Sports broadcasting contracts in Canada
This article refers to sports broadcasting contracts in Canada. For broadcasting rights lists of other countries, see Sports television broadcast contracts.
- 1 Baseball
- 2 Basketball
- 3 Cricket
- 4 Curling
- 5 Football
- 6 Golf
- 7 Hockey
- 8 Mixed Martial Arts
- 9 Motorsports
- 10 Soccer
- 11 Tennis
- 12 Skiing
- 13 Swimming
- 14 Olympics
- 15 References
Major League Baseball
- Sportsnet, as its parent company Rogers Communications is the owner of its sole Canadian franchise, the Toronto Blue Jays, holds national rights to Major League Baseball in Canada, including assorted games from U.S. regional sports networks (particularly the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers), the MLB All-Star Game, and the postseason. Games air across Sportsnet and its sister national services Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360.
- Since May 2010, rights to ESPN's Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Sunday Night Baseball have been sub-licensed to TSN, in exchange for its previous rights to a package of Blue Jays games. Individual SNB games may still air on Sportsnet in the event of scheduling conflicts.
- The MLB Extra Innings subscription package is available through most Canadian television providers.
- In 2014, after successfully sponsoring its addition to the whitelist of foreign channels approved for carriage in Canada, Rogers Cable became the first provider in Canada to offer MLB Network.
- Games available on U.S. over-the-air channels available in Canada on cable or satellite, such as national games on Fox, and local coverage on superstations such as WGN-TV, WPIX, and formerly WPCH-TV.
National Basketball Association
The NBA's Canadian marketing arm is managed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Toronto Raptors. In turn, MLSE is majority-owned by Bell Canada and Rogers Communications; as such, coverage is mostly confined to their co-owned TSN and Sportsnet properties, along with the MLSE-owned NBA TV Canada. Toronto Raptors games are primarily aired by TSN and TSN2, with selected games airing on Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, or Sportsnet 360. Ancillary Raptors content, including game encores, air on NBA TV Canada.
TSN2 airs most regular-season TNT games, and TSN exclusively carries the NBA Finals (although virtually every viewer who receives TSN also gets ABC from their cable or satellite service provider; although it is not legally required to, co-owned provider Bell TV will simsub ABC feeds with TSN). Some of ABC's non-Finals games are simulcast on CHCH-TV, allowing for simsubs for those in the Hamilton and Toronto regions. NBA TV Canada primarily carries NBA TV and other ESPN games.
Coverage of regular-season games vary; both Big Ten Network and CBS Sports Network, along with U.S. network broadcasts of games are available, while TSN simulcasts selected ESPN games throughout the season.
Asian Television Network owns the vast majority of Canadian cricket rights, with marquee events typically airing live on CBN, and selected events and other programming airing on ATN Cricket Plus. ATN also owns the rights to the ICC Cricket World Cup, this tournament is broadcast on pay-per-view throughout Canada.
The Indian Premier League was telecast live on CBN with replays and highlights on ATN Cricket Plus. However, starting with the 2011 IPL tournament, games were shifted to being aired live on pay-per-view and on Sportsnet.
- TSN holds exclusive rights to the Canadian Curling Association's Season of Champions series through 2020, which include the Continental Cup of Curling, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier (Canada's men's and women's national championships), along with the World Curling Championships.
- As its parent company is the owner of the series, Sportsnet is the primary broadcaster of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling, although some events were shared with CBC for a period.
Canadian Football League
- TSN – all games including playoffs and Grey Cup
- RDS – all Montreal games in French; as well as playoffs and the Grey Cup.
National Football League
Contracts are current as of the 2014 NFL season.
- CTV – Sunday afternoon games in both the "early" (1:00 pm ET) and "late" (4:05 / 4:25 pm ET) windows, most playoff games, and the Super Bowl.
- CTV Two occasionally airs additional Sunday afternoon games. In Atlantic Canada, all regular-season games in the Sunday late-afternoon window are relocated to CTV Two Atlantic.
