I posted TSN’s year in review press release yesterday, now Bell Media has issued one for RDS as well. Here it is. I’d post the French version if I had it, but unfortunately I don’t.
2011 was a pivotal year for Bell Media’s RDS that saw the #1 French specialty channel in Canada give fans more sports coverage than ever before with the launch of RDS2 and the introduction of new HD studios. RDS also enhanced its impressive schedule with long-term deals for the biggest events in sports including the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France and EURO 2012 and 2016.
“The transformation that RDS has seen over the last year completely redefines the pillars of our strategic development, and establishes the foundation for the future of our organization,” said Gerry Frappier, President of RDS. “Every action taken over the past year – from the launch of RDS2 to the acquisition of new major properties and our studio upgrades – was guided by our mission to ensure that fans are offered the best sports coverage of the biggest sporting events in the world. To this end, I believe that RDS’ biggest success of the year was continuing to put fans first – something that could not have been done without the hard work and dedication from everyone here at RDS.”
RDS heads into 2012 with even more of the world’s biggest sporting events including being an official broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Games and having exclusive Canadian coverage of the 100th GREY CUP and EURO 2012.
Below is an overview of the expansion of RDS platforms in 2011.
Debuting in October, RDS2 has given even more of the best sports coverage to thousands of viewers. The new 24-hour digital sports network will broadcast more than 1,500 hours of exclusive live sports content each year.
In just three months, RDS2 has given fans enhanced coverage of MLB, CFL, NFL, PGA golf (including the President’s Cup), NASCAR, the best of professional tennis (including the ATP Championship), Barclay’s English Premier League and the Ottawa Senators. Other exclusive programming on RDS2 includes Major League Soccer, the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Skate Canada International, the Canada Cup of Curling as well as NCAA football and basketball.
RDS2 is available through major television service providers across the country.
RDS’ Major Property Deals in 2011
This year, RDS has acquired several marquee sports properties to its already impressive line-up, including:
- Tour de France
- FIFA World Cup
- MLS and Montreal Impact
- Vanier Cup
- Uteck and Mitchell Cups
- Rugby World Cup
- NCAA March Madness
- Skate Canada
The network has also extended a number of its partnerships in the last year, including expanded coverage of:
- Formula 1
In addition, RDS also added the new show le 5 à 7 to its fall line-up. Featuring Yanick Bouchard, Frédéric Plante and Chantal Machabée, the show kicks off RDS’ evening line-up and strengthens the network’s full slate of prime-time programming that includes HOCKEY 360, L’ANTICHAMBRE and NHL hockey including Canadiens games.
New Studios and Production Enhancements
In 2011 RDS revamped its studios with industry-leading technology and state-of-the-art equipment that allows the network to broadcast in full HD. New studios and sets were introduced for L’ANTICHAMBRE, HOCKEY 360, le 5 à 7 NHL hockey and Canadiens’ hockey.
As announced early this year, RIS Info Sports will be rebranded as RDS INFO in early 2012 and will primarily focus on news in the sporting world. RDS INFO will also offer around-the-clock sports news, in-depth analysis and highlights.
RDS – the #1 French Specialty Network
- RDS once again ends the year as the #1 French specialty network in Canada, with the largest market share than all other specialty networks (5.1%* in Quebec)
- In 2011, RDS broadcast 10 events that attracted more than 1 million viewers, including Montreal Canadiens playoff games
- RDS also reached 500,000* viewers or more over 100 times, including the SUPER BOWL XLV, the Canadian F1 Grand Prix, the CFL East Semi-Final, the NHL All-Star Game and skills competition, the 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, HOCKEY 360 and L’ANTICHAMBRE
- A number of properties also saw their viewership increase by more than 20% including the SUPER BOWL XLV, the Canadian F1 Grand Prix and the Canadiens’ first-round playoff games
- The average viewership of 256,000* for all 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship games combined represents an all-time high for RDS
RDS.ca – the #1 Source for Sports in Quebec
With over a million unique visitors per month, RDS.ca remains the most popular French-language sports-related website in North America. It is #1 in Québec for sports website page views, with more than twice the average traffic of its closest competitor. In 2011:
- RDS.ca and its various platforms will register more than 696 million page views
- RDS.ca’s Zone Vidéo recorded a total of 28 million video views
- Le Grand Club, Québec’s largest social network entirely devoted to sports, attracted 44 million page views
- RDS’ Facebook Page has more than 60,000 fans