TSN Radio is a semi-national sports radio brand and part-time network in Canada carried on AM radio stations owned by Bell Media Radio. The TSN Radio brand, and some of the stations' content, is shared with Bell Media's television sports channel, The Sports Network. With the American sports media company ESPN being a minority shareholder in TSN, most of the stations also air some ESPN Radio programming, usually on weekends and/or overnight.
TSN Radio currently operates stations in Toronto (CHUM 1050), Montreal (CKGM 690), Ottawa (CFGO 1200), Hamilton (CKOC 1150), Winnipeg (CFRW 1290), Edmonton (CFRN 1260), and Vancouver (CKST 1040 and CFTE 1410). However, each station produces the vast majority of its programming locally, apart from some live event broadcasts as well as U.S.-produced syndicated programming. Unlike sports radio networks in the United States, there is no all-day 'network' feed, and very few Canadian-produced programs are simulcast nationally (though some local programs are simulcast on TSN's TV channels).
It was announced on February 17, 2011, that its Toronto station CHUM (1050 AM) would discontinue its audio simulcast of CP24's television programming as "CP24 Radio 1050" and switch to an all-sports radio format as "TSN Radio 1050" effective April 13, 2011, becoming the flagship station of the network. The company further announced plans on October 3, 2011, to convert its two radio stations in Winnipeg and Montreal under the TSN Radio banner (becoming TSN Radio 1290 and TSN Radio 990 respectively) on October 5, 2011.
The network in some respects represent a revival of the defunct The Team network, which formerly aired on many of the same stations in the early 2000s when they were owned by CHUM Limited; some of those stations remained "Team"-branded sports radio stations right up until joining TSN Radio. Bell Canada gained 100% control of CTVglobemedia's assets on April 1, 2011, thus renaming the company's name to Bell Media and likewise renamed the radio division, CHUM Radio to Bell Media Radio.
It was reported on January 19, 2011 that Rob Gray, who was the program director for CKST and CFTE, had been hired to be program director for both CHUM and the new TSN Radio network.
TSN entered radio broadcasting with CHUM (1050 AM) in Toronto, which became the first station under the TSN Radio moniker, as TSN Radio 1050, on April 13, 2011. The station serves as the flagship of the network.
Bell Media further announced on October 3, 2011 that its radio stations CKGM in Montreal and CFRW in Winnipeg would join the TSN Radio network (becoming TSN Radio 990 and TSN Radio 1290 respectively) on October 5, 2011. CFRW had been long anticipated as a member of the network, having abandoned its oldies format for sports in fall 2010 (and using a TSN-inspired logo in the interim) and acquired the rights to the revived Winnipeg Jets in summer 2011.
There were conflicting reports initially as to whether or not CFGO in Ottawa and CKST and CFTE in Vancouver will re-brand. TSN has said that the aforementioned stations 'shall work closely' with the TSN Radio stations, and that for the time being "...our focus is on successful launches of TSN Radio in Montreal and Winnipeg.” Bell has since also acquired a sports radio station in Edmonton, CFRN, through its 2013 takeover of Astral Media.
In July 2012, Bell Media submitted an application to the CRTC, requesting permission to convert Montreal's TSN Radio station, CKGM, into a French radio station that would be known as RDS Radio 990—co-branding with TSN's French-language sister network Réseau des sports in a similar manner to TSN Radio. While Bell specified that this move was primarily intended to take advantage of CKAC's recent flip from sports radio in French to traffic radio, it was also intended to help satisfy ownership caps as a part of Bell's proposed acquisition of Astral Media, since Astral already owned the maximum number of English-language stations it could own in Montreal (owning two on FM, and the AM station CJAD). CJAD would have been given CKGM's English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens after the flip, if approved. The CRTC ultimately rejected both proposals. Bell would ultimately receive an exemption to the ownership cap so it could remain the owner of CKGM through the acquisition, which was finalized in June 2013.
On September 30, 2013, CFRN in Edmonton and CFGO in Ottawa re-branded as TSN Radio stations.
On August 28, 2014, it was announced that the Team stations in Vancouver—CKST and CFTE—would finally rebrand as TSN Radio stations on September 8, 2014.
CKOC in Hamilton joined the network in summer 2015. It is operated as a joint venture between Bell Media and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who moved their game broadcasts to CKOC and use the station as its new flagship.
To date, TSN Radio has not yet created a full-day national programming schedule along the lines of the 24-hour ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio services in the United States, nor is one expected. Several weeks before confirming plans for TSN Radio, TSN president Stewart Johnston argued that "local is key" for the success of sports radio in Canada, as demonstrated by the earlier failure of The Team's attempt to produce most of its programming for national distribution out of Toronto. Indeed, the TSN stations rarely if ever carry another station's local programming. Although there are some common programs, this is mostly limited to a handful of specialty weekend shows, and to U.S. syndicated programming such as The Dan Patrick Show and ESPN Radio (and even these programs are not carried on all stations).
Mike Richards signed on to host the Toronto station's morning show, Mike Richards in the Morning. The show airs from 5:30am-9am (ET), and was expected to be simulcast on TSN2 beginning in September 2011. However, due to delays in the studio being built at 9 Channel Nine Court, the premiere of the show was delayed to February 18, 2013. CHUM's new drive time show, TSN Drive with Dave Naylor, also premiered in simulcast the same day. With the announcement of TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5, the studios of TSN Radio stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Ottawa were also configured to allow television simulcasts..
Additionally, TSN has radio broadcasting rights for golf's The Open Championship, The U.S. Open, UEFA Euro 2012 and 2016, the NBA Playoffs, and NFL on Dial Global Sports. As part of TSN's television contract extension with the Canadian Football League, TSN Radio also owns the radio broadcast rights to the Grey Cup from 2013 to 2018.