Canadian sports enthusiasts (read: hockey fans) were shocked last December when it was announced last November that Rogers had signed an exclusive 12 year deal for NHL broadcasting rights across all platforms, including mobile. TSN, which is owned by Bell, has responded, announcing this week the launch of three new national feeds in early September: TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5. TSN has promised the expansion will lead to increased coverage of the NBA, MLS, curling, and U.S. college sports (read: not hockey).
Like Rogers, Bell has also promised a greater emphasis on streaming content, with TSN subscribers being able to access said content from their mobile devices. Both media companies’ commitments to mobile should come as no surprise, with one in three Anglophone Canadians now regularly streaming video content on their smartphones. This number is surely set to rise in the coming years, meaning the battle between the two media giants could be dictated by multi-platform experience as much as licensing agreements.
Details are scarce regarding how TSN’s September rollout will be represented on mobile, but it’s likely that Bell will be once again playing catchup to Rogers. While Rogers subscribers have access to a robust Sportsnet Now app for livestreamed sports action, Bell subscribers are stuck with the inferior TSN GO. To make matters worse, Rogers subscribers can actually use TSN GO to stream Bell’s live sports coverage, while Bell subs currently have no such opportunity with Sportsnet Now.
Let us know if you’ve recently streamed any NBA or Stanley Cup playoff games from a smartphone or tablet, and what your requirements are for the ideal mobile sports experience.