Thursday, February 17, 2011

Whitecaps Local Broadcast Options Plus Other News

With TSN gaining MLS national rights in Canada to broadcast 13 Whitecaps matches on TSN/TSN2, there are 21 games available to be aired locally.  The Whitecaps have stated they will try to broadcast every match this season and as tweeted by Matt Kieltyka of Metro News the Caps hope to get it finalized in the next few days.  In addition to the games the Caps would most likely require their new partner to put together a weekly recap show with features on players.

If the Caps are looking to reach the widest audience then Rogers Sportsnet or CBC would be the obvious options.  Both networks have the announcers in place as well as the large potential audience and Sportsnet has multiple channels in their hand.  Since Sportsnet is owned by Rogers there may be some conflict with Bell being major sponsors of the Whitecaps.  Will CBC feel it's worth the cost to produce games for just a western Canadian audience instead of the national audience it normally did in the past.

The Soccer only network Gol TV is another option as they have been partners with TFC over the years but the biggest problem for the Whitecaps is that Gol TV is a specialty channel.  Only hardcore fans will pay the price in order to get this channel which will negatively affect the Whitecaps from reaching a mainstream audience.  The Whitecaps could go for a local station like CTV, Global or City TV but these networks don't have a background and they will not preempt primetime programming.

A wildcard for local broadcasts may be Shaw, a local cable company, who are currently applying for a licence with the CRTC to create a new sports network.  The team and Shaw have had a long relationship in producing games locally and Shaw could see the Whitecaps as an opportunity to get a foot in the door and give legitamacy.  The network, if not national, will definitely be available to fans across Western Canada but will the Whitecaps risk the speed bumps which come from setting up a brand new network and when will it be ready?


The search for forwards also continues as there more and more rumours popping up on the internet, especially today.  The Whitecaps themselves announced that Brazilian striker Camilo will be trialing with the team on their second trip to Arizona.  He had been with TFC but has switched with no apparent word whether he was released or left on his own.  The Daily Mirror has also reported that the Whitecaps are showing an interest in League One striker Adam Boyd who is also a free agent.

There are a couple of players reported by MLS Rumors website that are being considered by the Whitecaps are French striker Jérémie Aliadière and Brazilian striker Ewerthon with the latter being considered for DP money.  While all four players are free agents and would not cost the Caps any transfer fees, Ewerthon would be the biggest catch and would be worth a DP slot.  The same site also claimed that the Caps were rejected by Argentine midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme as he wanted to stay one more year with Boca.  Of course the potential additions of Aliadière and Ewerthon are rumours and the website admits that it comes from an anonymous source so we will see in the next few days if anything comes of the speculation.

After losing residency product Ethan Gage overseas earlier this year, the Whitecaps may lose another as Kyle Porter is now trialing with the Montreal Impact of the NASL.  Porter has been offered more money than the development contract he will most likely get with the Whitecaps.  However if the Impact want Porter to join the MLS with them in 2012, they would have to offer the Whitecaps compensation as he is considered a homegrown product for the Caps by MLS rules.


On Thursday, the Whitecaps kicked off their campaign to get mainstream fans excited for the 2011 season in MLS.  It included a website launch (, giving away of team scarves to locals and donning local monuments with Whitecaps gear.  The Whitecaps have promised more promotional events and giveaways leading up to the opening match on March 19.  The Caps have promised something special for season ticket holders as well in the coming weeks.

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