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03-09-2004, 03:29 PM
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Mizral
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Who won the War of the Networks?

Looks like things are more or less over. I watched all three major channels today.

- The Score
- TSN
- SportsNet

The Score, as usual, ran 3rd today. They only broke one trade by my count, today, though I must admit, I didn't watch them nearly as much as TSN or SportsNet.

Essentially, this was a war between TSN and SportsNet as usual. Last year, TSN had the edge.

However, this year, I think TSN really embarassed themselves, and SportsNet not only did better than them, but did much better. Let's look over things in 3 different categories:

Coverage - Sources - Personalities

Coverage

TSN's coverage was their weakest in two years since the network-deadline wars became worth fighting over. It was not until a little under 2 hours to the deadline that TSN switched off curling to the studio, and even then, TSN went to curling way too much. When they were on, they did great and their analysis of things were great. I hope TSN learns their lesson. Get 3 or 4 hours of pure deadline coverage, or be prepared to be showed up by SportsNet.

SportsNet's coverage on the other hand was great tonight. For 3 hours, they were going straight on hockey, and found ways to make things interesting.

TSN's Score: 2 / 5
SportsNet's Score: 5 / 5

Sources

This is where TSN usually does well, and tonight didn't dissapoint. Still, TSN was outdone in terms of breaking trades. I do not have the exact number, but in terms of the big trades, TSN lagged behind SportsNet all day, though they made a run for things with 20 minutes remaining to the deadline. Even still, Bob McKenzie and Peirre Maguire did a great job in getting what they knew out there.

SportsNet improved DRASTICALLY this year. Last year, TSN outdid Sportsnet in breaking trades, but this year SportsNet turned the tables. Look not further than Nick Kypreos if the SportsNet guys want to thank someone. Kypreos actually rivaled the usual unrivaled top-dog Bob McKenzie from TSN, and broke many big deals. He carried the SportsNet broadcast with his sources, though other guys pithced in. Watters, as usual, was full of hot air all night. TSN also should stop talking to Bruce Garrioch.

TSN's Score: 3/5
SportsNet's Score: 4/5

Personalities

This is very subjective mind you, but I thought TSN won out here. Bob McKenzie, Gord Miller, and Peirre McGuire on Table #1 breaking deals did a fine job, and all three guys are solid hockey men. Two former Jack Adams winners in Bobby Francis and Joel Quenneville on Table #2 were strong. James Duthie is also the best host in the biz. However, where things fell apart were Damian Cox and Steve Simmons, writers for Toronto newspapers. It gave everything a very 'Toronto-spin' on that table, and furthermore, Simmons seems more interested in shouting people down rather than actually talking hockey. Can these guys, TSN, and bring in some better guys. Dutchy was a good host there too.

SportsNet had decent group this year. Millard has sources which is a bonus for a host, and gives the show extra credibility. Kypreos gained MASSIVE credibility here, and broke too many trades to count. Gilmour was a great analyst, I must say, and I was very impressed with his job. The weak link here is Watters, who spent more time spinning useless webs of information. His sources are junk. Can him. Table #2 was excellent though, with two more good coaches in Mike Keenan and Paul Maurice. Both guys have a wealth of hockey information, and it's nice to hear their takes on things. Garrett gives things a West coast spin, but he .. well, he's John Garrett. It's a lot easier to hate him than like him I guess

TSN: 4/5
SportsNet: 3/5 (Watters drops things down an entire point)

Overall scores:

TSN : 9 out of 15
SportsNet : 12 out of 15

Good job SportsNet, you win this year.

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