Sportsnet Grabs Grand Slam of Curling; Shares Coverage with CBC
Rogers Sportsnet has purchased the Grand Slam of Curling as it secures additional content for its growing mutli-platform sports specialty services.
The Grand Slam of Curling was acquired by Sportsnet from Insight Sports Ltd. last week; a press conference was held today to provide details of the new arrangement.
Sportsnet will wholly own and operate the Slam, part of the World Curling Tour, and provide coverage of the competitive events.
The series will air on Sportsnet and, through a sub-licensing agreement, on CBC. CBC had its own broadcast arrangement with the Slam, in 2011, but the arrangement was terminated following disagreements over fees and payments.
Sportsnet and the CBC already have other sports content sub-licensing agreements in place.
“Curling is an essential part of our Canadian sports fabric, and the Grand Slam of Curling is the cream of the crop in international curling events,” said Scott Moore, President, Broadcasting, Rogers Media. “We are proud to own and operate the Grand Slam of Curling, as it furthers Sportsnet’s commitment to producing world-class content, anyplace, anyhow and anywhere and allows us to integrate and engage the sports fan in innovative ways through our new events division. Sportsnet intends to grow the Grand Slam of Curling like never before.”
Moore said he’s committed to three events this year, perhaps four, but that he sees the event growing in year to come to as many as 12.
As such, Rogers also announced the formation of a new Events division, and operating the Slam events is top of the to-do list
The 2012-13 Grand Slam of Curling series kicks off with The Masters, taking place in Brantford, ON from November 14 to 18. Additional details regarding the full 2012-13 Grand Slam of Curling schedule and broadcast details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sportsnet has a long history of producing and televising curling, as do many of its current executives, albeit at other networks.
Rogers Media president Keith Pelley was a curling producer at TSN before becoming President there in 2001;, as well Scott Moore, now president of broadcasting for Rogers Media, was in charge at CBC Sports when it first landed the curling rights.
Sportsnet’s curling coverage began with the inaugural season of the World Curling Tour when the network launched in 1988, and has continued with various curling events including the Grand Slam of Curling between 2001 and 2006.
Held annually since 2001-02, the Grand Slam of Curling is an elite series of men’s and women’s curling bonspiels which feature the best teams from across Canada and around the world. Owned and operated by Sportsnet, the Grand Slam of Curling events are part of the annual World Curling Tour and consistently present the strongest fields in curling. The Grand Slam of Curling series is also closely tied to the Canadian Curling Association’s qualifying process for the Olympic Winter Games. Through their performance in the Grand Slam series events, teams can earn a significant amount of points towards securing a berth at the Canadian Olympic Trials.
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