The Sports Network, better known as TSN, has gone from two content channels to five as of this week. That is good news for race fans who are hoping to get back some of the programming lost when their cable/satellite television service provider (TSP) dropped SPEED from their channel lineup earlier this year.
So far, Shaw is a major TSP that is still carrying SPEED, but many of the other majors – Rogers, Bell, Cogeco – have left the building. With this, race fans who subscribe to these TSPs no longer get the healthy ration of motorsports programming SPEED provides.
TSN five channels come with the promise of more programming to fill the additional air time. Time will tell how much actual additional programming we will get with five channels instead of two, but already in the first week, TSN has added three motorsports broadcasts that originate on Fox Sports in the US which they send to Canada via SPEED: Sprint Cup practice and qualifying for the Atlanta race and the live broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck race from Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Labour Day Sunday (on TSN5 at 1:30 pm).
I believe that if you live in Ontario you will find TSN5 in the channel slot formerly occupied by TSN.
This demonstrates that TSN is prepared to pick up some of the “lost” programming from Fox Sports/SPEED and provide it for race fans across Canada.
With this encouragement, I hereby submit my “wish list” of programming that I hope TSN will pick up and add to their broadcast lineup soon, hopefully in time for the start of the 2015 racing season:
all NASCAR Camping World Truck races
all IMSA Tudor United Sports Car races
the 24 Hours of Le Mans
qualifying sessions for all three of NASCAR’s touring series (Cup, Nationwide, Trucks)
practice sessions for the same three series
Of course, we are counting on TSN to continue to bring us every Cup and Nationwide race in 2015, just like they have for the past number of years.
You might have some other race series on your wish list – MotoGP, the Australian V8 Supercar series, and the British Touring Car (BTCC) series. I don’t see any reason why we need to restrict our hopes to races currently broadcast of Fox Sports/SPEED.
For example, CBS Sports, which is an obscure channel on my TSP’s lineup, has a few interesting ones such as ARCA, the German touring car series (DTM, pictured above), and the Blancpain GT endurance and sprint race series. Perhaps, given that CBS Sports is no more a Canadian channel than SPEED is, TSN might cherry-pick a few of these race series to enhance their bundle of motorsports programming.
Now that TSN has its new channels on the air, they must be turning their attention to programming decisions for next year.
If you have a wish list of motorsports programming you want TSN to bring to you, let them know.
For that matter, let’s not forget Sportsnet either. They have more than five sports channels already and must have room to add more motorsports series in addition to their IndyCar programming.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series photo by Ramesh Bayney