At last. After years of getting by with a lousy 50 channels, the CRTC has finally given the go-ahead to 40 new digital specialty stations which will be premiering this fall in a cable package near you.
Pop some corn, sit back in the ol lazy boy, and well see you, maybe, in the spring. Heres an overview of a few of these new stations for a complete list, visit www.shaw.ca.
Ten, count-em TEN new sports stations. Well five, not including Leafs TV and Raptors NBA TV, which will probably only be available in Toronto, RDS Sports, which is in French, The Racing Network, which is nothing but horse racing 24 hours a day, and Eurosport News, which is too much soccer and cricket for my tastes.
WTSN This is essentially TSN for womens sports. An excellent idea, actually, and its about time, too. The station and the Web site at www.wtsn.ca will go live on Sept. 7.
Xtreme Sports Surfing, skateboarding, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, plus other extreme sports will dominate this CanWest-Global offering. Its a good idea, too, but its hardly original ESPN 2, or XPN, has been a success in the U.S. for years. There isnt a Web site just yet, but when its ready there will be a link at www.globaltv.ca .
The NHL Network You only think that you cant get enough of hockey. With 24 hours of highlights and news, youll get your fill and then some. They will broadcast a few games, probably blacked out, during this first season. No word on a Web site yet, but you can be sure its coming.
Fox Sports World Canada Fox Sports World is the same idea as ESPN, TSN and SportsNet, but focuses a lot of its attention on sports like soccer and rugby. Visit www.foxsports.com for more details. Youll need Flash for this site.
ESPN Classic Canada Classic moments in sport, especially Canadian sport. This would include events like the 72 series verses Russia, and the Jays World Series victories in the 90s. Once again, no word on the ESPN Classic Canada Web site, but you can visit ESPN Classic at http://espn.go.com/classic/ .
Its ironic, but people seem to spend a lot of time indoors watching whats going on outside. Granted, youre not going to see a giraffe give birth in Whistler, but its still ironic.