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CFL, TSN And RDS Reach New Multi-Year Broadcast Agreement

- Mark Cohon and Phil King praise great game, strong partnership, bright future -

To tweet this release: http://bit.ly/10n40LB

TORONTO, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Football League (CFL) and Bell Media's TSN and RDS are proud to announce a broad new multi-platform broadcast agreement that extends their long-term partnership through to 2018.

As part of the extension, TSN and RDS secure exclusive media rights to all CFL pre-season and regular season games, playoffs, and the Canadian icon that is the Grey Cup, as well as to the CFL Draft and CFL Combine. The CFL regular season broadcast schedule expands to 81 games next year in 2014 when the new Ottawa franchise joins the league. The CFL will also see additional games broadcast in French with more games being broadcast on RDS2.

In addition to broadcast and digital rights, the deal includes exclusive radio rights to the Grey Cup for TSN and TEAM Radio stations.

"This new agreement is a testament to the strength of today's CFL, our tremendous partnership with TSN and RDS, and their important position in the marketplace as Canada's sports leaders," said Mark Cohon, the Commissioner of the CFL. "It's a transformative deal, both for the growth of our league and its presentation. It's an important component of our league's bright future, along with great performances on the field, fan support in the stands, and new stadiums across the country."

"The CFL is one of Canada's leading sports properties and has been one of the main audience drivers on the TSN and RDS schedules. We are extremely proud and honoured to have been a key partner in helping to make the CFL such an important part of the Canadian landscape," said Phil King, President of CTV Programming and Sports. "TSN and RDS are committed to delivering the biggest events in sports to our subscribers and telling the country's most compelling sports stories. The CFL delivers superbly on both fronts. All of us are looking forward to adding even more games in 2014 with the Ottawa franchise joining the league."

TSN has been broadcasting CFL games since 1986 and RDS has been a CFL broadcaster since 1989. In 2008, TSN and RDS became the exclusive broadcasters of the CFL and the Grey Cup. Since that time the networks have established new audience records for CFL broadcasts. Last year's 100 th Grey Cup game on TSN was the most watched ever on English-language television, averaging 5.4 million viewers through the historic telecast.

Last year, TSN, RDS, and Bell Media also embarked on a critically-acclaimed original documentary series, Engraved on a Nation, focusing on how the Grey Cup has become such an intrinsic part of Canadian heritage.

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