TSN’s draft coverage leaves something to be desired. Again.

Another draft in the books and another year where TSN dropped the ball in their coverage. In fact, they may have done a worse job this year than they did last year.

There was a lot of complaining over 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk tipping picks on Twitter last year. So this year Dunk decided not to tip picks, instead posting analysis on 3Down’s live blog after selections were made. While I had no issue with the tip picking a year ago, others did and this was a nice middle ground.

Until TSN stopped talking about who was picked.

Like last year, the switch from the TV portion of the broadcast to the online stream was plagued with problems. A year ago, it took about 10 minutes for the livestream to start working, which was unacceptable. This year, while I don’t have the exact time, I can tell that the entire third round of the draft was completed before the livestream kicked in.

Are you kidding me!?

And worse yet, when the livestream did begin, instead of telling us what we missed and catching us up, the TSN crew decided to recap the first two rounds. You know, the ones that were seen on national television.

Are you kidding me!?

This is a free piece of advice to the people at TSN who run the draft: If people are tuning in to your online stream of the draft (the one that shows the third-through-eighth rounds), they watched the first two that were broadcast on television. You don’t need to catch anyone up who is watching online. They saw it. The know who went where and when. Give us the info we missed, not the stuff you showed on nationwide television.

From there the coverage was a near disaster. If not for Twitter, the CFL’s website and the 3DownNation live blog, no one would have known who the picks were. And yes, I get that those are a lot of options, but when the league’s sole broadcast partner is showing this thing live online, we shouldn’t need secondary or tertiary options to find out who was selected. Imagine if a CFL game on TSN was being played, but they never showed you the score, so you had to search it out elsewhere. That would be ridiculous. This was that. Just give us a ticker at the bottom of the screen alerting us to who was picked. That would have been preferable to the nothing we got and would have made searching out alternative options to get that information unnecessary. Just knowing who got picked is all I ask.

But it wasn’t just not showing us, it was also not telling us. Instead of giving us insight into the latest batch of CFL rookies, the crew decided to discuss matters that only tangentially related to the draft itself. There was a good four-to-five minute conversation about Canadian quarterbacks that went absolutely nowhere. I get that the Canadian quarterback conundrum is a hot topic, but every time this comes up, it is the exact same conversation with the exact same people with the exact same points of view. We don’t need to hear it again. And we definitely don’t need to hear it instead of telling us, the viewing audience, who was just selected.

TSN should also think about changing up who they have on their draft panel. While Duane Forde is as educated on the incoming prospects as anyone in Canada, the same cannot be said for his table mates, Dave Naylor and Chris Schultz. Often times, when a player was selected, those two would give generic answers with very little substance. It added almost nothing to the presentation of the draft. TSN could greatly improve their coverage if they added people who know who these incoming players are. A current USports coach would be a fantastic place to start. Stanford head coach David Shaw is a member of the NFL Network draft panel each year, and TSN would be smart to ape that approach and add a USports coach to their broadcast. It is not like they haven’t done this in the past either. Current Ticats offensive coordinator, and former McMaster head coach, Stefan Ptaszek gave insight during TSN’s draft broadcast on more than one occasion. TSN should reach out to a university coach or two and have them on. Their knowledge would be invaluable.

TSN should also consider adding another knowledgable draft analyst to the mix. Someone like Dunk would be a great addition to the broadcast. Get people on there that know the Canadian university football landscape and can speak credibly on the players being selected. It would greatly improve the quality and content of the broadcast.

Finally, this is more a quibble, but there were way too many instances of incorrect data being presented. Players labelled Canadians who aren’t, players not labelled Canadians who are, incorrect records being displayed and so on. It is not a major thing, but it makes the product look sloppy and amateurish.

The coverage of the CFL Draft has improved dramatically over the years, but that doesn’t mean we should accept subpar coverage since it is better than no coverage. We deserve better and we should demand better. What happened Sunday with draft coverage was once again simply not good enough and TSN needs to know it.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith

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About Josh Smith (232 Articles)
Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

40 Comments on TSN’s draft coverage leaves something to be desired. Again.

  1. Scottsask // May 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm //

    The way that TSN has handled this and other coverage has been nothing short of a joke. Maybe Orridge should apply for a job?

