ESPN International extended a long-term programming pact with TSN and RDS, whose platforms 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, the companies said in a release.
The pact is not surprising -- ESPN owns a stake in the TSN and RDS parent company -- but is especially meaningful to the Canadian outlets, because they will lose National Hockey League contests after 2013-14 under the league's new rights deal with Rogers Communications.
The new 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 2015, plus other bowl match-ups. Other 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. TSN and RDS digital platforms acquire Canadian media rights to ESPN digital content, including video, fantasy games and ESPN.com.
ESPN holds an equity interest in CTV Specialty Inc., which includes TSN and RDS, a relationship that dates back to 2001.
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.
- 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.
- Digital content from ESPN.com including fantasy platforms.
- ESPN Audio programming