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Rogers Media today announced a name change for its sports radio stations in both Toronto and Calgary.

The FAN 590 in Toronto and The FAN 960 in Calgary will now be known as Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 and Sportsnet Radio FAN 960.
 

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I'm sure its been in the works for a while. Just really stupid.

Just call it Sportsnet Radio but Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 is just dumb.
 

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Yea, to drop 'The Fan' nickname after 15 years of it being used on 590 and before that up the dial on 1430 would just be suicide, as it has value in Toronto. This will ease the transition before they drop it for good.

And does this have anything to do with TSN radio? I sure as hell think it does, and I would be surprised if TSN continues to allow its staff to go on Sportsnet Radio...

As for the new logo, here it is...



Damn I don't like it..

Also new audio for the top of the hour... http://www.sportsnet.ca/more/2011/01/12/fan590-id3.mp3
 

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Interesting post over at Radioinsight. Looks as if Rogers plans to rebrand more stations and launch a Sportsnet radio network?

Our NetGnomes have discovered a batch of domains which lineup with existing Rogers properties. The five cable networks that make up Rogers Sportsnet have domains with radio inserted: Sportsnet1Radio.com, SportsnetRadioEast.com, SportsnetRadioOntario.com, SportsnetRadioWest.com, and SportsnetRadioPacific.com
http://radioinsight.com/blog/netgnomes/32192/canadian-sports-radio-wars-coming/
 

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Makes sense. AM Radio stations are easy to get, cheap to operate, and have large coverage areas.

String a bunch together and you can create a whole network across the country and use much of the same programming on multiple stations across the country.
 

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I'm sure its been in the works for a while.
Ya sure it has, they just decided to announce it the day after it becomes public that TSN is looking at launching their own radio network. Sorry I am not buying it, this is a pre-emptive strike in retaliation to the news from TSN that came out yesterday (but has been rumoured for a while now).

Sportsnet is a weak brand IMO, aside from MLB and some regional hockey games they have nothing to offer (Sportsnet One is a joke and just repeats the same crap over and over again with very little live sports). TSN is the Sports leader in Canada and always has been. TSN has all the major sports properties and has been a force since its inception. I think TSN Radio will do well, supplemented with programming from ESPN Radio in the US. They already have a mini-network built in with sports stations in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver as well as a station that can be re-branded (CHUM 1050) in Toronto.

Looks like the Rogers-Bell Sports Wars have begun!
 

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Yea, except Rogers could be on the verge of owning MLSE. If they did, they would have the ability - once the contracts expire - to put all regional cables TV/radio for Leafs, Raptors and Jays under the Sportsnet brand. If they wind up getting national NHL rights when the next round of contract talks begin - a theory out there is CTV/TSN will bid for the weekday/weekend games and CBC/Rogers may bid for the package - then what does that leave for TSN?
 

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TSN has CFL, NFL, NHL, basketball, Curling, Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, Auto Racing, international hockey events. I am pretty sure TSN would have first crack at renewing a lot of these properties and if they do then what's left for Sportsnet outside of MLB?! I can see bidding wars erupting in the future between these two, who knows how much they will end up paying for some of these leagues/events?! Of course if they end up paying more then subscribers will pay more as well so maybe a bidding war is not such a good thing?!

As for your comment about NHL contracts, I don't really understand what you are saying?! You say TSN might bid for weekday/weekend while Rogers is bidding for a package- what is this package and how is it different from weekday/weekend matches?!

Also, who cares if TSN doesn't have the rights to the Leafs or Raptors- outside of Toronto who really cares about these lowly, pathetic teams?!
 

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Um, I would say national advertisers care about the Toronto sports since its the largest market... but that is neither here nor there...

The NHL's deal with TSN and CBC runs till 2014. CBC gets the Saturday night national game and TSN has the Wednesday night national game. The rumored word is that CTV/TSN will bid for the Wednesday/Saturday national package, and Rogers will join up with CBC in a bid as well.

Also, its worth noting that the NFL is split between Sportsnet/TSN and one of the main reasons the CFL didn't sign with Sportsnet last time because they didn't have a national feed, now they have Sportsnet One. Rogers start pecking away at what TSN has and suddenly, TSN isnt as strong as it appears...
 

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Bill Watters terminated as a Sportsnet Analyst cause of Rebranding

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2011/01/13/16886116.html

In any event, Watters is no longer a hockey analyst at Rogers Sportsnet, the victim, it appears, of Rogers’ re-branding of its all-sports radio station, The FAN 590. Starting this week, the station is now called Sportsnet Radio FAN 590. Apparently, Rogers Sportsnet no longer wants anyone on the network who works for a rival radio station, at least in the Toronto market. The personable Watters hosts The Bill Watters Show weekdays from 4-7 p.m. on Talk Radio AM 640.

Watters, who has been with Rogers Sportsnet since 2003, took the news with a grain of salt.

“I had eight years there and it was great fun,” he told the Toronto Sun on Thursday night. “There’s no need to be bitter about it.

“I enjoyed my time there,” Watters added. “What can you say? I’m not as happy I was yesterday, I’ve had some enjoyment taken out of my life, but I’m certainly not bitter.”
 

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Ya sure it has, they just decided to announce it the day after it becomes public that TSN is looking at launching their own radio network. Sorry I am not buying it, this is a pre-emptive strike in retaliation to the news from TSN that came out yesterday (but has been rumoured for a while now).
Clearly you don't know how things work at Rogers!

