• Daniel Squizzato

      As a kid, Squizz spent a lot of time playing soccer, writing and getting overly excited about frivolous things. Not much has changed: he still plays (badly), he still writes (having been published in outlets such as Maclean's and The Globe & Mail) and still has plenty of irrational passion (just wait until the next time the men's national team plays against Honduras).

    • Grant Surridge

      Grant has no soccer playing career to speak of, and probably hasn't been following Canadian soccer as long as you have, but he does spend vast amounts of time reading about soccer online. A proud, self-loathing ex-Winnipeger, Grant also supports Chelsea FC. He writes about the Canadian mens' national team, as well as Canada's rivals in Central America and the Caribbean.
    • Why are Canadians being shut out of MLS MatchDay Live?

      With the start of the Major League Soccer season less than two weeks away, many Canadian fans have likely signed up for MLS MatchDay Live, a web-streaming service that permits viewers to watch games online at a cost of around $40 for the season.

      But as of Sunday morning, fans in Canada -- even those who had already signed up for the service, credit card details and all -- were greeted with the following message on the MatchDay Live page: "You are accessing this page from a restricted territory. MLS MatchDay Live is not available outside of the United States."

      This, despite the fact that fans in Canada had been permitted to register for the service as recently as two days ago -- and despite the fact that MLSsoccer.com itself unequivocally states: "MLS MATCHDAY LIVE is available in the United States and Canada."

      So, what happened?
      Two league sources told Canadian Soccer News via email that MLS is still working out the details of its Canadian MatchDay Live package for the 2011 season, in the wake of the league's new television deal in this country. The sources requested anonymity because the arrangement has not yet been finalized.

      (Updated 7 p.m. ET Sunday) Last month, TSN signed a six-year deal to be the official broadcaster of MLS in Canada. Canadian Soccer News contacted sources at TSN who confirmed that a deal with the league is currently being negotiated, but also requested anonymity prior to the details being finalized. One possibility that was suggested was TSN operating a service similar to MatchDay Live on its own website.

      Another source, a person familiar with MLS broadcasting rights, suggested that the issue of online highlights has been a sticking point between the league and TSN. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

      No matter the issues at play, Canadian fans will surely hope for some clarity sooner rather than later, as we count down the days to First Kick between Vancouver and Toronto.

      Canadian Soccer News will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

      With files from Ben Rycroft and Duane Rollins
      .
      Comments 17 Comments
      1. Panos Kelamis's Avatar
        Panos Kelamis -
        In my opinion this just continues the trend where the Canadian sports viewer is not allocated the same benefits as his or her American counterpart.

        Here are a couple examples:

        1. No MLB Network in Canada
        2. No NBA TV in Canada, only a Raptors-focused NBA TV Canada
        3. No NHL Network, but really does Canada need any more hockey coverage?
        4. GOLTV is not available in HD
        5. Lack of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNews & ESPN3 (the online channel that focuses on soccer and other international sports)
        6. And finally no more MLS MatchDay Live

        But what do we get:

        1. The Oprah Network - Where is the Canadian content?
        2. Swiss Chalet Channel - Really?

        In my opinion, it is just more frustration of being a sports fan in a country that is so focused on protecting its own television channels. This is not 1940s and 50s when that law was enacted, it is time to modernize and open up the airwaves and internet to all parties. If more than anything it will encourage the TSNs and Sportsnets to improve their own channels in order to compete with ESPN, etc.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        ^ And we don't have access to MLS Direct Kick either.

        The thing that annoys me is that we're 2 weeks away from the start of the season and we don't know who other than TSN will be broadcasting our games, if Vancouver games on Sportsnet will be blacked out in Ontario, who the commentators are, if we can purchase Match Day Live, etc.

        It's a problem due to the way our cable and satellite tier packages are structured - there's implications for what type of cable package you need to purchase depending on who owns the rights to the games.

        To be 2 weeks away and not have any info is not professional.

        #planbetter
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        And I felt it was a piss off when I spend the 40 bux last year only to find out TFC games for which there was no way to view where I was living were not available. The black out the whole country when it's only shown in Ontario.

