Friday 17 February 2012

Breaking news: CJAD to get Impact soccer broadcasts

It looks like TSN Radio 990 will no longer be carrying Montreal Impact soccer games. On the eve of the team's much anticipated debut  in the prestigious Major League Soccer (MLS) circuit,  I have learned that the broadcast rights will move over to CJAD Radio 800.

Brian Wilde
TSN Radio 990, previously known as THE TEAM 990 and soon to become TSN 690, handled Impact broadcasts for the last few seasons. Most recently CTV's Brian Wilde did the play-by-play, joined by colour  commentator and soccer expert Noel Butler. Sources close to the scene tell me that the Impact's new MLS schedule just does not work since they also have the broadcast rights for the Montreal Canadiens. The vast majority of MLS games are on  Saturdays and the 34 game schedule goes from March until October. Unlike CJAD, which has Astral sister stations Virgin Radio and CHOM as backups, TSN 990 has no FM partners.

Noel Butler
So, TSN 990 will survive minus the Impact. Provided Butler remains on board, hosting his popular Oranges at Halftime program and popping up on other shows. TSN 990 listeners will therefore still get their fill of soccer news. CJAD gets another sports property to join the Alouettes. They were in fact the original broadcasters of the Impact.
Rick Moffat

I am told that Wilde would like to return as the play-by-play man. He is unquestionably passionate about the job, which was clear every time the Impact scored a goal and he went out of his mind. I was worried he'd burst a blood vessel. But there is always the chance CJAD will go to Rick Moffat, who did the Habs and is the voice of the Als or versatile Abe Hefter. As for who will do the colour, well besides Butler the best man for the job is former Impact captain Lloyd Barker, who remains busy on CTV as their resident soccer expert. There are a number of other former Impact players who might be available as well.

The Impact play their first MLS game on March 10 in Vancouver. Who will be in the broadcast booth?

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