- Additional Sunday afternoon games, and playoff games interfering with other major events carried on CTV, may air on one or more of the TSN feeds. The divisional playoff game on late Sunday afternoon usually airs on TSN due to the possibility of a late-running game interfering with CTV's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards that evening.
- TSN – Airs all games in the NBC Sunday Night Football and ESPN Monday Night Football packages, including the NFL Kickoff game, but excluding NBC's game on U.S. Thanksgiving night. CTV may have the option to simulcast these games, as occurred for the 2007 New England Patriots-New York Giants game (following the last-minute decision to simulcast that NFLN game on NBC and CBS; at that time TSN also held the NFLN package), but Bell TV does simsub TSN's simulcasts over U.S. feeds.
- Sportsnet – All games in the Thursday Night Football package, all (U.S.) Thanksgiving Day games, and the Pro Bowl. Games originated by U.S. broadcast networks are usually simulcast (for simsub purposes) on City or Omni.
- RDS / RDS2 – exclusive French-language rights. Presently RDS carries selected Sunday games (up to two per week in either the 1:00, 4:05/4:25, and 8:30 ET timeslots, mainly towards the end of the season) and the playoffs, and RDS2 carries Monday night games.
NBC, CBS, and Fox are available in Canada but their broadcasts may be subject to simultaneous substitution. NFL Network is available as well, but its games are similarly blacked out in Canada in deference to Sportsnet. Finally, NFL Sunday Ticket is also available through virtually all service providers, whereas in the U.S. the service is exclusive to DirecTV.
Due to Canadian regulations that permit stations from different areas to be carried in the same market, several games may be available in each of the Sunday timeslots through a combination of domestic and American stations from different areas, without a subscription to Sunday Ticket. By contrast, outside a handful of areas where multiple neighbouring network affiliates are available, no more than three games may be aired in a given U.S. market on any Sunday afternoon (up to four games in week 17).
Canadian college football
As of 2013, Sportsnet broadcasts the national CIS playoff games, namely the Mitchell Bowl, the Uteck Bowl, and the Vanier Cup. Ici Radio-Canada Télé carries many QSSF games. Games not covered by these contracts are often carried by local cable community channels.
U.S. college football
Coverage of games is also available from U.S. networks carried in Canada, such as Big Ten Network and CBS Sports Network, along with broadcast network coverage or syndicated packages (such as American Sports Network on WNYO-TV and WHAM-TV, and formerly SEC TV, aired by WPCH-TV, which has historically been carried on Canadian providers as a superstation). An out-of-market sports package offered by some providers includes other games from U.S. outlets that are not otherwise available in Canada.
- TSN carries coverage of The Masters (first two rounds live, final two rounds on tape delay), the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship, as well as selected other R&A, USGA and PGA of America events. It also carries a limited schedule of PGA Tour coverage (including the early rounds of the Canadian Open, sub-licensed from Golf Channel). As of 2014, TSN is also the exclusive broadcaster of the Canadian Women's Open.
- Global carries live weekend coverage of The Masters, as well as most PGA Tour events carried by U.S. network television (in many cases carrying the final round only).
- Golf Channel (based in the U.S. but available in much of Canada on digital cable/satellite) carries early-round coverage of all PGA Tour events, and four-round coverage of some late/early-season tournaments. This coverage was carried on TSN prior to 2007.
The CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, at that time owned by "Canadian Sports Network", the production arm of MacLaren Advertising, was outbid for the broadcast rights to the 1972 Summit Series by a partnership of Harold Ballard and Bobby Orr, but HNIC staff were used.
Globe and Mail writer Bruce Dowbiggin credits TSN with turning the World Junior Hockey Championships from an obscure non-event when it accuired the rights in 1991 (and which it remains in most hockey countries) to one of Canada's most beloved annual sports events, and at the same time cementing the link between Canadian nationalism and hockey, and inspiring the NHL's Winter Classic.
