TSN set to air entire CFL package

The sports net has signed a five-year deal to broadcast the league's complete 77-game package.

From day one to the Grey Cup, every Canadian Football League game for the next five years will be broadcast by CTVglobemedia’s TSN. The events will air on multiple distribution platforms, including TSN, TSN HD and TSN.ca.

As part of TSN’s new five-year deal with the CFL, which commences Thursday, June 26, the net will air Montreal at Hamilton and BC at Calgary at 7 pm and 10 pm respectively. It will be the first time since 1977 that an opening game has been held at Hamilton’s Ivor Wynne Stadium.

New to the broadcast team this year are two-time Grey Cup champion Duane Forde and sideline reporter Sara Orlesky. Alongside play-by-play announcer Rod Black, Forde will act as a game analyst while Orlesky will report the latest football news in the 12th season of Wendy’s Friday Night Football. Returning as the primary voice of TSN’s CFL coverage is Chris Cuthbert, alongside game analyst Glen Suitor. Together, the duo won a Gemini Award for Best Sports Play-by-Play or Analyst.

Enhancing the production elements will be an HD robo-cam and upgraded telestrator. The robo-cam will give viewers a look at the entire field, while the telestrator will aid TSN analysts in identifying players on the field using a pop-up name option.

As a season-opener leading up to the games, TSN will produce and televise a one-hour CFL on TSN Preview Show on Monday, June 23, at 8 pm. Hosted by Dave Randorf and featuring analysts Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan and Jock Climie, the show will provide an in-depth look at all eight CFL teams and an interview with CFL commissioner Mark Cohon by Brian Williams, who will return as an on-site host and conduct features and reports.

Once again, TSN is holding contests during the games. Returning for its fourth installment is Wendy’s award-winning Kick for a Million, which gives one fan the opportunity to win $1 million by kicking a 50-yard field goal. Last year’s promotion received 1.8 million total entries, a 19% increase over 2006. This year’s contest launches July 25.

As well, returning for its sixth season is Purolator’s award-winning Tackle Hunger. In this promotion, every time a quarterback is sacked, Purolator donates his weight in food to the home team’s local food bank. Since the launch in 2003, the program has delivered over 1.5 million pounds of food.

Friday Night Gladiators will return for a seventh season during Wendy’s Friday Night Football, with Glen Suitor selecting one player per night for superior prowess and performance, and the winning gladiator receiving a Movado Series 800 watch.

The CFL Playoff game/broadcast schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.