Rogers Media unveils Sportsnet 360

The new channel, formerly The Score, will launch on Canada Day with an MLB match-up and the new show Blue Jays Xpress.
greg sansone

Rogers Media officially launched the latest addition to its Sportsnet portfolio, Sportsnet 360, at a press conference in Toronto yesterday, giving advertisers and members of the media a sneak peek of what the channel’s advertising opportunities and programming will look like.

With the launch, Sportsnet 360, which was formerly The Score until it was acquired at the end of April, becomes the seventh TV channel in the Sportsnet family.

Jack Tomik, chief sales officer, Rogers Media, said advertisers will be able to leverage Rogers’ One Call Media Solution, a cross-platform offering that was unveiled in May as part of a restructuring of the way its sales team operates. He also said that Rogers would be keeping The Score’s sales team intact and adding it to its own.

He added that now that Sportsnet 360 is part of the Rogers portfolio, the media company will be able to offer advertisers a broader and deeper array of customized advertising, sponsorship and branded content opportunities around the channel, noting that brands will be able to leverage all of Sportsnet’s properties, to reach the channel’s audience of hardcore sports fans aged 25 to 55.

From a content perspective, Greg Sansone (pictured), VP, general manager, Sportsnet 360, said the rebranded channel will keep the fundamental core of what The Score offered to sports fans intact. He adds that Sportsnet 360 will establish itself as the home for breaking sports news, and continuing to focus on highlights, stats and analysis from a wide breadth of sports.

It will also continue to focus on building around its key live sports properties, including the WWE, university sports, the NBA, MLS and international soccer matches and MLB.

The channel’s first broadcast will kick off on Canada Day, with an MLB match-up between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers. Following the game, Sportsnet 360 will launch Blue Jays Xpress, its first new program.

The show will offer live reaction, interviews from the field and Jays clubhouse, in-depth highlights and full stories and reports from across the league. Sansone said the channel will also look to incorporate social media and fan reactions into the show.

He added that while there is no other original long-form content on the Sportsnet 360 fall schedule, the channel is actively looking to add it to the lineup.

Sansone also revealed that, starting next Wednesday, Sportsnet 360 will be the official home of the UFC in Canada, offering four hours of primetime UFC content every Wednesday night, including UFC Central and upcoming reality series The Ultimate Fighter and TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia.

Sportsnet 360 will also continue to be the home for Canadian university sports, and offer coverage of football and the Vanier Cup, as well as the hockey and basketball championships. Sansone says it will look to deepen its coverage by offering more content that profiles up-and-coming student athletes.

Coming in the fall, Sportsnet 360 will air the fifth season of Drafted, a series that started on The Score and sees aspiring sportscasters compete for a one-year contract with the channel. It’s also working with PokerStars to roll out another season of the NHL Alumni Charity Shootout.

The launch of Sportsnet 360 is being promoted with an internal media campaign that leverages Rogers’ assets across all platforms and taps into the insight that Sportsnet viewers want to have the highest “sports I.Q.” among their friends.

Photo: Greg Sansone (right) interviews Canadian WWE Superstar Santina Marella