“It’s something we’re committed to doing. It’s something Rogers is committed to doing. We had a call the other day regarding a bunch of stuff. It’s been fantastic.” — Vancouver Canadians president Andy DunnVancouver Canadians president Andy Dunn isn’t going to overshare about his team’s broadcast deal with Sportsnet Pacific.He’s not going to get into the ratings of the first three games of a scheduled six to be shown. He’s not going to get into finances behind the agreement and he’s not even going to get into the exact length of the contract, other than to say “we signed a multi-year deal,” and “there’s a long-term vision with this from the start.”The C’s are the Toronto Blue Jays’ short-season, single-A farm club. They’re one of the entry levels into pro ball for most players. It’s unheard of for a team like this to have a TV contract like this, but Dunn maintains that he’s pleased with how things have gone so far, and there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest that it’s working out for the club.
Andy Dunn has worked tirelessly for the last decade raising the Vancouver Canadians’ profile, as he shows here on home opening day back in 2008 at Nat Bailey Stadium.
LES BAZSO /
Play-by-play man Rob Fai suggested during the July 20 broadcast of the C’s game versus the Tri-City Dust Devils that fans tweet questions at analyst Ricky Romero, the former Blue Jays left-hander. Fai and Romero were kept busy with that for several innings, and multiple inquires came from people listing themselves as Ontario residents, which would play into Dunn’s ideals that this TV deal will increase the C’s exposure nationally.Fai guessed that they received 30 questions.“It’s a brand play, it’s a marketing play,” Dunn said of the TV deal, which the C’s announced back in May along with the switch of radio rights from TSN 1040 to Sportsnet 650. “Rob and Ricky and Caroline (Frolic, the host for the TV games) have been tremendous.“It’s something we’re committed to doing. It’s something Rogers is committed to doing. We had a call the other day regarding a bunch of stuff. It’s been fantastic.”NEXT GAMETuesdayVancouver Canadians vs. Boise Hawks6:05 p.m., Memorial Stadium, Radio: Sportsnet 650 AMThere have been snafus with both sound and picture through the first three games. Dunn wouldn’t speak to that specifically but would admit “there’s always a learning curve when you first start something.”It’s easy to assume the C’s are footing the bill for this and then selling ads to their sponsors to help recoup the costs. That’s standard practice with radio deals at this level. It’s also easy to assume that Sportsnet is giving them TV time at a substantially cut rate, since they’re owned by Rogers, who also own the Blue Jays.The Blue Jays get TV exposure for their prospects, like right-hander Alek Manoah, the first rounder from June’s amateur draft who was just assigned to the C’s. The C’s get TV exposure for their sponsors and the profile of the club is increased. That can’t do anything but add value to the franchise for principle owners Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney, two Vancouver businessmen.“We had a great partnership at TSN. Tremendous people, tremendous friendships, tremendous support,” said Dunn, a former executive with the Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals who has an ownership stake in the C’s, although exactly how much has never been made public.“We went to them first about the possibility of TV. We couldn’t come to an agreement. My stance was that we were ready for TV and if you want more radio it had to come with TV. TV drove the bus and Rogers gave us an opportunity.“I knew where ever we started with this, we’ll get better. I didn’t walk into this with any preconceived notion of this amount of viewership or this amount of corporate sponsorship dollars behind it. I know when it’s a multi-year situation you have time and room to grow.”Sewen@postmedia.comRemaining C’s games on Sportsnet Pacific• Saturday, Aug. 10 vs. Everett• Saturday, Aug. 17 vs. Boise• Wednesday, Aug. 28 vs. Tri-City