ESPN, the American sports broadcasting giant, has reached a deal with the Canadian Curling Association and TSN to show some Season of Champions events south of the border.
That's a huge win for curling, of course, even if the games will be relegated to ESPN3. It means American fans can tune in to watch event such as the Canada Cup or Scotties or Brier.
In a release, the CCA head honcho Greg Stremlaw offered up the following:
“We couldn’t be happier to have ESPN on board, and to give curling fans south of the border this opportunity to watch Canada’s elite curlers in action,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “We know there’s an appetite in the United States, particularly with snowbirds who spend their winters in warmer weather, Canadians working or attending school south of the border, and the many curling enthusiasts who travel throughout the United States. We’re excited that these fans will be able to get their curling fix this season.”
Now don't expect to be sitting in the grill room after your round of golf in Florida in March, and seeing some Brier rock-tossing on the television. ESPN3 is an online, streaming channel only, meaning you just get it over the internet, perhaps on your tablet or handheld device via the ESPN app.
And ESPN3 is definitely not showing major league stuff. A sift through the lineup shows Division II football, international rugby and NCAA wrestling.
Still, just to get access to the U.S. and, as Stremlaw says, allow Snowbirds some access to see the games (which, if figure will make up the majority of the audience) is a good step.
Of course ESPN has lots of ties to TSN. In fact, the American outfit owns a chunk of its Canadian brother, making a deal such as this much easier to put together.
You can read the full release here.