Rogers TSN2 deal scores for Blue Jay fans

7:59 AM PST 05/18/2009 by Etan Vlessing, AP

Toronto Blue Jays baseball telecasts for cable subscribers

TORONTO -- Rogers Communications on Tuesday will start to offer its 2.5 million cable subscribers long-delayed access to Toronto Blue Jays baseball telecasts, even though Canada's largest cable operator owns and runs the pro baseball club.

Toronto-based Rogers Communications on Sunday reached agreement with Canadian sports channel The Sports Network (TSN) to carry its TSN2 feed, which airs Blue Jays games and other TV sports.

TSN2 launched last August and immediately began to air in most parts of Canada, except in Toronto, where Rogers is the main cable supplier and proved slow to reach a carriage deal.

As negotiations between Rogers and TSN dragged on, cable subscribers became frustrated over being frozen out of game telecasts as the Blue Jays have emerged so far this season as the top club in the American league.

The long-awaited deal means TSN2 will start to carry Blue Jays games in time for a three game series with the arch-rival Boston Red Sox this week.

TSN last year launched TSN2 as it turned its alternate feed into a permanent, 24-hour digital channel.

TSN uses the digital sports channel to air live, national sporting events for which it holds the Canadian rights but may have a scheduling conflict with its main sporting channel.
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