SBD/August 31, 2012/Media

Sportsnet Establishes Events Division With Grand Slam Of Curling Purchase

Sportsnet will use purchase of Grand Slam of Curling to establish events division
Rogers-owned Sportsnet is “moving beyond basic broadcasting, forming an events division that will own and produce the sports events it televises,” according to Steve Ladurantaye of the GLOBE & MAIL. The company's shift began with Thursday's purchase of the “troubled Grand Slam of Curling from iSport Media and Management.” The CBC dropped the series last year after a “financial dispute with its previous owner.” Leagues have “grown increasingly demanding about how their content can be used when striking television deals, and Rogers wants to make sure it can repackage its programming across different platforms to reach the maximum number of viewers.” Sportsnet's move “opens a new front in the battle for sports viewers with rival BCE Inc." Both companies are “now involved in producing events -- TSN owns both the Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game and Canadian NASCAR events” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/31). In Toronto, Doug Smith writes, “Sportsnet’s purchase -- and it will parcel off some of the coverage of the events in an agreement it hopes to work out with CBC -- lends an air of financial stability to the series that attracts the top teams from around the world.” Sportsnet will "assure at least three days of multi-draw coverage in three of the four Slam events this year with a chance to increase the investment in the coming years” (TORONTO STAR, 8/31).
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