Some laugh at it, others say it shouldn’t air on sports television at all, but the ratings prove that many people love it. And now CBC is on the outside looking in for the Season of Champions curling for the next 10 years. TSN has signed a new multi-year broadcast deal with the Canadian Curling Association that will run through the end of the 2019-20 season.
This new deal includes the Brier, Tournament of Hearts, World Curling Championships, Canada Cup of Curling, Continental Cup and the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, all of which have been broadcast exclusively on TSN since 2008. TSN also keeps rights to the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials (the Roar of the Rings) in advance of the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The new deal also includes French language rights for RDS and RDS2. At least 250 hours of the Season of Champions will be shown in French on RDS or RDS2. Michel Y. Lacroix will call curling action on RDS with analyst Guy Hemmings.
Here is a quote from Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer, CCA:
The Canadian Curling Association is absolutely delighted to be announcing that our partnership with TSN has not only been extended, but also further enhanced for the long-term. This is one of the most significant items that the CCA has been able to achieve in our recent history. This exclusive broadcast partnership with TSN, and now RDS, has provided an exceptional opportunity to further expose our sport to both existing and potential curling enthusiasts across Canada; grow our already significant programming hours; and ensure comprehensive broadcast stability for the next decade. The fact that approximately 250 hours of Season of Champions coverage will also be shown on French- language television is a wonderful success story for curling.
And a quote from Stewart Johnston, President of TSN:
Curling is one of the top broadcast properties in Canada and has been a cornerstone on TSN since day one. Locking in such a solid audience driver on a long-term extension further strengthens TSN’s leadership in the marketplace for years to come. We are extremely proud that the CCA continues to put their trust in TSN. This early renewal shows their commitment to giving fans industry leading coverage and growing the sport across Canada.
And finally, a quote from Gerry Frappier, President of RDS:
RDS is thrilled to be a part of this exclusive deal with the CCA – giving the Francophone community more curling coverage than ever before. We are looking forward to growing the sport by giving fans exceptional coverage.
While I wish that the finals of the Brier, the Scotties and the World Curling Championships were broadcast on over-the-air television (either CBC or CTV), it is hard to complain about TSN’s coverage. Especially since the passing of Don Whitman, CBC’s curling coverage has been terrible. To be honest I’d like to see the World Curling Tour events, which are currently broadcast on CBC, move over to TSN too. CBC can’t even be bothered to show their curling coverage in HD.