TSN ruined a bit of their good karma during this wonderful run of a World Junior tourney when they missed out on the Russia/USA semi final. Operators at the Sports Network were left to explain to callers why the network was not showing the much anticipated showdown. Instead viewers were provided the regular season finale of ESPN's Sunday night football, a meaningless game between Dallas and the New York Giants! Normally the NFL is major a crowd pleaser, but on this night it was decidedly the nation's second choice.
As it turns out the folks at TSN were in between a rock and hard place, they were committed to the NFL broadcast due to contractual arrangements governing the entire season of games. Thus they were in the rather horrible spot of having to deny Canadians of a much wanted game.
There are questions being asked as to why TSN did not farm the game out to the Maple Leaf Network (available to those folks with fancy satellite systems or digital boxes) but they were locked into a US college hockey match up apparently. Why not send it to the Outdoor Life Network much like they did during their World Cup Soccer coverage?
Better yet for the rest of us, one wonders why TSN didn't offer the game to the Score, it's more or less available on all Cable systems across the country and would have no doubt been salivating at the opportunity to provide some hockey, then again perhaps they were stuck with their wall to wall coverage of College football.
Regardless, TSN did eventually put the game on the air, Monday night almost a full 24 hours after the main event (enterprising junior hockey fans listened to the game live on the FAN 590 which has been providing comprehensive coverage and play by play of World Junior action) no doubt most Canadians only tuned in for the last ten minutes to watch the Russians taunt the American players and crowd. Helping us to work up to a genuine dislike of their showboating style and comments the last few games.
For TSN it was a rare screw up in what has otherwise been excellent coverage of the prestigious tournament. Coverage which has been well received by Canadians, who will most likely set a new record for viewership with Tuesday's Russia/Canada showdown.