  2. batkinson001 // May 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm //

    It was lousy coverage to be sure, just like their tv coverage.

  3. Scottsask // May 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm //

    I sure hope all of the teams got the money from the tv deal up front!

  4. Solara2000 // May 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm //

    At one point, TSN as partner meant something; today it’s a liability. The draft coverage was so superficial, other than Duane Ford’s input, that it was disgraceful.
    Unfortunately the CFL took the money and ran.
    I could go on but please not another season of ‘the panel’ and play-by-(some)-play and the colour(less) commentary.

  5. Had to have Sportscentre on instead of the draft rounds 3-8. TSN’s coverage iis so bad that even Homer Simpson is threatening never to watch it again.

  6. The optics are that TSN has pretty much lost interest in improving their CFL coverage. Perhaps the dip in ratings has made it less of a motivation to get better but the network has to assume some responsibility. They lost the NHL rights to Rogers and may be well on the way to losing the CFL when the contract opens up again if there are competitors bidding.

  7. Dunk would be great on there but doesn’t he work for Sportsnet ?? I was just happy to see the 2 hour coverage it deserves. I thought Lalji was excellent

  8. mrnehnehincognito // May 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm //

    what was so terrible about it? They can only provide what money will allow them to provide. What do you want? Bozo the clown? , The solid gold dancers?
    How’s it any worse then the NFL or NHL draft coverage? What about TSN’s free agent frenzy or trade deadline snooze fests?

  9. TSN has become TheScore

  10. Jim Sutherland // May 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm //

    TSN views the CFL as a Canadian content obligation and little more. One of Orridge’s more fire-able offenses was to extend the contract with TSN and eliminate any possibility of competition for better coverage of the league with a contract shared with other broadcasters. Another failure of TSN’s parent company is a failure to provide a CTV game of the week for the CFL-not to mention the playoffs and Grey Cup. Cord-cutters would be able to see the games and the NFL games could go on TSN for the time slot.

  11. Jimmy Breslin // May 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm //

    With only Ottawa left as a Canadian rep in the NHL playoffs and 4 relatively small market teams overall, (*Anaheim, Nashville, Ottawa & Pitts) Rogers might have another dog’s breakfast on their hands as far as ratings go, making the deal TSN has with the CFL seem like pure genius. (small dollars) Love to know which network is actually making the most or should I say losing the least.

    *while Anaheim is a potentially huge market (Calif) the fan base remains small for now.

  12. Dan Bombers // May 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm //

    Maybe one day CBC will get this back couldn’t be any worse and they can bring back walbys warriors!!

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm //

      Remember in their final years they had Sean Millington, Greg Frers and Darren Flutie as a panel?
      It was the hardest thing in the world to watch. None of them had the right personality or training to do it. Makes TSN look really good.

      • Dan Bombers // May 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm //

        Yeah they were pretty bad really just liked CBC cause you could always get it on the old farmervison out at the lake with a coat hanger !!

    • Lennywasout // May 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm //

      I don’t think the CBC will ever get enough public money to bid for CFL rights. As much as I like the CBC, cutbacks with this government supported enterprise will continue.

  13. "HAWKS" // May 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm //

    Please no!

    Not the CBC, never again.

  14. The paw // May 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm //

    Still beats having to read it in 7 point font in a newspaper a day later.

    You kids today are so spoiled…..

  15. SportsCenter had zero highlights of the draft. No commentary at all.
    Not one word about it.

  16. Noodles Romanoff // May 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm //

    If CBC does get the broadcast rights, maybe they’ll bring back those bright red jackets.

  17. I only caught the televised portion. WAY too much talking. I got the feeling that instead of the panel waiting for the picks to be made, it was the announcements of the picks that waited for the panel.

