Lords of Illusion

Under the Scenes

Naked on the Cutting Room Floor

Inside the Two and Two

Covering the Bases

Know When To Fold 'Em

Set Etiquette: 10 Simple Rules

Don't Snooze, Schmooze


-First Canadian sports network to have a woman –- Jody Vance –- solo host a live national sports news program.

-Consists of four separate channels: East, Ontario, West, Pacific.

-Broadcast the final game Wayne Gretzky played in Canada (Ottawa April 15, 1999) New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators at the Corel Centre: 2-2 tie

-Highest rated program: Final of the 2002 Women's under 19 world championship of soccer broadcast to 914,000 people.

-Sportsnet went on the air October 9, 1998.

-In 2004, Sportsnet broadcast more programming in high-definition than any other broadcaster in Canada.

-Will join TSN and CTV to broadcast the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver.

Source: Sportsnet




Covering the Bases

By Ken Rodney

By the time veteran sportscaster
Jim Van Horne signs on the air for the first edition of Sportsnet News, most of the work has already been done. Interviews have been cut, story lineups decided and graphics placed in queue ready to pop on
the screen at the right moments. This, however, is live TV and anything can happen.

On one particular night, the wrong graphic introduced the story about
Wayne Gretzky and the NHL lockout. The mistake was handled so flawlessly that viewers at home never knew it happened. When the show broadcast a second time to the Sportsnet Ontario region, this blip had been ironed out, never to be seen again. On a sports broadcast, errors like this are taken in stride.

“I make mistakes all the time,” senior audio technician John Larmand says. “Some of them are bad and some of them no one notices. I used to get all upset and panic but now I’m like, ‘I apologize, that was me.’ When it’s live TV you can’t turn back. Lots goes wrong, let’s react and keep going.”

To the viewers at home, it may seem like a one-person show. But to get that one person on the air takes the combined effort of countless people.

“It’s a team that succeeds and the behind the scenes people are vital to making it work,” says Scott Morrison director of news and hockey. “If one piece breaks down the next person feels it and it all has to come together – it does most days very smoothly.”

The action begins for the Toronto-based Sportsnet crew at 1:30 p.m. The daily meeting is held to discuss the focus and direction of the broadcast and the stories being chased to fill 30 minutes of airtime. Another meeting is held three hours later to solidify the story lineup and make last minute additions or subtractions to the show. The program, however, is produced right up to the last second. Even when the show is on air, modifications are made on the fly.

“We have it all scripted in a lineup but sometimes there are changes and you just go along with the changes,” Sportsnet News director Michelle Jones says. “So if there is breaking news, we have to change things around. It’s fine as long as you look forward enough to make sure it can fit.”

The onscreen talent receives all the viewer accolades when the broadcast runs well. But they also take all the blame when things don’t go quite as planned. They place their trust in the control room, the people responsible for running the show.


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