Market players recommend buying a stock when it bottoms out. If so, Rogers Sportsnet/The FAN 590 are getting the Toronto Raptors at just the right time. The No. 2 TV sports network in ratings (but not profits) is set to announce that it and its sister radio station will be the combined broadcast homes for the Raptors starting this fall.
With its four regional channels jammed with NHL content, the plan is to put all the Raptors upcoming losses... er, games on Sportsnet’s new Xtra channel - which is set to debut shortly.
Expect play-by-play guy Matt Devlin to remain the lead dog on the TV game broadcasts. For the FAN, it will be the continuation of the relationship its has had as radio host station of the club the past few seasons. Eric Smith (who was whacked along with Armstrong in the recent purge) and Paul Jones will continue as the radio team.
What they’ll have to describe is uncertain. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo ruefully described the team’s situation on Prime Time Sports on The FAN 590 Monday. With Chris Bosh gonzo and Hedo Turkgolu wishing he was, the prospects are bleak in 2010-11. The best Colangelo could offer is that No. 1 draft pick Ed Davis might surprise a few folks. No wonder the rumour mill is suggesting the dapper Colangelo might be taking his tailored shirts elsewhere soon.
But thanks to MLSE’s creative marketing, all those hapless souls wanting to sustain their Maple Leafs addiction will keep the Raptors from playing in front of the empty houses they so richly deserve.