National Hockey League
- Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey; exclusive national window on Wednesday nights.
- Simulcasts of NHL on NBC coverage, including Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon games .
- Thursday night games, mostly U.S.-vs.-U.S., on Sportsnet 360
- Occasional U.S.-vs.-U.S. games, or "regional" Sportsnet telecasts upgraded to national coverage.
- Hockey Night in Canada: exclusive national windows on Saturday nights, multiple games airing across CBC Television, City, and Sportsnet channels, along with a single U.S.-vs.-U.S. game primarily on FX Canada.
- In rare circumstances, due to non-hockey programming conflicts such as UFC events or the Major League Baseball postseason airing on Sportsnet One and/or 360, the Sportsnet regional channels may air different games. However, all four Sportsnet regional channels are available nationwide through the digital services of most providers.
- Rogers Hometown Hockey: National Sunday night game on City.
- Minority language content on Omni Television, including a Hockey Night doubleheader with Punjabi language commentary.
- Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; finals coverage to air solely on CBC, but may be simulcast across Sportsnet networks as well.
- Canadian distribution and marketing rights to the NHL GameCentre Live and NHL Centre Ice services
- La super soirée LNH: two Saturday night games, one of which involving the Montreal Canadiens.
- La soirée des étoiles: games focusing on top players.
- Les grandes rivalités: games focusing on major rivalries.
- La soirée des fans: viewer-voted games.
- The TVA network will air the All-Star Game, Winter Classic, and Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Canadian teams also contract with local or regional broadcasters for selected pre-season and regular season games not covered by the national contracts. These deals are separate from the national rights deal, and may cover up to 60 regular-season games per season. Rights are current as of the 2014–15 NHL season.
- Vancouver Canucks: Sportsnet Pacific
- Edmonton Oilers: Sportsnet West
- Calgary Flames: Sportsnet West
- Winnipeg Jets: TSN3
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Sportsnet Ontario (16 games), TSN4 (26 games)
- Rights to the Maple Leafs' regional telecasts are divided equally between TSN and Sportsnet. Of Sportsnet's 26 regional Leafs games, ten are broadcast nationally in conjunction with Rogers' national NHL rights deal.
- Club-owned channel Leafs TV no longer airs live coverage of any Maple Leafs games, but still airs replays and other ancillary coverage of the team.
- Ottawa Senators: TSN5 (English); RDS / RDS2 (French)
- Montreal Canadiens: Sportsnet East / City Montreal (English); RDS (French)
Each team's regional game broadcasts are restricted to viewers of that team's designated home broadcast region as assigned by the NHL. Outside said region, these broadcasts are made available exclusively through NHL Centre Ice (TV) or NHL GameCenter Live (online). If the originating channel is available outside a team's region (e.g. out-of-market Sportsnet feeds), the game broadcasts must be blacked out in these other areas. Sportsnet also operates part-time channels for the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers in case of scheduling conflicts: these channels are tied to the Sportsnet One service.
Under previous (2002–14) rights deals with RDS, French-language rights to all Canadiens games were included in the national NHL contract and could be televised nationally. With the national rights changing hands to Rogers/TVA as of the 2014–15 season, the Canadiens had the option to either continue packaging its rights with the national deal, or opt-out and sell regional-only rights separately. The Canadiens opted for the latter, signing a separate twelve-year deal with RDS for French-language TV rights in the team's designated broadcast region. (The team is part-owned by TSN/RDS parent company BCE.)
U.S. teams in close proximity to the Canadian border are now also able to sell Canadian regional broadcast rights to their games. As of the 2013–14 season, Bell Satellite TV and Bell Fibe TV own regional rights to Buffalo Sabres broadcasts for portions of Canada within a 50-mile radius of First Niagara Center, approximately stretching from Niagara Falls to the community of Stoney Creek in Hamilton. Sabres game broadcasts are available to Bell TV subscribers in this region at no extra cost, and moreover are no longer available as part of the NHL Centre Ice package through other providers serving this region. The Detroit Red Wings, whose market borders on Windsor, Ontario, is presumably able to sell similar rights but has not yet done so.
