New Canadian Premier League to get nationwide exposure on CBC
CBC, the public-service broadcaster in Canada, is to show 20 live matches from the 2019 Canadian Premier League, the new professional men’s soccer league that debuts this month, it was announced today.
CBC Sports has struck a deal with Mediapro Canada, an arm of the Spanish sports rights agency that holds exclusive global rights to the seven-team CPL in a 10-year deal.
CBC will be the exclusive television broadcast home for 10 CPL games, while an additional 10 games will be available via free live streaming coverage at cbcsports.ca, the CBC Gem streaming service, and via the CBC Sports app. All games will be produced by Mediapro.
The first game on CBC will be the all-Ontario clash between Forge FC and York9 FC in Hamilton on 27 April.
Earlier this month, Mediapro launched OneSoccer, a 24/7 live and on-demand streaming channel in Canada that will be home to domestic and international soccer played in the country.
OneSoccer will offer live coverage of all 98 matches in the CPL, plus the home games of the Canadian men’s and women’s national teams and all 24 matches in the 2019 Canadian Championship, which involves all professional men’s teams in Canada, including those which compete alongside US sides in North America’s Major League Soccer.
From 2020, there will be also be a selection of men’s and women’s games from the regional League1 Ontario.
In an exclusive interview with Sportcal two months ago, when the Mediapro-CPL contract was announced, Oliver Seibert, director of media and new business at Mediapro, said: “We will create a league channel that in the first instance is direct to consumer, so OTT. We will replicate what we have been doing in other markets. We are open to offering this channel to all different types of media distributors and platforms. It could be Amazon, Facebook or linear channels.
“We are already starting these discussions. For the national team matches and some CPL games, there will be some sub-licensing deals. It won’t be exclusive to one media group.”
Around 80 global organisations responded to the invitation to tender sent out in late August by ThePostGame, a USA-based digital content agency that was appointed last year to sell the global media rights to the CPL on behalf of Canadian Soccer Business, the body that represents the commercial interests of the new league and Canada Soccer, the national association.
Sportcal understands that Mediapro fought off the likes of DAZN, the international OTT platform that launched in Canada in 2017, USA-based FloSports and Bell, the Canadian media giant that owns subscription broadcaster TSN, to land the rights.
IMG was also interested in the contract in the early stages.