The TSN logo.

Early Monday evening wasn’t a good time for sports viewers in Canada w trying to watch TSN. A power outage at Bell Media (the corporate parent of TSN and CTV)’s broadcast center in Scarborough, Ontario, just outside Toronto,  knocked out their cable TSN feeds across the country, as well as the feeds for some of their eastern CTV and CTV2 (broadcast) stations and their national CTV News Network:

Bell Media later put out this statement:

As of 8 p.m. Eastern, though, there were still plenty of people complaining of outages on at least some TSN channels, including issues with TSN1 and 3 (which were set to broadcast the Monday Night Football Falcons-Packers game):

Update: TSN1/3 service was eventually restored just after nine p.m. Eastern, about 10 minutes after the scheduled kickoff of Packers-Falcons (which was later than usual thanks to the Pats-Chiefs game being moved to an early-Monday slot):

This was a reasonably unfortunate time for an outage for some Canadian sports fans. As per TSN’s broadcast schedule, they had Round of 16 French Open matches beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern on TSN2, and the rescheduled Patriots-Chiefs game at 7 p.m. ET on TSN4 and TSN5. And as mentioned above, TSN1 and TSN3 have the Monday Night Football Falcons-Packers matchup. The later start there meant fans didn’t miss a ton of that game, but they did miss the first few minutes, and they also missed a bunch of the ESPN afternoon programming TSN carries (Around The Horn beginning at 5 p.m. ET, then Pardon The Interruption and Monday Night Countdown). This also cut off the planned airing of a special TSN original feature on SportsCentre:

It’s remarkable that national sports and news networks (plus local broadcast stations for a good portion of the country) can all be taken offline for multiple hours by a power outage. But there have been some events like that before on a more local scale; the 1977 New York City blackout saw CBS and NBC only able to stay on air locally thanks to backup generators, while ABC had to reroute their operations to Los Angeles. And the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake knocked several Bay Area stations off the air for hours. But it’s still fascinating to see national feeds taken out by a local outage, and that speaks to some issues with wide centralization.

[TSN logo via Bell Media]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.