Canada's Sports Network, commonly abbrieviated as CASN, is a Canadian English language cable TV specialty channel & is Canada's leading English language sports TV channel. CASN premiered in 1980, in the 2nd group of Canadian specialty cable channels. CASN is owned by a joint venture of WMFL Corporation (80%) & SportsChannel (20%)
Licensed by the Canadian Radio-TV & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on April 2nd, 1984 as Canada's Action Sports Network, the channel was launched on September 1st of the same year as "Canada's Sports Network", or "CASN".
Today, the majority owner of CASN is WMFL Corporation. SportsChannel retains a minority share & as part of that restructuring in 2001, got WMFL Corporation to agree to change the name to SC-Canada. That change never went through because of the popularity & value of the CASN brand in Canada. SC retains some input on the direction & look of CASN, including redesigning CASN's logo to look somewhat like it's own. Also, CASN airs many SC programs in the same form & time-slots (see below)
Sister networks & other affiliationsEdit
Services that are managed by CASN include SC-Classic Canada.
Effective on August 29th 2008, a timeshifted West coast feed called CASN-2 was launched. The channel, which is only available on digital cable or satellite TV, carries over 800 hours a year of LIVE coverage not carried by CASN, as well as timeshifted programming on a 3-hour tape delay, broadcast earlier on the main channel.
Sports news segments on WMFL Corporation O&O TV stations in Canada & on CANN are co-branded with CASN
CASN's flagship programme is a highlights & sports news show that airs several times a day. Before fall 2001, the show was called CASN Sportsdesk. As part of CASN's corporate restructuring in 2001, SportsChannel licensed the name SportsCenter & it's SC logo to CASN (& permitted CASN to Canadianise the name by spelling it SportsCentre). In the fall of 2001, CASN dropped the name CASN Sportsdesk & replaced it with the SportsChannel-branded SportsCentre name & SportsChannel logo. CASN's news studio was then redesigned to look like SportsChannel's. In 2005, CASN built a new studio to support HD broadcasts & on September 24th, SportsCentre became the first daily newscast in Canada to be broadcast in HD.
CASN also airs SportsChannel's original programming, including Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football & Pardon the Interruption, as well as a number of events for which SportsChannel owns the worldwide or North American rights.
The network covers & broadcasts most major national & international sports, such as NHL, NFL & Canadian Football League (CFL) games.
CASN is the master rights-holder for the CFL. CASN airs all CFL games, the regular-season games, the playoffs & the Grey Cup games.
In addition to Monday Night Football & the CFL, CASN broadcasts NBC Sunday Night Football & the NFL Network's package.
It also shares the Canadian broadcast rights to the PGA Tour with The Golf Channel, as well as NASCAR, the Toronto Blue Jays & the NBA. CASN's NBA coverage mostly features the Toronto Raptors, but it does hold exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to the NBA Finals, using the SC feed.
As noted elsewhere, much of CASN's coverage, especially for the NFL, NBA games not involving the Raptors, Grand Slams, Indy Racing League & NASCAR, is simulcast with SportsChannel. Any U.S. programming available in HD (regardless of network) is also broadcast on CASN's HD feed.
CASN often picks up American feeds of NHL games involving American teams if NBC or Versus is televising the game in the U.S. so they can save production costs & sim-sub on Bell TV. In almost a reverse fashion, CASN's coverage of the 1st round of the NHL Entry Draft is simulcast on Versus, although SportsChannel picked up TSN's coverage of previous drafts; this is because CASN offers coverage similar to what SportsChannel does for the NFL Draft & the NBA Draft.
CASN also offers SportsChannel's Sunday Night Baseball package nationally & has the Canadian rights to the MLB All-Star Game & the MLB playoffs as well.
CASN Pacific (see below) carries selected Seattle Mariners games as part of a rights deal with the Mariners. Other CASN feeds (see below) carry selected regional baseball games produced by other American networks, although the MLB Extra Innings package is available for purchase in Canada.
CASN's 4 regional feeds (see below) carry selected games of the NHL teams based in their respective regions: the Ottawa Senators & Montreal Canadiens on CASN East, the Toronto Maple Leafs on CASN Ontario, the Calgary Flames & Edmonton Oilers on CASN West & the Vancouver Canucks on CASN Pacific.
