Hamilton’s media world moved into a new universe Thursday afternoon when it was announced that the city will be getting its first all-sports radio station, TSN Radio 1150.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are partnering with TSN, which is owned by Bell Media. It also owns Hamilton radio stations Funny 820 and CKOC, and is the sole TV broadcast partner of the Canadian Football League.
In the lead-up to the official rebrand to TSN Radio this fall, Hamilton’s Classic Hits 1150 CKOC will deliver game broadcast starting with the Ticats’ June 8 preseason game against Ottawa. Broadcast teams for Tiger-Cats games on the station will be confirmed in the coming days, and additional programming details will be announced in the months ahead, according to today’s press release.
TSN has all-sports stations in several major Canadian cities, and some of them hold them hold the broadcast rights for the local CFL team. Last week, TSN’s parent company, Bell Media, and Toronto businessman Larry Tanenbaum bought the Argonauts from Hamilton’s David Braley. Their games were already being broadcast on TSN’s Toronto radio station.
The Tiger-Cats have not renewed their radio broadcast-rights contract with CHML for the 2015 season.
The CFL is holding a major meet-and-greet with major supporters, partners, advertisers and sponsors Thursday night at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, and it’s expected the new Hamilton station will be a major topic of conversation there.
As The Spectator reported last year, the Ticats have also been central to investigating the potential of developing either a new men’s professional soccer league for Canada or a Canadian division of an existing pro league. TSN fits that need, too. It’s broadcasting the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and would likely look favourably upon partnering with a new soccer league, as it does with the CFL.
Combined with this summer’s Pan Am Games, improving GO Service, the building boom downtown and the switch from quaint but unprofitable Ivor Wynne Stadium to the modern economics of Tim Hortons’ Field, an all-sports radio station would be another important part of the emerging portrait of the New Hamilton.