TSN Drops The Ball on Halladay Trade Coverage

Ian HunterCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 16: Pitcher Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies and senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. answer questions from the media on December 16, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

It was the story that dominated the headlines from coast to coast, above and below the 44th parallel.

You couldn't turn on the television or radio without hearing about the Roy Halladay trade.

Yet, one network opted to put this massive story on the back burner: TSN.

Thankfully, other networks like Sportsnet, The Score and even Sun TV did the story due diligence.

I sent an email to The Casino Rama Grill Room earlier this week lambasting TSN—more specifically Off The Record —for failing to give the Roy Halladay trade the proper attention it deserved.

The day after the initial trade rumours hit the internet and the airwaves, OTR did address the trade, though not until the third segment of the show.

They even had Will Hill—former Blue Jays public relations manager—on the show. To make matters worse, following OTR, SportsCentre led off the show with a story on a Jason Spezza injury instead of the Halladay trade.

On Tuesday, you couldn’t walk through the city of Toronto without seeing a paper with Roy Halladay on the cover, let alone walk down the street without people talking about it.Yet TSN decided to lead with the Spezza injury.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Grill Room devoted Tuesday’s entire show to the Roy Halladay trade and issues focused on the Toronto Blue Jays.

Having been fed up with TSN, and pleasantly surprised by SUN TV, I decided to thank The Grill Room for covering the Halladay deal as it should have been covered. Here is a portion of the email I sent to them:

I used to be a faithful viewer of (TSN) but they have become so convoluted with NHL and CFL talk, it makes me sick at times. The Grill Room does a great job of covering all sports, all athletes, and everything that is happening in the world of sports.

Low and behold, they responded, and actually went so far as to use my email on the show.  They actually used it as a topic of discussion for one of their segments.

To my astonishing surprise, my tiny little Internet voice had been heard.

What happened when I sent an email to TSN earlier this year asking that they talk about more baseball on OTR, you ask?

Absolutely nothing.

I realize that TSN has a heavily invested interest in the NHL and CFL, but regardless of which league is the cash cow on your network, you should put those interests aside and cover the issues that viewers want to see.

When people were tuning into SportsCentre at 6:30pm earlier this week, the first thing they wanted to see was the latest developments in the Roy Halladay trade, not Jason Spezza’s knee injury or Luke Schenn's lack of ice time.

I would accuse TSN of playing favouritism, but TSN broad-casted 25 Blue Jays games this past season, so it’s not like they aren’t involved at all with the Toronto Blue Jays.

TSN doesn’t have as much money invested in Blue Jays broadcasts, but they certainly have a good chunk invested in those games.

Why is it that when it comes to Blue Jays news, it's treated like the weaker sister?

Don't get me wrong, TSN is a great network and they were pioneers in sports television. More specifically, OTR used to be one of my favorite sports talk shows.

However, lately it seems like the show has alienated baseball issues altogether, so I barely tune in any more. From April to September, I could probably count on two hands the amount of times OTR talked about baseball.

For a network that prides itself on being “Canada’s Sports Network”, they really don’t seem to have Canadian sports fan’s interests at heart.

It’s called “The Sports Network” for a reason, but perhaps it should be called, “The Hockey and Football Network, and if we have time, the Baseball Network”.


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