After failing to get the last Grand Slam of Curling on the air, iSport Media has inked a deal with Shaw Media (Global) to show both the men’s and women’s finals from the Players Championship in Summerside, PEI.
“We’re excited,” said Kevin Albrecht, the head of iSport. “It’s one of the major networks in Canada.”
The Grand Slam events had been on CBC TV up until this year, but the broadcaster pulled the plug at the end of January just days before The National in Dawson Creek, B.C.
The year’s final and the tour’s biggest event will now air on Global from coast to coast.
Unlike the previous arrangement, iSport is producing the broadcast itself, hiring Aquila Productions out of Edmonton to run things. Veteran producer Curtis Saville will handle the production.
“This will give us a chance to try some of the things we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Albrecht said. “It’s really a great opportunity to really showcase the curlers.”
Two thirds of the announcing crew has been confirmed. The legendary Don Duguid will be back on the air alongside Olympic silver medalist Cheryl Bernard to provide colour commentary. A play-by-play person is still to be finalized but Albrecht said a decision on that will be made soon.
Albrecht said that so far, this show on Global is a one-time affair, but he’s hoping to talk with the network about continuing next year. He said that Global likes the combination of curling with PGA Tour coverage that it already has.
As for the struggles with CBC, Albrecht said that not much has happened on that front as both sides continue to disagree.