Some relatively important curling news breaking today. Sportsnet have announced they will broadcast provincial playdowns for the Brier and Tournament of Hearts (Canada’s national curling championships) for the next ten seasons, beginning in 2013. Sportsnet will broadcast the men’s and women’s playdowns in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, which are generally seen as the three most competitive provinces, beginning this January. Sportsnet will also add the B.C. Championships in 2014.
Earlier this year Sportsnet also purchased the Grand Slam of Curling, so in total the network will broadcast 7 curling events this season.
Here is the press release.
In a continued commitment to growing the sport of curling in Canada, Sportsnet today announced a 10-year multiplatform agreement for exclusive Canadian coverage of the B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario Provincial Curling Championships. Under terms of the agreement, Sportsnet will partner with the four provincial governing bodies – Curl B.C, Alberta Curling Federation, CurlManitoba, and Ontario Curling Association – to deliver the men’s and women’s championship events on television, online and mobile platforms.
This marks the first time the Provincial Curling Championships will be delivered nationally across Canada.
Coverage begins in January 2013 with the Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario women’s events, followed by the men’s events in February. Sportsnet’s deal for the B.C. Provincial Curling Championships begins in 2014. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
“As curling’s popularity continues to grow at an impressive rate, Sportsnet is committed to providing curling fans with increased access to high-calibre events such as the Provincial Curling Championships,” said Navaid Mansuri, Vice-President of Finance and Sports Programming, Sportsnet. “By building on the growing popularity of the sport, these agreements allow us to expand our curling coverage while elevating the profile of these events, as well as the sport of curling across Canada.”
The Provincial Curling Championships are an annual event that showcases curling’s most elite athletes from across the country. The winners move on to compete in the national championships: Tournament of Hearts (women) and Brier (men).
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Sportsnet’s recent purchase the Grand Slam of Curling. Announced in August 2012, Sportsnet now wholly owns and operates the elite series of men’s and women’s curling events which are part of the World Curling Tour.