Shaw having to explain this to their customers. People should be calling, emailing, faxing(does anyone even fax anymore?) Rogers and complaining to them. It is reprehensible what they are attempting to do. Glad my cell phone contract is up with Rogers. I will be letting them know why we are not renewing our phones and will go with a new carrier.

  17. Racki says:

    First off, thanks to Stu and Mike Morris for your comments on this.

    Some good news though (well, in a way… not related to Stu’s point). Shaw has decided to pick up the free preview of SportsnetOne (per Daren Millard). The first Oilers game is September 22nd, so we’ll be able to catch it for free for now (I believe) and again on the 29th.

    Standard def: 159
    HD: 225

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

%d bloggers like this: