Sportsnet acquires Vancouver Canadians' broadcast rights

Oct 23 2018, 10:03 pm

The Vancouver Canadians are not your average short season Single-A baseball team.

Selling out most games with 6,000+ fans per game is not even close to the norm in the Northwest League. But through a beautiful ballpark in Nat Bailey Stadium, sunny weather, and smart marketing, the Canadians have succeeded with Minor League Baseball in a major market.

And now, for the first time in a long time, you’ll be able to catch Canadians games on a major television network.

The Canadians’ broadcast rights have been acquired by Sportsnet.

Six of the team’s 76 games will be televised on Sportsnet Pacific next season, which begins in late June.

All-sports radio station Sportsnet 650 will broadcast all home games and select road games, taking over from TSN 1040. The move makes sense, given that the Canadians are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, who like Sportsnet, are owned by Rogers.

Play-by-play announcer Rob Fai, who doubles as the Canadians’ director of communications, is also making the move from TSN 1040 to Sportsnet 650 to call games.

“The Canadians have been instrumental in the growth of baseball in Canada, producing Blue Jays stars such as Kevin Pillar, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez,” said Sportsnet 650 program director Craig MacEwen. “We look forward to shining the spotlight on the game’s future stars as they begin their journey in Vancouver, and delivering world-class coverage to the city’s passionate baseball fans.”

Canadians games have not been televised since 2016 when they were broadcast on Shaw TV. The franchise has never had this type of exposure before, save for brief network coverage by TSN in 1994 during the MLB work stoppage.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sportsnet to bring Canadians Baseball to fans across the province of British Columbia and across Canada,” said Canadians president Andy Dunn. “This partnership will allow fans a unique opportunity to listen to and see the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospects early in their career. We look forward to sharing the story of Canadians Baseball with everyone.”

Launching in September 2017, Sportsnet 650 continues to add to its broadcast properties. They launched with the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays, and have since added the Vancouver Giants.

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