Rogers Media is taking its Sportsnet TV to radio by rebranding its two Fan-branded sports talk radio stations.
Fan 590 in Toronto and Fan 960 in Calgary will now be called Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 and Sportsnet Radio Fan 960, respectively.
“I think we will make both brands stronger,” said Scott Moore, president of Rogers Broadcasting. “Brands sell brands, and we have two strong ones. Putting them together will strengthen our identity to the listener and the viewer.”
The rebranding is just part of a larger Rogers plan (Rogers also owns Marketing magazine) to leverage radio and TV sports experts across both platforms and online, said Moore.
“It is about making sure we are using all of our assets and breaking down silos internally,” he said, adding changes will be coming online in the weeks ahead as the two existing brands’ websites come closer together.
“There will be much more crossover,” said Moore.
Radio IDs that started airing at 11 a.m. in Toronto refer to a “sports broadcasting juggernaut conquering radio, television and internet.”
The change comes as competition between Rogers-owned Sportsnet and CTV-owned TSN appears to be heating up.
While the two worked together as part of the Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium to cover the Vancouver Games, Rogers hired sports broadcasting veteran Keith Pelley away from CTV last summer to take over Rogers Media; soon after, Pelley hired Moore away from the CBC where he earned praise for contributing to the public broadcaster’s strong showing in recent years, particularly with its sports programming.
And this week, The Globe and Mail reported CTV is looking at taking its TSN TV brand to radio.
“Will there be a branded TSN radio coming up soon? I’d say we’re looking at it for sure,” TSN president Stewart Johnston told the Globe. “It could be a matter of a branded content as opposed to a branded station, or it could be making better use of our guys… But it’s a possibility.”
Asked about that report, Moore declined to comment.
“All I’d say is that the Fan in Toronto has faced competition before and has won every time.”