Chris Cuthbert leaves TSN for Sportsnet

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SammyGreene
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2020 provides another kick in the nuts to CFL fans with easily TSN's top football play-by-play guy departing for Sportsnet.

https://3downnation.com/2020/06/05/cfl- ... sportsnet/


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I always hated Cuthbert's use of the term "the newcomer" to refer to players making their first CFL starts, even if they had been on the practice roster for a year. Now I hope everyone calls him the newcomer at Sportsnet.


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I'm sorry to hear of this development. Cuthbert was a consummate professional so far as I'm concerned, and I was always relieved to discover he'd be handling the play-by-play of any given game I might be intending to watch and enjoy. He seemed interested, and knew about the players. I personally preferred him above all others in that role. I'll miss that.


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Hambone
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For a guy who got his pro sports start doing NHL games the opportunity to do Hockey Night in Canada on what might be a regular basis has to be incredibly attractive. IMO that is the most prestigious gig in Canadian sports broadcasting,


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The timing of his departure is interesting. Obviously he hadn't work since the NHL had shutdown in early March and TSN were scheduled to broadcast 4 CFL pre-season games starting last week.
Did the delay or potential cancellation of the season trigger an out clause? Or was he has good as gone even if the season proceeded? I'm not even sure who.else TSN uses for their NHL games (Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg) but he was far and away their No. 1 play-by-play guy.
At 62, can't blame the man for wanting summers off for the first time in his career when things do eventually return to normal.
Still hurts though given it was calling CFL games coupled with NHL regional games that kept CC from initially departing when Sportnet obtained the NHL rights 7 years ago. But not anymore.

Favourite Cuthbert called Lions game is an easy one: 1994 Western Final and the entire broadcast was recently uploaded to YouTube. I liked Dan Kepley as a colour guy too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBZ6t9tLlo&t=1201s


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Cuthbert's move is probably a combination of the COVID-19 disruption (truncated or no CFL season) and a desire to really get into the big leagues of broadcasting (as Hambone says). No doubt Bob Cole finally being gone would give him the chance to become the next living legend. IMO there is no comparison--Cuthbert is much more competent than Cole, who had become an embarrassment through the past 20 years of failing ability to identify the players.


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https://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040 ... -1.1483630
Glen Suitor reflecting on Chris Cuthbert with Sekeres & Price. Starts at 22:00, at 36:00 they tackle "who's next" in the booth. At 40:00 Sekeres asks Suitor what he's hearing about the season (Sept start, Hub Cities WPG-SSK is the current most common idea, with the virus numbers in the East still too high).


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Cuthbert leaving forces TSN to make a change. Maybe he can swing a deal to take Rod Black with him. I liked Dustin Nielson last year. Derek Taylor is another who will one day turn his geeky stats hobby into a national broadcasting job and is pretty well already there.

Have not been impressed by TSN with the Friday night football replays. They could do a bit of editing and at least get the full game aired in the allocated time slot. Doesn't look to me like they are putting much effort in.

Makes me wonder about the six year deal they just signed.


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Murdoch wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:48 am

Makes me wonder about the six year deal they just signed.
Given how cash strapped the league is they must have been thrilled just to extend the current deal another 6 years since the drop in viewership and cable subscribers overall.

I agree though. Not sure if the one network coverage is to the best interest of the league and its future. A game of the week also on the main CTV network would be nice, never mind all playoff games. Or better put how BellMedia treats the NFL.

Rather see the digital platform go to DAZN which already has NFL and top level soccer. Better chance to build their audience or we just keep hearing how they lost "whatever" generation of fans.

Given the CFL regular season would be starting this week, how about at least a 30-minute weekly show to discuss the efforts of salvaging the 2020 season and what is being done? They must be paying these guys that otherwise would be working games and covering practices anyways.


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Since March 13th, I have watched hardly anything on TSN. Sportsnet has been even less. (All I've watched on there was the Classic NHL, and that's just to pvr and watch later. I'm not a fan of the 1 hour condensed games). At least TSN eventually attempted to bring back some Zoom version SC (including Jay and Dan), Sportsnet didn't even bother to do that.

If I didn't have a really good rate on a 7 + 1 theme pack Telus Optik TV--as part of a 2 year Fibre Internet combo--I would have cancelled both of them. I bet they have had many, many cancels from customers who want to save the actual cost of both packs. (At one time the Popular Sports pack included both networks, they have since split them into two.)


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I like that the CFL and TSN operate as a partnership. TSN has worked very hard to help grow the CFL brand since getting exclusive rights. IMO that hard work has paid off for both the TSN and CFL in terms of increasing television revenues thus league revenues. If they ever went back to something like the old days of CBC and CTV splitting games there is little incentive for them to do anything more for the league than air the games they are scheduled to air. TSN built the FNF games into something that amounts to destination viewing for CFL fans and are doing the same for the summer-time TNF. They are now covering the CFL Draft and putting it into a television friendly format making a production out of it. Some games get replayed during the week and they frequently offer 30 minute "CFL Best of" segments throughout the year.

As long as Sportsnet is up to their necks with Jays and NHL commitments there is little reason for them to have interest in adding any CFL game content. Where would they fit CFL games in with Jays and NHL being top priorities? That would pretty much leave the mothercorp CBC, CTV and Global to split with none of whom IMO have the same vested desire to grow the CFL brand in the same way as TSN has proven.


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Hambone wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:17 pm
I like that the CFL and TSN operate as a partnership. TSN has worked very hard to help grow the CFL brand since getting exclusive rights. IMO that hard work has paid off for both the TSN and CFL in terms of increasing television revenues thus league revenues. If they ever went back to something like the old days of CBC and CTV splitting games there is little incentive for them to do anything more for the league than air the games they are scheduled to air. TSN built the FNF games into something that amounts to destination viewing for CFL fans and are doing the same for the summer-time TNF. They are now covering the CFL Draft and putting it into a television friendly format making a production out of it. Some games get replayed during the week and they frequently offer 30 minute "CFL Best of" segments throughout the year.

As long as Sportsnet is up to their necks with Jays and NHL commitments there is little reason for them to have interest in adding any CFL game content. Where would they fit CFL games in with Jays and NHL being top priorities? That would pretty much leave the mothercorp CBC, CTV and Global to split with none of whom IMO have the same vested desire to grow the CFL brand in the same way as TSN has proven.
Agreed. I would much rather keep everything in the Bell Media family but try to get wider exposure by simulcasting all CFL playoff games or at least the Grey Cup on CTV as well as TSN. NFL popularity and Super Bowl viewership have grown in Canada in part due to the fact that the NFL gets much wider exposure on CTV and other mainstream networks.


"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy
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Hambone
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I don't know that simulcasting games on CTV makes much sense. The 2 networks would basically be splitting their viewership. TSN/RDS doing all the heavy lifting all year long to promote the CFL and build their own base only to have the Grey Cup go to CTV be it in its entirety or as a simulcast would be not unlike when the Canucks hosted the Heritage Classic and Torts gave the start to Lack instad of Luongo. ESPN might have something to say about that given they have a 20% stake in TSN.


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TSN just announced they will be starting a new CFL show. CFL2020 hosted by Rod Smith will be airing Fridays at 4:30PT starting this coming Friday. No doubt it will be repeated a few times during the week.

https://www.tsn.ca/tsn-announces-all-ne ... -1.1484499


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