As with other sports properties, game broadcasts on U.S. terrestrial stations carried in Canada, such as the NBC broadcast network's national rights package as well as WGN-TV's broadcasts of the Chicago Blackhawks, are not subject to blackout for Canadian cable/satellite subscribers receiving those stations.
Canadian Hockey League
- TSN – National championships and most international events sanctioned by Hockey Canada (including but not limited to IIHF world championships, Telus Cup, Royal Bank Cup, Esso Women's Nationals, and the Allan Cup)
- TSN also now holds broadcast rights to the Spengler Cup.
Mixed Martial Arts
Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Formula 1: TSN, RDS
- Formula E: SPEED, RDS
- World RX: beIN Sports Canada, RDS
- WEC: SPEED (Highlights, Le Mans & Austin live)
- ERC: RDS2 (Highlights)
- MotoGP: SPEED (Live, Moto2/Moto3 SDD), RDS2 (Delayed, Moto2/Moto3 Highlights)
- World Superbike: beIN Sports Canada
- Sprint Cup Series: TSN, RDS
- Xfinity Series: TSN, RDS
- Starting in 2015, 4 races are also on FOX.
- Starting in 2015, 4 races, including the final race, are also on NBC.
- Camping World Truck Series: SPEED
- Talladega race on FOX
- Canadian Tire Series: TSN, RDS2 (Highlights)
- Trois-Rivières (GP3R) race live on RDS2
- Verizon IndyCar Series: Sportsnet / City, TVA Sports
- Indy Lights: Sportsnet
- United SportsCar Championship: SPEED
- Blancpain Endurance Series: CBS Sports Network (Delayed)
- Blancpain Sprint Series: CBS Sports Network (Delayed)
Major League Soccer
- National broadcasts: TSN has the primary national broadcast contract for the 2011 to 2016 seasons, including first selection of games involving Canadian teams. Games may air on either TSN or TSN2 in English, and in some cases also on either RDS or RDS2 in French. This includes:
- 30 games involving Canadian teams per season, with approximately equal appearances by all three Canadian teams.
- The MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup for all six seasons. TSN also owns broadcast rights to the MLS Cup Playoffs, but does not usually air all such games.
- Additional games not involving Canadian teams, presently all simulcast from ESPN / ESPN2 or NBCSN.
- GolTV Canada airs additional U.S. games from ESPN or NBCSN that TSN chooses not to air.
- Regional broadcasts: (Note there are no out-of-market blackouts, so all games are available across Canada to digital cable and satellite subscribers.)
Other domestic leagues
North American/Canadian Soccer
- CONCACAF Champions League: Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, and Sportsnet World
- Canadian Soccer Association-organized events, including national-team friendlies and the Canadian Championship: Sportsnet
- FIFA events, including the World Cup (2015–2022): CTV, TSN RDS (French), RDS2 (French)
- UEFA's key national-team competitions, including the European Championship, UEFA Women's Championship and UEFA Under-21 Championship: TSN / RDS; contract runs 2011–2017 (including Euro 2012 and Euro 2016; U-21 tournaments in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017; and Women's Euro 2013). Some games will air on TSN2 / RIS. Tournaments apart from the main Euro championship may be carried online only.
- UEFA Champions League (through to May 2015):
- Sportsnet (all four regional channels): First pick of Tuesday and Wednesday matches, and the final
- Sportsnet One: Third pick of Tuesday and Wednesday matches, if applicable
- Sportsnet World: Second pick on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, plus any matches originating in Russia not selected by the Sportsnet channels, and tape-delayed coverage of most other matches.