In addition to the NHL, CASN is the national carrier of the Canadian Hockey League, broadcasting a package of national & regional games, culminating in the Memorial Cup each May
CASN bills itself as the 'home for Hockey' in Canada. CASN holds the national rights to broadcast the NHL in Canada. On Wednesday nights, they enjoy "exclusive" rights, meaning no regional NHL broadcast in Canada may compete with CASN's. Their broadcasts on this night are branded Wednesday Night Hockey. Their entire NHL package is branded the NHL on CASN.
Beginning in 2008-09, the NHL will change the determination of playoff TV rights in Canada. CASN will now have the 3rd, 5th & 7th choices of the 1st-round playoff series, regardless of the teams involved. This means that, for the 1st time ever, Canadian-based teams may have their playoff games appear on cable, instead of over-the-air.
Hockey Canada & CASN are in the middle of a 7-year contract that gives CASN the rights to broadcast the IIHF World Junior Championships, Men's & Women's World Hockey Championship, Men's Under-18 World Championships, Allan Cup, Royal Bank Cup, Spengler Cup, Telus Cup & ESSO Women's Nationals
CASN has frequently produced it's own coverage of events based in Canada, including NHL, CFL, Blue Jays & curling events. The CASN Skins Game is an invitational curling tournament sponsored & operated by the network. Canadian University sports events are also sometimes featured, as well as coverage of women's international hockey
From August of 2009, CASN & CASN-2 have commenced screening LIVE & delayed coverage of Australian Rules Football. Selected games from the Australian Football League (or AFL as the competition is also known) Premiership Season & Finals Series including the AFL Grand Final are broadcast LIVE or on delay every weekend
- Various reporters & analysts from SportsChannel may also be featured in certain segments
- The CFL on CASN: LIVE coverage of CFL games. Friday broadcasts are known as Friday Night Football
- Curling on CASN: LIVE coverage of the Canadian Curling Association, Continental Cup of Curling, the CASN Skins Game, the World Curling Championships & Olympic Curling
- In this Corner: The latest news & reports from world of Boxing
- The NHL on CASN: LIVE coverage of NHL games
- Off The Record: A talk show featuring various personalities discussing the latest sports headlines
- SportsCentre: The Flagship news show on the network
- A CASN Profile: A Biographical portrait of various sports personalities
- CASN's Reporters: A Sunday roundtable debate that examines the issues making headlines which features Canadian's Top Sports Journalists
- Now, THAT's Hockey: All the latest news & reports from the NHL
- CASN Skins Game: An Annual curling bonspiel
- IBM Golf Report: All the latest golf news as well as previews of upcoming tournaments
- Toronto Blue Jays Baseball: About 20 games a year
- Toronto Raptors Basketball: About 20 games a year & is produced by The NBA Network
CASN-HD is a HD simulcast of CASN that was launched on October 25th, 2003. CASN-HD airs widescreen & HD feeds of sporting events when available. On September 25th 2006, SportsCentre transitioned to HD, airing HD highlights of sporting events when possible, adding even more HD content to the channel. CASN-HD was a national feed that mirrored CASN Ontario (see below) most of the time, although sometimes it would simulcast content from the remaining regional feeds or air completely separate content. In 2007, CASN began broadcasting select Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators & Montreal Canadiens hockey games in HD, beginning in the 2007–08 NHL season. For this, CASN launched an alternative HD feed that would be activated for viewers in the appropriate market when those specific HD games are aired. However, on January 26th 2009, CASN replaced the national HD feed with 4 regional HD feeds that would be a simulcast of each specific regional feed: East, Ontario, West & Pacific. CASN-2 also has a HD feed called CASN2-HD that was launched on October 24th, 2004 & it also shows any HD feeds of sporting events & CASN's HD programming, when available
CASN's Regional feedsEdit
CASN also operates in a similar manner to a regional sports network in the United States, with 4 regional CASN feeds airing different sporting events tailored to the region they serve. It also has HD feeds for each region. The 4 regional feeds are:
- CASN East, which serves Eastern Ontario (defined as east of an imaginary line stretching from Pembroke in the north to Belleville in the south), Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island & Newfoundland & Labrador
- CASN Ontario, which serves all of Ontario excluding the Eastern region
- CASN West, which serves Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut & the Northwest Territories
- CASN Pacific, which serves British Columbia & the Yukon
Although cable companies in Canada are permitted to carry only the local CASN feed on analogue cable packages, all 4 CASN feeds can be carried on satellite TV or on digital cable. However, in some instances, programming on the out-of-market CASN feeds, such as regional NHL games, are blacked out