ESPN acquires U.S. broadcast rights for Season of Champions
Curling fans in the United States will have an unprecedented opportunity to watch Canada’s best curlers on the sport’s biggest stages, it was announced today. U.S. sports broadcasting giant ESPN has acquired the U.S. rights to deliver the Canadian Curling Association’s Season of Champions events throughout the 2014-15 season, beginning with this week’s Home Hardware Canada Cup, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, in Camrose, Alta. “We couldn’t be happier to have ESPN on board, and to give curling fans south of the border this opportunity to watch Canada’s elite curlers in action,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “We know there’s an appetite in the United States, particularly with snowbirds who spend their winters in warmer weather, Canadians working or attending school south of the border, and the many curling enthusiasts who travel throughout the United States. We’re excited that these fans will be able to get their curling fix this season.” More than 300 hours of live curling, broadcast by TSN in Canada, will be shown on ESPN3, including: — The Home Hardware Canada Cup — The World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, Jan. 8-11 in Calgary — The Pinty’s All-Star Curling Skins Game, Jan. 16-18 in Banff, Alta. — The M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Championships, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Corner Brook, N.L. — The Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Feb. 14-22 in Moose Jaw, Sask. — The Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, Feb. 28-March 8 in Calgary. “Through this agreement with the Canadian Curling Association, ESPN is making a new and exciting commitment to the sport,” said Brian Kweder, senior director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “We look forward to delivering these events nationwide to draw out the curling fan in all of us.” ESPN3 is currently available to 95 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks. About the Canadian Curling Association The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) is the national sport governing body responsible for the development, promotion and organization of curling in Canada. In cooperation with its Provincial and Territorial Member Associations from across Canada, the CCA provides programs and services to curlers ranging from the youngest ‘little rocker’ (age 7 and up), to those participating at ages 70 and over – and from aspiring Olympians to Canadians with special needs, coaches, curling facility operators, ice makers and officials. The CCA also oversees and provides the comprehensive management of the Season of Champions event portfolio; develops and administers the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) for Olympic qualification; and organizes and operates the championship system for Juniors (under 20), Seniors (over 50), Mixed, Women, Men, University and Wheelchair.