        Why would they not allow people outside of the US who have no access to such channels use the service?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        If TSN paid for the rights, then ya they shouldn't have to let the league play it on matchday. Poor form, however, for MLS for advertising matchday to canadians while negotiations were in progress.
      1. hendrix's Avatar
        hendrix -
        I don't mind if they black out TFC games... I can get them on my regular cable service. I just want the games by other teams that are not broadcast locally.
      1. red card's Avatar
        red card -
        NHL network is available in Canada - it is after all a TSN/NHL run channel.

        For NBA & MLB coverage, there is enough live action on TSN, Sportsnet, Score, NBA TV to make you obese and pale if watched eveything that was available
      1. Panos Kelamis's Avatar
        Panos Kelamis -
        Quote Originally Posted by red card View Post
        NHL network is available in Canada - it is after all a TSN/NHL run channel.

        For NBA & MLB coverage, there is enough live action on TSN, Sportsnet, Score, NBA TV to make you obese and pale if watched eveything that was available
        I'm sorry I disagree about the NBA & MLB coverage in Canada. TSN cut the coverage of the All-Star game for NHL regular season highlights. It is absurd that in a city with an MLB franchise, there is no MLB Network. Yet somehow without an NFL team in Canada, we get the NFL Network. Furthermore, NBA TV Canada is Raptors-centric, there are 29 other franchises.

        The point of my post was to say that all sports other than the NHL play second fiddle on Canadian television and the recent example mentioned in the article further re-affirms that. I am curious as to what will happen when TSN begins their coverage.
      1. ag futbol's Avatar
        ag futbol -
        ^ Agreed.

        I spend two weeks in the US recently and our NBA coverage was comparably pathetic.

        It would be nice if these worthless simulcasters would at least give us the programs we want.
      1. squizz's Avatar
        squizz -
        Your frustration is understandable, Panos, but questioning the merits of the Rotisserie Channel? That's just uncalled for.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        This happens all the time in areas where the broadcasting rights aren't negotiated.
      1. Skinn's Avatar
        Skinn -
        Not saying this doesn't suck, but as a TFC fan in the States, it's been a grand pain in the ass to watch Voyageurs Cup games down here the last few years, or really anything that streams on Canadian website.
      1. CRTC_Rules's Avatar
        CRTC_Rules -
        Just wanted to add this remark. With the UBB proposal passed at the CRTC, canadians will not be able to afford MLS matchday live or any other online sports stream. Basically, you will have to pay Bell and Rogers big $$$ and possibly bend over in order to view online MLS...
      1. killgod's Avatar
        killgod -
        I'll stick to my "not so legal" online streams and watch it all.

        These companies don't deserve my money anyways.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by CRTC_Rules View Post
        Just wanted to add this remark. With the UBB proposal passed at the CRTC, canadians will not be able to afford MLS matchday live or any other online sports stream. Basically, you will have to pay Bell and Rogers big $$$ and possibly bend over in order to view online MLS...
        Thanks for your two cents, Mr. Archer.
      1. red card's Avatar
        red card -
        NBA coverage in Canada might be viewed as pathetic because based on tv ratings it is at best the #5 sport league in Canada - behind NHL, CFL & NFL and MLB. If the Raptors can barely get 150k, I doubt any non-Raptors game makes it over 50k.

        But you can't complain about live coverage of NBA as there is at least one game every day to watch and 2 games+ on about 3 days/week. Sportscentre coverage is crap - but you can say that about every sport other than hockey.

        Instead of another American centric sports channel, I would like to see channels such as Skysports, Eurosport, ESPN Asia or Desportes in Canada.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Chris Bosh took his game back to the USofA, partly because of no ESPN. So get over it. We are playing in their leaugue, and they make all the rules
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by killgod View Post
        I'll stick to my "not so legal" online streams and watch it all.

        These companies don't deserve my money anyways.
        Agreed. Unfortunately, it often seems like the best option.
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