Toronto Baseball Guys
Monday, August 16, 2010
  Rogers Sportsnet Wha?????
So late Saturday night, I settle in to catch the latter innings of Brett Cecil and Co. dominating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California. Sadly, I had as much trouble finding the game as Cecil had with the Angels.

Rogers Sportsnet was not showing the game, but flashed a graphic informing me that the game could be found on the newly launched and innovatively named Sportsnet One.

Ah yes, I recall a good deal of droning hip-hop music telling me that this move was imminent - the creation of a station dedicated to all of the live sporting events that could not be covered by the existing FOUR Sportsnet stations.

Oh well, I suppose this simply reflects the tremendous number of sports available. Just this past weekend you had, in addition to baseball, the PGA Championship, The Rogers Cup of Tennis, the Argos game, NFL preseason and a new season of the EPL which, near as I can tell, is devoted to a group of British chaps who enjoy kicking a ball around a large pasture to no particular effect.

Which of these, I wondered, was bumping the Jays from their traditional perch? And so I tuned in to Sportsnet Ontario to find... the movie "Rudy," the heart-warming documentary about a Hobbit who wants to play college football.

This was followed by "The Big Game," which sounds promising but is, in fact, a poker cash game. Hey, what could be better than watching a bunch of guys with lots more money than me sitting around a table and winning even more money?

THIS is why my beloved Jays have been banished to channel 394?!? - a number which causes traditional analog cable TVs to explode? What's next, Himalayan Tiddlywinks? Competitive Flossing?

Oh, and the information guide on ol' 394 claims that Rogers Sportsnet One is free through September... leading one to believe that at the end of September it will be a whole lot less free...

Suddenly, my cynical side is starting to suspect that the creation of this channel was not in response to the ever-expanding global buffet of athletic competition, but to further line the already deep pockets of the Rogers Empire.

$12 hot dogs and now THIS? The Blue Jays are actually creating a bit of a buzz for the first time in ages, drawing terrific TV ratings, and the response is to sequester games on yet another pricey digital specialty channel.

At a time when Rogers should be doing everything to get the Jays in front of more eyeballs and create new fans, they will instead fleece the existing fanbase for few dollars more. This is what I believe Kierkegaard described as "a dick move."

I guess they had to figure out a way to pay for Ricky Romero's new contract.

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