According to a press release from TSN, SportsCentre anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole will be leaving Canada’s largest sports network in June to pursue opportunities in the United States. The news release doesn’t mention FOX Sports specifically, but does cite Los Angeles as the pair’s destination, which also happens to be the location for FOX’s new national sports network’s base.
The move elicited a sorrowful response from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Twitter, simultaneously confirming the duo’s verging on iconic popularity in their home country and that Canada is very much the New Zealand of the Western Hemisphere. Even to the most critical, the light-hearted approach to sports highlights from Onrait and O’Toole was a breath of fresh air in a typically stodgy environment.
FOX Sports 1 is expected to become one of the largest channel launches in television history when it begins broadcasting in August. This is thanks to the network replacing the already established SPEED network, which means it will immediately supplant NBC Sports Network as America’s second largest national sports network with estimated availability in 90 million homes.
But just in case there’s any worry of the two sportscasters becoming too big for their britches, Onrait promises that although “we may be heading south, we remain forever CANADIAN!”