Long-time TSN producer Tony D'Archi.

There have been quite a few prominent sports media figures who have passed away in the first two months of 2021, including Terez Paylor, Pedro Gomez, Chris Wesseling,  Sekou Smith, Les Levine, Mel Antonen, Warren Woods, Don Sutton, Tom Perrotta, and more. The latest is Tony D’Archi, a long-time producer at TSN, particularly known for his work as the lead producer on the CFL on TSN games. D’Archi worked for TSN as a producer and content strategist from 2000-15, then went on to PR and consulting work. He passed away this week at 50 from a heart attack, and many of his former TSN colleagues and others in the Canadian sports world had great things to say about him Friday:

D’Archi made an incredible mark on the CFL on TSN, and did so at a critical time for the league and for that package. TSN had broadcast some CFL games each year since 1987, but that amped up significantly during D’Archi’s time there, and the network became the exclusive broadcaster of all games and of the Grey Cup in 2008. TSN broadcasts have become an established part of the CFL media landscape now, but there was a lot of angst about that back in 2008 and 2009 in particular, with many lamenting the shift to a full schedule on cable TV and the exit of the CBC. That furor mostly died down over the next few seasons, though, and the strong CFL on TSN package (including game announcers and analysts, studio crews, and production) was a big factor in that. And D’Archi played a key role in making that happen, and today’s CFL on TSN broadcasts (which are seen internationally on ESPN’s networks and ESPN+ in the U.S., and on other services  around the world) still bear a lot of his influence. He’ll be missed.

[Rod Smith on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.