CBC lands 5-year deal to broadcast skating
CBC Sports announced Wednesday it has reached a five-year agreement with the International Skating Union that gives the network the rights to broadcast top figure skating and speedskating events on its various platforms.
The deal will allow viewers to watch the best Canadian athletes in figure skating and speedskating perform in the world's elite competitions over some 120 hours of coverage annually on CBC Television, CBC's specialty channel Bold, and online at CBCSports.ca.
CBC has also entered into a strategic partnership with VisionTV, which is available in 10 million Canadian homes, giving viewers even more access to CBC's award-winning figure skating coverage.
The schedule is highlighted by marquee events held on Canadian ice, such as the 2011 ISU Grand Prix Final in Quebec City in December and the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ont.
The deal also includes all other figure skating world championships held annually over the next five years, plus the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, and all ISU Grand Prix events with the exception of Skate Canada International.
CBC Sports will also deliver all the major ISU championships in speedskating and short track, including the 2012 ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Calgary next January and the ISU World Cup Short Track in Saguenay, Que., in October of this year.
"This deal solidifies CBC's long-term commitment to acquiring marquee, signature sports events that entertain and engage Canadians," said Jeffrey Orridge, the executive director of CBC sports properties, in a statement. "Viewers have come to expect nothing but the best from our skating coverage, and this ensures fans will see Canadian champions competing on the world stage in the most important international figure skating and speedskating competitions.
"CBC Sports is thrilled to partner with the ISU and continue a relationship that has been built over decades of world-class programming."
The announcement of the CBC-ISU deal comes two weeks after Bell Media revealed a 10-year agreement with Skate Canada to carry its domestic events, including the Skate Canada International Grand Prix event and the Canadian figure skating championships.