- Réseau des sports
Infobox TV channel
name = Réseau des sports (RDS)
logofile = RDS logo.svg
logosize = 250px
September 1, 1989
closed date =
picture format =
share as of =
share source =
owner = CTV Speciality Television Inc. (
broadcast area = National
web = [http://www.rds.ca RDS]
sat serv 1 =
sat chan 1 = Channel 123 (SD)
Channel 863 (HD)
sat serv 2 =
sat chan 2 = Channel 750 (SD)
Channel 240 (HD)
cable serv 1 = Available on many Canadian cable systems
cable chan 1 = Check local listings
Réseau des sports (commonly known as RDS), is a
Canadian French language cable television specialty channelshowing sportsand sport-related shows. It is available in 2.5 million homes. It is owned by CTV Speciality Television Inc; a division of CTVglobemedia(80%) and ESPN(20%).
It was founded by John
LabattLtd., the brewing company. It began broadcasting on September 1, 1989, modelled on the relatively successful TSN. However, it began with a relatively low budget and struggled to obtain rights to major professional sporting events. It gained infamy when it began showing weekly miniature golftournaments under the name "Défi Mini-Putt". The shows energetic announcer, Serge Vleminckx, was renowned for his enthusiastic cries of "Birdie!" when a miniature golfer got a hole in one.
Becoming more established
However, by the early 1990s, the network became more established, obtaining the rights to
Montreal Exposand some Montreal Canadiensgames. Rodger Brulottebecame the network's second broadcasting star with his enthusiastic colour commentary of Expos games. RDS also covered some of Montreal's other professional sports teams, such as the Montreal MachineWLAF football team, the Montreal Impact soccerclub, the Montreal Roadrunners roller hockey team, the Montreal Expresslacrosse team, and the Montreal Alouettes Canadian footballteam. While the Machine, Roadrunners, and Express folded, the partnership between RDS and the Impact and Alouettes helped both the network and the teams to become popular. Much of the rise of popularity of Canadian football in Quebeccan be attributed to RDS coverage of Canadian Football Leagueand university games.
Its sports commentary and magazine shows, such as "Sports 30", have enjoyed some success, although they have faced recent competition from the abrasive
TQSsports talk show, "110%".
Its small market (mainly limited to Quebec), however, has meant that its revenues are modest. It has had to offer proportionately modest fees for broadcast rights.
The end of the relationship with the Montreal Expos
In 2000, the Montreal Expos severed their relationship with the network, complaining that they were not offering enough to broadcast games. The network resumed coverage from 2001 until the team moved to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 season, showing about 50 games a season.
2003 Montreal Canadiens deal
Also in 2003, the
Montreal Canadiensannounced a deal to licence its French-language broadcast rights for all of its preseason, season, and playoff games to RDS. This was controversial as it threatened the longest-running television show in Quebec, Radio-Canada's " La Soirée du hockey". Days later, an agreement was reached whereby RDS and Radio-Canada would simultaneously broadcast Canadiens games on Saturday nights, saving the show. Within the province of Quebec, this arrangement stopped after the 2003-04 NHL season, and French-language Canadiens broadcasts now air only on RDS. Simulcasted coverage continued in regions that do not receive RDS on analog TV (all of Canada south/west of the OttawaRegion) on Radio-Canada until the 2006-2007 NHL season. RDS also has French-language rights to the Stanley Cup Finals, regardless of what teams participate. In June 2008, RDS's parent, CTV Inc., acquired the rights to " The Hockey Theme" after the CBC decided not to renew its rights to the theme song. A re-orchestrated version of the tune, which has been the theme songof "La Soirée du hockey" and "Hockey Night in Canada" since 1968, will be used for hockey broadcasts on RDS and TSN beginning in the fall of 2008. [ [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080609/hnic_theme_080609/20080609?hub=TopStories "CTV acquires rights to hockey theme song"] , "CTV News", June 9, 2008]
Noted RDS programming
"Sports 30" - Sports news show that provides news and updates regarding major sports in North America and elsewhere.
"Canadien Express" - Condensed version of the previous Montreal Canadiens hockey game in a 60-minute format.
"F1 Express" - Similar concept derived from the "Canadien Express" broadcast.
The Montreal Canadiens hockey game broadcasts vary in name depending of the day of the week. Saturday games are known as "Le Hockey du Samedi Soir". Tuesday games are known as "Les Méchants Mardis Molson-Ex" as all of the other day or night games are known as "Le Hockey Subway des Canadiens". The sponsor affiliations change from time to time.
RDS's studios are also home to
Réseau Info-Sports, a 24-hour French language sports news service that was launched in 2005. RDS's sister English languagesports service is " The Sports Network" (TSN). Many of the programming theme songs used on RDS are the same as on TSN, except if TSN takes from an American network.
RDS launched an HD edition of the channel on
October 3, 2007, in time for the 2007-2008 NHL hockey season, making it the only channel to broadcast all games of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens in HD. Since then, most major sporting events have been broadcast in HD; including Formula One, NASCAR, Montreal Alouettes CFL Football, NFL, MLB, PGA Golf and the Euro 2008 soccer tournament amongst others. [ http://www.rds.ca/divers/chroniques/229736.html RDS - Tous les matchs du CH en HD ] ] RDS currently broadcasts its HD signal in 1080i format.
Rodger Brulotte- Baseball analyst Benoît Brunet- Montreal Canadiens Colour Commentator Denis Casavant- CFL/NFL play-by-play Jean-Paul Chartrand- Boxing Alain Crête- Montreal Canadiens host / NHL play-by-play Jacques Demers- Montreal Canadiens analyst Martin Dion- Boxing / RDS.ca contributor Claudine Douville- Soccer play-by-play Norman Flynn- Hockey analyst Luc Gélinas- Sports 30 reporter / NHL beat Pierre Houde- Montreal Canadiens play-by-play / Formula 1 lap-by-lap Bertrand Houle- Auto racing analyst Marc Labrecque- Sports 30 host Michel Lacroix- Golf analyst Michel Y. Lacroix- Soccer / NHL host Renaud Lavoie- Sports 30 reporter / NHL beat Stéphane Leroux- Junior Hockey analyst Chantal Machabée- Montreal Canadiens ice level reporter, Sports 30 host Yvon Michel- Boxing analyst Jean Pagé- Hunting and Fishing analyst Frédéric Plante- Sports 30 host Yvan Ponton- Tennis analyst and 30 Images / Seconde Host Hélène Pelletier- Tennis analyst Pierre Vercheval- CFL/NFL analyst
At the end of July 2007, RDS and the Montreal Canadiens extended their exclusive broadcasting rights contract through 2013. The deal includes all of the Canadiens 82 regular season games and all of their playoff games, if need be (none of this precludes
CBC Sportsfrom televising games in English as part of Hockey Night in Canada). Also, RDS has exclusive rights to French television broadcasting rights for the NHL All-Star Game and Skills Contest, as well as one NHL game per week that does not involve the Canadiens and a minimum of 40 playoff games for either RDS or RIS. The Canadiens also granted RDS exclusive rights to 'new media' coverage for the team (i.e., cell-phone TV, pod-cast and others). [ [http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/233957.html RDS - À RDS jusqu'en 2013 ] ]
Most other broadcast contracts are acquired through TSN and ESPN.
RDS Cup- Quebec Major Junior Hockey League "Rookie of the Year" award
Notes and references
* [http://www.rds.ca RDS] fr icon
* [http://www.rds.ca/rdshd RDS HD]
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