TSN (The Sports Network)

The Sports Network (TSN) was established in 1984 as Canada's first national television network devoted exclusively to sports. Currently parented by CTV (since 2001), TSN has become the most widely viewed Canadian specialty channel, with nearly 8 million subscribers. Its French language equivalent is Reseau des sports (RDS).

TSN programming runs the gamut from the most prestigious sporting events, both professional and amateur, to those just emerging onto the sports scene, and its content is predominantly Canadian. Events from the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (NHL), CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CFL), National Football League (NFL), OLYMPIC GAMES, CURLING, GOLF (PGA Tour and LPGA Tour), TORONTO BLUE JAYS baseball, F-1, NASCAR, and World Cup SOCCER all feature prominently in regular programming. The network's flagship program, Sports Centre, is its most popular news show and has helped to turn broadcasters such as a Rod Smith, Darren Dutchyshen, Blake Price and Jay Onrait into household names. In 2003 TSN signed a five-year deal with the CFL for the most extensive broadcast package to date, airing 250 CFL games over a five-year period. In 2003 the first high definition version was revealed (TSN HD), and in 2008 a live feed station, TSN2, was launched to provide additional broadcasting space.

Hockey remains one of the most popular events of the TSN lineup, and the network has exclusive rights to air hockey on Wednesday evening ("Wednesday Night Hockey.") Programming, though significantly altered, was not adversely affected by the NHL's 2004 lockout. Rather, it provided TSN an opportunity to highlight some of the lesser-known events such as extreme games, university sports and amateur competitions. In 2008 TSN acquired exclusive rights to The Hockey Theme, a theme song composed by Dolores Claman in 1968 and featured on Hockey Night in Canada for over 40 years.

See also TELEVISION PROGRAMMING.