Pass the remote

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 we’ll see you, maybe, in the spring. Here’s an overview of a few of these new stations – for a complete list, visit


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 women’s sports. An excellent idea, actually, and it’s about time, too. The station and the Web site at 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. It’s a good idea, too, but it’s hardly original – ESPN 2, or XPN, has been a success in the U.S. for years. There isn’t a Web site just yet, but when it’s ready there will be a link at .

The NHL Network – You only think that you can’t get enough of hockey. With 24 hours of highlights and news, you’ll 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 it’s 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 for more details. You’ll 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 Jay’s World Series victories in the ’90s. Once again, no word on the ESPN Classic Canada Web site, but you can visit ESPN Classic at .


It’s ironic, but people seem to spend a lot of time indoors watching what’s going on outside. Granted, you’re not going to see a giraffe give birth in Whistler, but it’s still ironic.


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