Friday, March 30, 2007

RCS Rumour Mill

June 4, 2006

I mentioned in an earlier comment I'd try to dig up more about RCS, the new specialty sports channel ("Rugby, Cricket, Soccer") operated by Telelatino that was recently approved by the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). I'll try to get ahold of them directly, but doing some preliminary googling this weekend I came across a curious piece of gossip on an Aussie Rules forum:

I have confirmation that "RCS Television" is the code name for Setanta Sports Canada. This channel MIGHT be of interest to Aussie Rules Footy fans in 2007.

(Note that FOX Sports World Canada has rights to Aussie Rules in 2006, and that the international TV rights distributor to Aussie Rules in 2007 hasn't been determined yet.)

As for the code name "Soccer Television", it doesn't take a genium to figure out what that channel will eventually be: --- Soccer ------- Canada.

One of my moles at Canwest Global in Winnipeg said this about the future of FOX Sports World Canada: "...the writing is on the wall..."

Canwest Global's CRTC licence for FOX Sports World Canada will expire 31 August 2007.

Canwest Global's programming sublicence with FOX Sports Int'l for FOX Soccer Channel programming will expire 30 September 2006.

Canwest Global also has a separate programming production deal to supply FOX Sports World Report to FOX Soccer Channel. That deal runs through 30 September 2007.

I can't swear by the credibility of the poster -- it is the internet after-all, so take it with a grain of salt. But it's interesting none-the-less. If Fox Sports World Canada's license does expire, it'll be just desserts. FSWC was the most successful launch of all Canada's specialty digital cable channels back in 2001 and initially offered a credible service. Key word there -- "initially." I have been a subscriber since the first week, and can testify that the decline of FSWC the past two years has been accelerated, providing lousy service on the back of false advertising and broken promises. Lying to the CRTC on a license-renewal that claimed their service would improve didn't help, but the thing that stung me the most was their (FSWC and parent Canwest Global Communications) callous disregard for the concerns and questions of their paying subscribers. In short, an unprofessional piece-o-crap service that deserves to disappear. And nobody will wave goodbye.


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