CRTC approves new Rogers sports channel

The regulatory body this week approved an application for a licence to operate a new sports channel focusing on NHL, MLB and UEFA soccer.

The CRTC has approved an application submitted by Rogers Broadcasting for a new national English-language Category 2 specialty programming channel.

Referred to as ‘Rogers’ Mainstream Sports Specialty Service’ in the application, the report states that programming would include ‘extensive coverage’ of NHL games, Major League Baseball games, Union of European Football Association games and ‘other mainstream sports.’ The application was submitted in September 2009, was reviewed in December 2009 and a decision was announced yesterday.

The channel would start by offering 50% of its programming in HD and would eventually move to having 90% of its programming offering in HD, the report says.

Rogers declined comment on the new channel. A launch date is not yet known, although the CRTC stated in its approval that the channel must be ‘operational at the earliest possible date’ and no later than 36 months from the date of the decision.