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06-03-2011, 11:06 PM
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What The CHL Really Needs ... TSN

With absolutely nothing else on, I ended up watching the NHL combine show on TSN. Not very proud of myself during the broadcast, it did become very clear to me that there is a mutually beneficial partnership that needs to happen between the CHL and TSN.

So here's why I think each entity needs the other.

Why TSN needs the CHL:

1. Wouldn't CHL broadcasts perfectly supplement all the non-NHL game programming TSN shoves down our throats? Watching the combine show, splicing in CHL game footage and regular TSN CHL TV analysts would make draft reporting more authentic right? It would definitely enhance TSN's draft coverage.

2. Along the same lines of supplementing an asset, CHL programming would compliment the WJC perfectly. Beyond the monitoring of WJC hopefulls in CHL games prior to the tournament, how about TSN having Subway Series broadcast rights? Perfect marriage? I'd say so. This is especially true with the U-18 tournament.

3. Wouldn't showing CHL content also help make sense of showing the Telus Cup? "We saw young such and such blossom in last year's Telus Cup and now he's running rough shod over the WHL!"

4. TSN is basically copying the ESPN model of centering everything around one sport. ESPN spends every waking moment around the NFL from having it on SC at least every 15 min in some form, doing draft coverage or producing new NFL Live shows during the summer. Heck ESPN does a 2 hr NFL schedule release special! ESPN uses NCAA football College Gameday to help reinforce the shoving of football in your face. TSN could substitute the CHL for NCAAF in shoving the NHL in your face. You know you'd like it!

5. Along the same line as the last point, CHL games and programming would certainly fill out the TSN2 and Classic schedule. Do you really need Hockey2Nite with That's Hockey? Overkill?

6. Sending Pierre Maguirre from Shawinigan to Moose Jaw would keep him away more from NHL telecasts and that's only good right?

7. As inept as Sportsnet was with its Memorial Cup coverage, ratings were up this year. What would the minds and talent at TSN get out of the product?

Why the CHL needs TSN:

1. This year's Memorial Cup was absolutely terrible by Sportsnet with the words "bush league" the only proper words to label the effort. It's bad enough having that garbage Sportsnet wannabe NHL pre-game show for HNIC broadcasts work Saturday nights but having those 3rd rate clowns work the Memorial Cup was outright comical. From Doug MacLean's mic not working for a full minute in the tournament opener and letting him speak in silence for that whole period to that James Duthie clone dweeb calling the CHL's crown jewel event a "tournament of DIVISION champions and the host", the CHL should really be wondering about the quality of production at Sportsnet. Of course my favourite flub was the genius Kypreos calling the tournament's eventual MVP "Who-ba-doo" in the 2nd game. Good prep work Nick. You should probably head to the quiet room now.

2. Sportsnet doesn't have a clue how to promote the CHL. As noted, TSN has Hockey2Nite and That's Hockey to promo the NHL every night. For goodness sake the Score has a couple of magazine shows during the week to supplement WWE programming! For the CHL, Sportsnet has nothing. Don't you think a 30 minute weekly show on the three leagues would help keep interests over the year instead of trying to have viewers learn crash course about a league's champ and the host at the Memorial Cup or trying to explain who players are at Subway Series games?

3. The regional broadcasts of the leagues is really stupid by Sportsnet. Again there's the inability to connect the dots and enhance Memorial Cup coverage. Maybe seeing Saint John earlier in the year may have had more people interested in seeing them live in Mississauga? I know I would liked to have seen Portland play.

4. Similarly, why doesn't Sportsnet show games from each league's playoffs? Again wouldn't following at least league finals had helped teams recognize players going into the Memorial Cup?

5. Why does the CHL allow Sportsnet to pick their broadcast schedule so early in the year and not flex? Better yet, why does Sportsnet do that? For instance there was a Guelph/Soo game in March this year that really made no sense and if you had a flex schedule, you could have changed that.

6. TSN2 would be a perfect platform for the CHL to grab new fans. As much as TSN could use the hockey content, the CHL could be a focus on that channel and get the type of attention to grow.

7. World Junior Hockey Championships ... Look what TSN was able to do with that in 20 years. Enough said. Instead of putting your crown jewel event in a large but undeserving and uninterested location, television is the true means of gaining people's subconscience.

The CHL is a great product. There's a genuineness and effort in the players that's hard to overlook. Plus you do truly get to see tomorrow's stars today. Sportsnet has shown they are not capable of doing any event justice or growing anything (see Blue Jays). On the other hand, TSN has shown the way it can build a following with the WJC tournament year after year.

David Branch ... You need TSN if you really want to take the league to the next level. TSN needs you just as much but doesn't know it. Make it happen.

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