Oct 19, 2017

Launch follows successful summer season that saw significant double-digit audience growth

ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES begins Saturday at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on CBC with coverage of ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating

The next few months represent a crucial stretch for Canadian and international high-performance winter sport athletes looking to secure their spots for PyeongChang 2018. CBC Sports’ ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES continues to be Canada’s best way to see these athletes in action each week as they continue their journey towards the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. The third season of ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES launches Saturday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on CBC with coverage of ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating from Moscow. Live-streaming coverage of this event will begin Friday at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. PT) at cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

“CBC Sports is proud to continue to be Canada’s best way – and in many cases, only way – to see Canada’s Olympians and future Olympians compete leading up to the Games in February,” said Greg Stremlaw, executive director, CBC Sports and general manager, Olympics. “We made a commitment to tell the stories of athletes on their journey to the top of their disciplines by showcasing them as they compete nationally and internationally. Canadian audiences have responded positively and that trend continues to grow, as evidenced by the success of our summer season.”

CBC Sports enters the winter campaign following a very successful summer season that saw impressive TV audience growth over the same period in 2016*, including a 32 per cent increase in average minute audience among the 25-54 demographic, and a 18 per cent increase overall (2+). The average audience reach for CBC Sports programming over the summer period also saw increases of 29 per cent 2+ and 27 per cent among viewers 25-54. In addition, CBC Sports’ audience share increased by 53 per cent among 25-54 compared to summer 2016 and saw a 32 per cent growth in share overall (2+).

Canadian Screen Award-winning hosts Scott Russell and Andi Petrillo will continue to guide viewers through CBC Sports’ coverage from a wide variety of sports throughout the season alongside an all-star roster of expert commentators and analysts, including some of Canada’s most well-known and successful Olympians and world-class athletes. This weekend, Russell and Petrillo will be joined on the broadcast by members of CBC Sports’ figure skating broadcast team featuring veteran Olympian and four-time World and Canadian Champion Kurt Browning, renowned figure skating coach and choreographer Carol Lane, both of whom will provide analysis alongside Petrillo who handle play-by-play duties.

This winter season on ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES will feature approximately 130 hours of competition coverage on TV from October–March and more than 500 hours of free streaming coverage at cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app. Sports and disciplines that will be featured this season on ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES on TV and/or online include: ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating and World Cup Speed Skating; Championship Curling; FIS World Cup Alpine, Cross Country, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined; FIS World Cup Snowboarding; IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton; FIL World Cup Luge; Championship Show Jumping; FIG Gymnastics; IAAF Indoor Athletics; Pan American Cup Indoor Field Hockey; and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. CBC Sports’ TV and streaming schedules are available at cbcsports.ca.

In addition to streaming coverage, CBC Sports’ digital platforms will continue to offer the latest news, results, analysis and in-depth features from a wide variety of sports and events from Canada and around the world throughout the winter season. The ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES section of cbcsports.ca focuses on stories from the world of high-performance sport, often told by the athletes themselves through interviews and long-form first-person articles. This theme of athlete-first storytelling continues through CBC Sports’ social media platforms where the network’s multi-platform reporters take followers behind the scenes from training camps to major championship events, often by inviting the athletes themselves to take control of the CBC Sports accounts.

Fans can take the action of ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES with them wherever they go using the CBC Sports app. The free app for iOS and Android devices features CBC Sports’ live and on-demand streaming video, the latest news and scores and in-depth features to keep Canadian sports fans up to date on Canada’s high-performance athletes.

Follow CBC Sports on social media:
Twitter: @cbcsports, @cbcolympics
Facebook: fb.com/cbcsports, fb.com/cbcolympics
Instagram: @cbc.sports, @cbcolympics
Snapchat: CBCSports
YouTube: youtube.com/cbcsports

*Source: Numeris TV Meter, April 17-Oct 1, 2017 confirmed, Oct 2-15, 2017 unconfirmed, CBC Total, Sat Sun, Total Canada, AMA, Dly Rch, Generated by InfoSys+TV

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About CBC Sports
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s Olympic Network and is committed to showcasing high-performance athletes and sports across all platforms, including Canadian athletes and their international competitors. CBC Sports prides itself on ensuring Canadians always know the athletes who represent them before they see them atop the podium.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.

For more information, contact:
Simon Bassett, CBC
416-205-8533 (t); 416-988-1590 (m)