- Sportsnet 360: Occasional coverage of group stage matches on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
- UEFA Europa League (current): Sportsnet and TVA Sports
- Premier League : The rights are divided equally between Sportsnet and TSN.
- Serie A: BeIN Sports Canada
- Argentine Primera División: Sportsnet and TVA Sports
- Ligue 1: BeIN Sports Canada
- Primeira Liga: TSN1/TSN2/TSN3/TSN4/TSN5 (English, only for S.L. Benfica home games), RDS/RDS2 (French, only for Benfica home games), Sportsnet/Sportsnet One/Sportsnet World/Sportsnet 360 (English, for all other games, except Benfica home games), TVA Sports/TVA Sports 2 (French, for all other games, except Benfica home games) and Sport TV (Portuguese).
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: Gol TV
- Fußball-Bundesliga: Gol TV
- Primera División de México: TSN1/TSN2/TSN3/TSN4/TSN5 (English) and RDS/RDS2 (French)
- Scottish Premier League: Sportsnet World
- Coppa Italia: Gol TV
- La Liga: BeIN Sports Canada
- Copa del Rey: TSN1/TSN2/TSN3/TSN4/TSN5 (English) and RDS/RDS2 (French)
- FA Cup: Sportsnet World
- Football League Cup: BeIN Sports Canada
- Australian Open : TSN
- French Open : TSN
- Wimbledon : TSN
- U.S. Open : TSN
- Rogers Cup : Sportsnet (early rounds), CBC Sports (semi finals and finals)
- ATP World Tour Masters 1000 : Sportsnet One
- ATP World Tour Finals : Sportsnet One
- Zelkovich, Chris (June 16, 2010). "Sportsnet back in the game with Raptors". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- "TSN, CCA EXTEND CURLING PARTNERSHIP THROUGH 2020 SEASON". TSN.ca. Bell Media. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
- "Sportsnet new owner of Grand Slam curling". The Curling News. 30 August 2012.
- "BREAKING: Sportsnet, CBC back on curling ice". The Curling News. 29 August 2012.
- "Grand Slam of Curling returns to CBC". CBC Sports. 30 August 2012.
- "Sportsnet Announces Six-Year Deal with CIS, Including Vanier Cup". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- "Rogers scores national NHL TV rights for $5.2B". CBC. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
- "500-plus NHL games to air under Rogers deal". Sportsnet. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Rogers Media (2014-06-22). "Rogers Unveils 2014-15 National NHL Broadcast Schedule". CNW Group. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
- Faguy, Steve (2014-06-22). "NHL schedule: Rogers will air 32 Canadiens games nationally in 2014-15". Fagstein. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
- "Canadians to Experience NHL Content in 22 Languages, This Season on OMNI Television". Rogers Media. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- "TVA SPORTS DÉVOILE SON CALENDRIER". TVASports.ca. Groupe TVA. 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
- "NHL, TVA Sports launch French-language agreement". NHL.com. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "Canadiens, Sportsnet ink new regional deal". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Cousineau, Sophie (2013-11-28). "TVA to pay Rogers $120-million a year to be NHL's French-language broadcaster". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "Canadiens reach new TV deal with RDS". The Gazette (Montreal). 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- Buffalo Sabres (2013-10-09). "SOUTHERN ONTARIO IS NOW "SABRES COUNTRY"". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "Sportsnet, UFC sign 4-year rights deal". Sportsnet. March 7, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "TSN to broadcast all Whitecaps FC games beginning in 2014". TSN.ca. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Every Game, All Season Long: MLS ON TSN Kicks Off its Complete Coverage of Vancouver Whitecaps FC This Saturday". Bell Media PR. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- "Bell Media lands deal for FIFA soccer from 2015 through 2022". October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- The Sports Network (February 1, 2011). "TSN Acquires Rights to Euro 2012 and 2016". Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- Based on ESPN's announcement of U.S. rights to the same tournaments.