    One other thing: TSN has 4 channels now. Four. They moved to SportsCentre on the one showing the draft, had baseball on one of the others, and the remaining two? SportsCentre and SportsCentre. WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING FOUR CHANNELS IF YOU’RE GOING TO SHOW THE SAME DAMN THING ON THREE OF THEM??? (sorry for “yelling” but I really don’t understand TSN’s mentality here)

    • Mentality as in why not continue the draft coverage on one of those four channels? I’m sure everyone who has cable can find SportsCentre on at least one of the other two remaining feeds.

    • CC Rider // May 12, 2017 at 8:26 am //

      “I got the feeling that instead of the panel waiting for the picks to be made, it was the announcements of the picks that waited for the panel.”

      Likewise. almost like they were trying to give off the vibe that all kinds of negotiating and analysis was being done before the pick was submitted.

      Often, the screen would show that the team had made its choice and we’d wait for Schultzy to finish a friggin’ sentence.

      That said…It wasn’t that long ago that this was being done by conference call on a Tuesday morning, so maybe appreciate how far it’s actually come, too.

      • CC Rider // May 12, 2017 at 8:29 am //

        For that matter, can we give it a rest with the Simpsons reference already? That was what, 25 years ago? Let’s get over it already.

      • It has come a long way and it’s great that fans have better access to the league than we ever have before (through a variety of media).

        I’m long past the point of simply being happy with better access though. I’d like to see continuous improvement, and TSN seems to be failing in that regard.

  18. OttawaHamiCatsFan // May 12, 2017 at 8:01 am //

    I have to agree with Josh on TSN’s draft coverage. I thought overall the quality of the production was very poor. While I am not an NFL fan there are many different sites and TV coverage of the draft and pretty much all were vastly superior to what TSN showed. I have been overall disappointed with the CFL coverage from TSN for many seasons now. Playoff games should be shown on CTV rather then TSN so the league has maximum exposure. The Grey Cup game not appearing on CTV is a travesty and something the next commissioner should fight to have happen. No online streaming package offered for games is a serious misstep by both the league and TSN as well. Many Canadians like myself cut the cord and will not go back to archaic cable/satellite anymore. My wife and I purchase the MLB streaming package each season and would love to do the same for CFL. If the CFL wants to reach as much youth as possible it is beyond time for it to embrace technology and move on into the 21st century.

  19. Lorne Raber // May 12, 2017 at 10:21 am //

    The TSN coverage was amateur hour at its worst! For all the money they spent on CFL coverage, they just went CHEAP! Bring the teams to different cities and make the draft like an event – look at the NFL, NHL. There is always a lot of hype, bring the fans back and make the CFL successful.

    • Solara2000 // May 12, 2017 at 10:44 am //

      Amen! Take a page out of CFL Week held for the first time this year. Think outside the box.

  20. TSN is brokeass.

  21. STH1988 // May 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm //

    Hard to make this event sexy. Hard to make any draft sexy. Sorry…I was ok with the coverage. I didn’t try the on line portion

  22. It’s obvious – TSN has lost its desire to be professional concerning the CFL
    Only Because
    The Canadian football product in Toronto stinks

  23. mrnehnehincognito // May 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm //

    LOl Final thought on this
    To all the complainers.. Guess what. You still watched it! Why would TSN do anything different if that’s the case?

    • To keep us watching. I didn’t care for carrying on with the livestream… maybe I’m in the minority, but maybe not.

  24. mrnehnehincognito // May 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm //

    LOL I totally remember the Simpson episode the picture is referring to. Even the Simpson writers had to knock the riders. I guess your futility is world famous!

  25. Scottsask // May 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm //

    They only scored 3 rouges that whole season!

  26. Schultz and Naylor were awful- cringe worthy. Ford was the only reason to tune in. Disappointing. And I feel for all those families who had a son, grandson, brother, nephew, etc drafted that couldn’t receive decent coverage.

  27. rogieshan // May 13, 2017 at 2:22 am //

    For a few seasons, TSN would not list the starting offensive & defensive players on the field; instead, it would show you a single still of three key players to watch on each team. The CFL is all about the players – PROMOTE them. It was so minor-league.

  28. It Time for CFL To Find a New Parter to Broadcast it games Tsn is very lacking and more and more people are unpluging from Cable Back to CBC Maybe

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