Tag Archives: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

NBA: ‘Canada’s team’ ‘disrespects’ ‘WE THE NORTH’

Jos 9:21 And the princes said concerning them: 'Let them live'; so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken concerning them.

Jos 9:21 And the princes said concerning them: ‘Let them live’; so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken concerning them.

(April 18) – The start time of a professional basketball game has brought to the fore the national question in Canadian sport.

“One of the competing media conglomerates that owns part of the Toronto Raptors is at least complicit in the team being stuck with an unenviable starting time for Game 1 of its playoff series,” Doug Smith reported in the Toronto Star.

“(Rogers) Sportsnet, which is a part-owner of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, will broadcast Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on its two main networks. Continue reading

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Pan Am Games 2015: Toronto and Havana sporting links

The two cities share a rich and legendary baseball history but since 1959 have traversed radically different paths in the concept and practice of sport

By TONY SEED*

The 2015 Pan Am Games, being hosted by Toronto and with the celebration of friendship amongst the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean as one of its positive themes, evokes a memory of the sporting links between the cities of Toronto and Havana, which date back to 1954.

During most of the 1950s the Havana Sugar Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were two of the flagship franchises in baseball’s International League, classified as AAA, a rung below US Major League Baseball (MLB). Continue reading

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A dysfunctional sports system: amateur athletes forced to juggle jobs and training

The following story inadvertently raises the questions of priorities facing society. Toronto Blue Jays, owned by the Rogers monopoly, forked out $82 million to repatriate Canadian catcher Russell Martin in a five-year contract. Toronto City Council quietly handed over $500,000 to one of the richest sports monopolies in North America, MLSE, for stadium expansion. The Hamilton Tiger Cats received a basically free $145.7-million stadium from Ontario in a neo-liberal scheme. Meanwhile, athletes training for events like the 2015 Pan Am Games often work full- or part-time jobs to fund their training and struggle to make ends meet without a thin dime from the government. Youth participation in sport and recreation is declining. Yet Harper has a billion dollars for another war in Iraq and Syria. 

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games.

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games | VINCE TALOTTA / TORONTO STAR

LAUREN PELLY in Toronto Star

(Nov. 25) – Over lunch on a brisk Thursday in downtown Toronto, pentathlon competitor Kelly Fitzsimmons describes her day.

In between bites of steak, the 29-year-old Calgarian says she started with two hours of swim practice at 8:30 a.m., then went right into client meetings for her consulting business. Next came her interview with the Star, a timeslot doubling as Fitzsimmons’ lunch break. After that, she’d be working on consulting projects until the early evening, then heading to back-to-back training sessions — first a track workout, then fencing training, which wouldn’t end until around 10 p.m.

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Selling hope and the bobblehead boys

fieldofschemes-BurnsRatnerRogers Sportsnet is blowing its horn. “Our own Damien Cox,” it reported tonight, to paraphrase, has the scoop on the appointment of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s (MLSE) new president, Brendan Shanahan. The NHL executive is further being called “the former Olympic champion.” Damien Cox is a Toronto Star columnist and a regular on PrimeTimeSports.

How do journalistic scoops and exclusives work these days? A few days ago, we blew the whistle on W5’s “scoop” on the Canadian Special Forces operating in West Africa, which was actually arranged by the Department of National Defence. Rogers owns 50 per cent of MLSE and a new $5 billion contract for TV rights to Canadian NHL games. Does one think this “exclusive” non-story was going to be leaked from the boardroom of the MLSE empire to the CBC? Continue reading

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Lockout: Antitrust case to proceed against NHL, U.S. sports oligopolies

A group of US hockey fans seeking greater access to NHL broadcasts is suing the NHL. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

A group of US hockey fans seeking greater access to NHL broadcasts is suing the NHL. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

U.S. sports fans can pursue antitrust case over monopolization of programs. – Reuters

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners are crying a blue river that they locked out some 730 players and shut down the hockey league “in the interests of fans and growing the game.” According to a Reuters report (see below), a U.S. federal court judge, however, has just ruled that a lawsuit can proceed that asserts that the NHL and other U.S. sports oligolies are conspiring against fans. By restricting more widely available game telecasts, the league “is able to charge monopoly pricing and limit the choices available to consumers.”

Along with the NHL, the defendants in the case over broadcasting of games include Major League Baseball, several teams in both sports, cable TV company Comcast Corp, satellite TV provider DirecTV, Madison Square Garden Co and some regional sports networks.

“The judge did dismiss claims that Comcast, DirecTV and the sports networks conspired to monopolize markets, while allowing similar claims against Major League Baseball and the NHL to proceed.”

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), which owns the Maple Leafs and Maple Leaf TV along with franchises in Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and the American Hockey League, is listed as a defendant, as are the NHL’s other 29 franchises. MLSE is co-owned by the two media monopolies Bell Canada and Rogers Communications with Larry Tannebaum a minority owner.

The monopoly media is typically portraying the NHL lockout as one of “billionaires vs millionaires.” This diversion aims to divert attention of fans from the culpability and criminal practices of private capital in the sphere of sports. The U.S. lawsuit, at the time of writing, has not been reported in Canada. The  lawsuit provides additional evidence that the central issue in the NHL’s self-serving and brutal lockout of the professional athletes is the defence of monopoly right and the maximization of profit. – Tony Seed Continue reading

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Viciousness of Sportsnet, death of journalism – or Colangelo talking through Rogers’ talking heads?

By OUR ULTIMATE NBA INSIDER, FUELLED BY SYNERGY

bargnani_free_throw640_640SPORTS FANS, his Toronto Raptor team-mates and Andrea Bargnani and his family must have been shocked and stunned by the host of Rogers Sportsnet Connected on Monday, November 26. Leading into the 5:00-6:00 p.m. supperhour segment she asked rhetorically, “Has Andrea Bargnani’s time in Toronto run out?” Thinking it was to be a lead item I waited for the surprising news. And waited. And waited. Finally, some fifty minutes later, she flatly announced with a straight face that Mr Bargnani was on the way out and that “fans have given up on him.” (How she divined this insight only an Insider can figure out.) The host then followed up the shock attack by interviewing one of Sportsnet’s ubiquitous “Insiders,” Michael Grange, to explain it all. Is now the time to trade Andrea Bargnani, he was asked.

Mr Grange said NO!

For a brief moment I thought, wow, Rogers didn’t script this very well. Continue reading

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Coach Carlyle getting the Leafs ready for future games this spring

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