ESPN Secures Exclusive U.S. Rights to Canadian Football League Games
86 Games on ESPN Networks in 2014 as Part of Multi-Year Agreement
ESPN has acquired exclusive rights in the United States to Canadian Football League (CFL) games through a multi-year agreement, beginning with the 2014 season. ESPN will present at least 86 games in 2014 with 17 or more contests to be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, including the 102nd Grey Cup. An additional 69 games will be carried on ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3.
The TV schedule kicks off Saturday, June 28, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2 when the Calgary Stampeders host the Montreal Alouettes, whose star wide receiver is Duron Carter, son of ESPN NFL analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter. Canada's Sports Leader TSN will work with ESPN on game productions and their team of commentators will call the games.
ESPN's relationship with the CFL spans more than three decades. In 1980, ESPN televised its first live football telecast ever - the CFL's Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal Alouettes - and continued televising CFL games from 1980-84, 1986-89, 1994-97 and in 2013. Additionally, ESPN3 has carried CFL games since 2008, including 54 games in 2013.
"Since the early days of ESPN, CFL games have been a valued part of our programming lineup," said Burke Magnus, Senior Vice President, Programming Acquisitions. "I'm proud to see our relationship continue as we strive to serve football fans 365 days a year."
"We are thrilled for our fans in the United States that the ESPN networks will be the exclusive home of our league there," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the CFL. "This is a powerful showcase for our talented athletes, our exciting brand of football, and the CFL itself, a league with a proud history but, more importantly, a bright future."
CFL games presented on ESPN networks will also be available to audiences in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim. Further, games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS will be available on WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast (via the WatchESPN app), Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The network is currently available to more than 92 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
ESPN's CFL Television Schedule Through July:
Date Time (ET) Game Network(s)
Sat, June 28 3 p.m. Montreal at Calgary ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sat, July 5 3 p.m. Saskatchewan at Toronto ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, July 11 10 p.m. Ottawa at Edmonton ESPNEWS, WatchESPN
Thu, July 17 8:30 p.m. Edmonton at Winnipeg ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, July 18 10 p.m. Hamilton at Calgary ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thu, July 24 9 p.m. Calgary at Edmonton ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sat, July 26 10 p.m. Toronto at Saskatchewan ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thu, July 31 7 p.m. Winnipeg at Hamilton ESPN, WatchESPN
*Schedule subject to change.