Press Release

TSN and RDS Extend Content Agreement with ESPN

– Multiplatform Agreement features new Canadian broadcast rights for college football, including the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoff, as well as NCAA basketball, the Australian Open, and ESPN’s award-winning news and information programming –



RDS  TSN 

 

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TORONTO and NEW YORK (December 17, 2013) – TSN and RDS today announced they have extended their long-term, multi-year programming agreement with ESPN International. The new deal allows TSN and RDS platforms to retain exclusive Canadian access to original ESPN programming, including ESPN Films and thousands of hours of live sports events and news and information programming each year.

A highlight of the agreement includes Canadian broadcast rights to ESPN’s slate of college football programming, including the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 2014 and the new College Football Playoff (CFP) beginning in January of 2015, as well as other important Bowl match-ups. Additional highlights include NCAA basketball, the Australian Open, and ESPN’s slate of extensive football news programming. 

As part of the agreement, Bell Media Radio holds radio broadcast rights; while TSN and RDS digital platforms acquire Canadian media rights to ESPN digital content, including video, fantasy games and ESPN.com’s team of highly-respected columnists and Insider analysis.

“ESPN is one of the world’s leading sport entertainment companies and we are thrilled to extend our long and successful partnership to bring Canadians the best of ESPN programming, including its extensive coverage of the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoff,” said Stewart Johnston, president of TSN. “The strength of TSN has always been the breadth and depth of our broadcast schedule and this partnership underscores our commitment to bringing our viewers, clients, and partners sports and news content from the United States’ top sports media brand.”

“ESPN continues to value its relationship with TSN and RDS.  We joined forces 13 years ago to provide Canadian fans top-quality content, including some of the sporting world’s marquee events,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director, ESPN International. “This new agreement carries on that mission and continues to serve the Canadian sports fan via multiple platforms in a market key to ESPN’s international business.”

Highlights of the new programming arrangement include the following content.

 

  • College football including the BCS in 2014 and the CFP for 2015 and beyond, including more than 30 Bowl games each December-January
  • Complete coverage of the Australian Open, including the Finals
  • News and information programming, including PARDON THE INTERUPTION, AROUND THE HORN, NUMBERS NEVER LIE, and SPORTSNATION.
  • Sport-specific studio shows for NFL Countdown, NFL Films, ESPN FC, and Game Day SportsCenter Insider Reports and news features
  • Critically-acclaimed and award-winning documentaries from ESPN Films (30 for 30, 9 FOR IX) and original programming like E:60
  • X Games, World Series of Poker, the Australian Football League, NHRA, and more
  • Digital content from ESPN.com including fantasy platforms
  • ESPN Audio programming

ESPN holds an equity interest in CTV Specialty Inc. which includes TSN and RDS. The relationship dates back to 2001.   

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TSN
TSN is Canada's Sports Leader and #1 specialty network. With a broad portfolio of multimedia sports assets, TSN delivers world-class content across industry-leading platforms including TSN2, TSN.ca, TSN Radio and TSN Mobile TV. Official broadcaster of the Grey Cup, IIHF World Junior Championship and FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, TSN’s slate of live sports coverage includes NHL, CFL, NFL, NBA, MLS, Season of Champions Curling, UEFA Euro 2016, MLB Sunday Night Baseball, Barclays Premier League, Golf’s Majors, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Canadian Tire Series, F1, Grand Slam Tennis, NCAA March Madness, and Skate Canada events. TSN is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.

ESPN International
ESPN International is a division of ESPN, Inc., which has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 24 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of additional businesses that allow ESPN to reach sports fans in 61 countries and territories across all seven continents. ESPN International business entities include television, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management. The company and its holdings maintain offices or production facilities in key locations around the world including Bangalore, Bristol, CT, Buenos Aires, London, Mexico City, Miami, FL, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products.

RDS
RDS is the leading French sport broadcaster in Canada and the no.1 specialized channel in Québec. In  addition to having the richest portfolio of French speaking sports programming in the world, RDS delivers its industry leading content over its multiple world-class platforms, including RDS, RDS2 & RDS Info channels, the website RDS.ca, RDS mobile, RDS mobile TV and the mobile application RDS GO.  Official broadcaster of the NHL and the Stanley Cup playoffs, the CFL and the Grey Cup, the NFL and the Super Bowl, the MLS and the MLS Cup, the MLB and the World Series, the FIFA World Cup from 2015 to 2022, the UEFA EURO 2016 and exclusive French broadcaster of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club, the Montreal Alouettes football club, Formula 1 racing  and of the Tour de France, RDS broadcasts close to 3000 hours of live content per year on its different channels, including  Montreal Impact soccer games, IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, NASCAR including the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, PGA Tour including four major golf tournaments, ATP tennis including four Grand Slam tournaments, Barclays premier league soccer, NCAA basketball including March Madness, Season of Champions Curling and Skate Canada events. RDS will also be broadcasting the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games as an official specialty channel. RDS is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.

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For More Information:

Greg McIsaac, (w) 416.384.5180, (c) 416.458.3591, greg.mcisaac@bellmedia.ca

Ardi Dwornik, (w) 646-547-5612, (c) 646-915-2842, ardi.r.dwornik@espn.com

Simon Céré, (w) 514.529.2135, (c) 514.754.3135, simon.cere@bellmedia.ca

 

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