'Absolutely not': New TSN, Sportsnet fees kill TV broadcasts at Charlottetown Curling Complex
Costs going up $300 a month
Curlers hoping to catch a couple of ends of television after their own games at the Charlottetown Curling Complex will have to go home as things stand, says club president Mitch O'Shea.
TSN and Sportsnet fees for licensed establishments are going up next year, way up. The target may have been sports bars, but curling clubs have been caught up in the action.
That's not us. We're essentially a community centre.- Mitch O'Shea
O'Shea said there is no way the club can afford the extra $300 a month currently on the table.
"Absolutely not," said O'Shea.
"Curling clubs are not for profit businesses for the most part. Most curling clubs run on volunteer support, donations from members, fundraising activities. There's just not the extra money there."
The new fee structure is for licensed establishments seating between 100 and 200 people, but O'Shea said there is a big difference between curling clubs and sports bars.
"These establishments make money by showing these events," he said.
"That's not us. We're essentially a community centre where people congregate after their curling game and whatever's on TV is on, but most people are just sitting around chatting a little bit."
Curling Canada has launched #notasportsbar on social media as part of its protest to Bell and Rogers over the new fees.
Curling clubs all across Canada are protesting the change.
Unbelievable greed. Curling clubs are volunteer-based non-profits that promote active living and youth sports. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/notasportsbar?src=hash">#notasportsbar</a> <a href="https://t.co/tC3bIbPE6F">https://t.co/tC3bIbPE6F</a>—@westongreg
In an emailed statement to CBC News, Sportsnet said it is hopeful a solution can be found.
"We understand that not all establishments with a liquor license are the same," wrote Jordan Kerbel, director of communications for Sportsnet in an email.
"Curling Canada has expressed a legitimate concern and we reached out to them to discuss opportunities for their members. We look forward to working with them to find a solution."
TSN did not respond to CBC's request for comment.
O'Shea said it would be a shame if members couldn't sit and watch former member and now world champion Brett Gallant curl next year at the club where he got his start.
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With files from Laura Chapin