The decision to rebrand two radio stations in major markets and then come up with new branding, PR, marketing etc. takes far more than one day.

A major decision like that would require the blessing of many VP's, Senior VP's, executive VP's, president and CEO. Just getting everyone in the room to discuss would take a week. Then you'd have to decide, then brief everyone, then brief the marketing, PR, and creative groups.

Cripes a Press Release like this would take a week or so to get written and approved!

I suspect the SportsNet Radio strategy has been discussed for a long time at Rogers, probably was decided before SportsNet One went on air.
 

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I agree with hugh, this was probably in the works for a bit. Now is it coincidental that the name change happened right when TSN came on the record as saying they were looking into reviving the old 'TEAM' network? Yep. Did it possibly push up the timing of the announement? Perhaps. But this wasn't a rash decision by the powers that be over at Rogers. It had have had to been in the works for a bit.
 

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A bunch of articles on the name change and Bill Watters getting canned by Sportsnet as a result of having his radio show over at CFMJ-AM (640 Toronto).

In any event, Watters is no longer a hockey analyst at Rogers Sportsnet, the victim, it appears, of Rogers’ re-branding of its all-sports radio station, The FAN 590. Starting this week, the station is now called Sportsnet Radio FAN 590. Apparently, Rogers Sportsnet no longer wants anyone on the network who works for a rival radio station, at least in the Toronto market. The personable Watters hosts The Bill Watters Show weekdays from 4-7 p.m. on Talk Radio AM 640.
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2011/01/13/16886116.html

Well, Cesar Romero, is no longer a 2 trick pony. The confusion I complained of last night. Watters on Sportsnet tv and on the radio on 640 Toronto running head to head with Sportsnet radio fan 590 Toronto.

How did Rogers deal with the confusion? They apparently told old Cesar that his services on the tv side were no longer needed.
http://torontosportsmedia.com/sports-and-toronto/cesar-takes-one-on-the-chin/10010

In the wake of reports that CTV's CHUM RADIO is considering the launch of a radio network branded with the name of cable sports network TSN, ROGERS Sports CJCL-A (THE FAN 590)/TORONTO and CFAC-A (FAN 960)/CALGARY are being rebranded with the name of TSN's rival cable network ROGERS SPORTSNET.
http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/85813/fan-590-toronto-fan-960-calgary-add-sportsnet-bran

If you needed further proof that TSN radio was coming, well, here you go.

It’s impossible not to see a connection between the name change (or “re-branding”) and the potential of a new competitor in the space. The war is coming. The Pelly/Moore era has officially begun!
http://torontosportsmedia.com/sports-and-toronto/radio-wars-starts-earlier-expected/9993

The FAN 590 is getting a facelift.

Rogers Media announced Wednesday that the all-sports radio station will be renamed Sportsnet Radio FAN 590. Rogers’ other sports station, Calgary’s FAN 960, will also now carry the Rogers Sportsnet tag.
http://www.thestar.com/sports/tvradio/article/920784--fan-gets-a-new-name

I think we will make both brands stronger,” said Scott Moore, president of Rogers Broadcasting. “Brands sell brands, and we have two strong ones. Putting them together will strengthen our identity to the listener and the viewer.”

The rebranding is just part of a larger Rogers plan (Rogers also owns Marketing magazine) to leverage radio and TV sports experts across both platforms and online, said Moore.
http://www.marketingmag.ca/news/media-news/rogers-puts-tv-on-the-radio-with-fan-sports-rebranding-21163
 

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Damn, too bad I was on holidays and couldn't hear Bobcat talking about this. I'm sure he had some good stuff to say LOL.
 

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Damn, too bad I was on holidays and couldn't hear Bobcat talking about this. I'm sure he had some good stuff to say LOL.
Actually, like you McCown was on holidays and he comes back today. I am sure he will make some light of the changes that happened while he was gone during the local 3-4pm hour.
 

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From this week edition of Northeast radio watch...
There's a new brand for CANADA's biggest sports radio station: Toronto's CJCL, "THE FAN 590," is now "Sportsnet Radio FAN 590." The brand comes from another group of media outlets owned by parent company Rogers Media, the Rogers Sportsnet services that operate regionally across Canada - and it's a counterpunch against the announcement last week that Canada's other big sports-TV player, CTV's TSN, is contemplating the launch of a "TSN Radio" network.

Rogers also launched the "Sportsnet Radio" brand on another of its sports stations last week, CFAC (960) in Calgary; CTV, if it decides to move ahead with "TSN Radio," has plenty of stations on which the network could air, including existing "Team" sports signals in Ottawa (CFGO 1200) and Montreal (CKGM 990) that survived the last ill-fated attempt to launch a nationwide sports radio network a decade ago. (The Toronto flagship of the old "Team Radio Network," CHUM 1050, is now a simulcast of CTV's CP24 TV news channel.)
http://fybush.com/nerw.html
 

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More on Watters leaving Sportsnet as a result of the rebranding...
Thursday’s midseason firing of Bill Watters as hockey analyst on Rogers Sportsnet seemed to indicate that crossover media commentators were going on David Suzuki’s list of most endangered creatures great and small. Watters – till last week a member of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central panel – does a sports radio program on AM640 in Toronto which directly competes with Rogers’s Prime Time Sports in the afternoon drive slot in Toronto. Conflict.

One eminent source said that Watters's demise was the first domino to fall as loyalties were demanded from Rogers and TSN in the run-up to a possible radio war.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/sportsnet-says-goodbye-to-bill-waters/article1872261/
 
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