Happy 25th birthday, TSN! Since it launched on September 1, 1984, TSN has transformed the way Canadians watch sports on television. TSN has been celebrating the milestone in style with thousands of fans joining the network for 10 special broadcasts of SPORTSCENTRE in 10 communities across the country on the widely popular Kraft Celebration Tour, which wrapped up Monday in Paradise, NL.
With the tour coming to an end, TSN will continue to celebrate its 25th anniversary with additional initiatives including the launch of the official TSN e-store, TSNShop.ca; the national release of the book TSN 25 Years; a TSN25 micro-site on TSN.ca; the debut of a revamped on-air look for SPORTSCENTRE; the return of classic TSN promos from the 1980s and 1990s; and a re-broadcast of the very first TSN program on ESPN Classic.
“We are all incredibly proud of TSN and what this network has accomplished. While much has changed in the sports broadcasting world over the past 25 years, the one thing that remains constant is Canada's passion for sports. That passion has been displayed loud and clear throughout the Kraft Celebration Tour,” said Phil King, President of TSN. “Our 25th anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to look back on the past, but also to look forward to what will be an exciting new era in sports broadcasting. Over the next 25 years TSN will remain firmly committed to bringing Canadians the best sports coverage possible.”
On September 1, ESPN Classic will relive TSN's first day with the original “TSN Launch Special”, the same special that aired on TSN on September 1, 1984. ESPN Classic's retrospective begins at 12 noon ET – the exact time TSN launched 25 years ago. ESPN classic will also feature the first Blue Jays game to air on TSN.
The following is an overview of initiatives commemorating TSN's 25th anniversary:
Kraft Celebration Tour
The Kraft Celebration Tour finished Monday with a special edition of SPORTSCENTRE live from Paradise, NL. Thousands of fans have joined TSN on the Kraft Celebration Tour during broadcasts from Kaslo, B.C.; Red Deer, AB; Watrous, SK; Dauphin, MB; Kingston, ON; Elk Lake, ON; Trois-Pistoles, QC; Fredericton Junction, NB, and Amherst, NS.
As part of the Tour, each of the winning communities received a $25,000 community refresh from Kraft Canada to be used for improvements to a recreational facility in the prize-winning area.
Highlights of the Tour included the first broadcast from beautiful Kootenay Lake in Kaslo, BC, with TSN anchors Darren Dutchyschen and Jennifer Hedger in an axe throwing competition, and a War of 1812 reenactment starring Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole (complete with costumes).
An important focus of the Kraft Celebration Tour was sharing stories of community pride, perseverance and the love of sport from across the country. Some of these stories included the Red Deer Boxing Club's positive influence on the lives of the area's youth and Vicki Keith's commitment to making sports accessible to every member of her community through Kingston's YMCA. Other features spotlighted the pride and passion Trois-Pistoles has for its local baseball team and its stadium, as well as the heartwarming tale of Garry Brooks and his lifetime of dedication to keeping local hockey running in Fredericton Junction that led to the construction of a brand new arena.
Beginning Tuesday, TSN will give fans an opportunity to take home part of the network with the launch of TSNShop.ca. Allowing fans to purchase TSN merchandise for the first time, the e-store will feature a wide range of clothing and sporting items for men and women including T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and sports bags. Fans can own a piece of TSN history with exclusive vintage TSN gear featuring the original yellow and black TSN logo. Football fans can also get exclusive CFL ON TSN merchandise on TSNshop.ca.
TSN 25 Years Book
Available in major bookstores across the country on September 15, TSN 25 Years delivers a candid look back at a quarter-century of sports through the network's lens. TSN 25 Years will allow fans to relive their favourite sports moments and memories with 25 years of feature stories, Top 10 TV moments and highlights with commentary from TSN personalities. TSN 25 Years is published by Wiley Publishing.
TSN's industry-leading website offers fans a look back at some of the most memorable moments in sports over the past 25 years with a special micro-site at www.tsn.ca/tsn25. The site features in-depth articles, photo galleries, a TSN timeline as well as sports trivia and TSN facts and figures.
When TSN turns 25, Canada's most-watched sportscast will have a new look with an enhanced HD graphics package that will be used for all highlights and SPORTSCENTRE Updates. SPORTSCENTRE will also have several features on TSN's 25th anniversary including a special 25th anniversary edition of the SPORTSCENTRE Top 10.
TSN Retro Promotions
TSN has opened the vault and dusted off some classic promos from the network's early days. Throughout the month of September, TSN will bring back promos from the network's “See it. Live it.” and “Real Life. Real Drama.” eras. Long time viewers will remember promotions such as “Rodsky and Dutch” with SPORTSCENTRE anchors Rod Smith and Darren Dutchyshen spoofing the famous 70s television series.
ESPN Classic joins in on the celebrations on September 1 with a look back at TSN's first day on the air. Beginning at 12 noon ET, ESPN Classic will feature the TSN Launch Show which originally aired at 12 noon ET on September 1, 1984 – the first hour in TSN's history – as well as the network's first ever Toronto Blue Jays broadcast featuring the Jays taking on the Minnesota Twins, also from September 1, 1984.