CBC readies new Blades

Casting has been announced for the new season, with a mix of returning stars and new faces. Opportunties for brands are limited, but still open.

The cast for the CBC’s Battle of the Blades‘ second season has been announced, with some familiar faces among the female skaters.

Jamie Salé, the reigning Battle of the Blades champion, is returning, as is Shae-Lynn Bourne, Isabelle Brasseur and Christine Hough-Sweeney.

They’ll be joined by a quartet of new female skaters, including Russian veterans Violetta Afanasieva and Ekaterina Gordeeva, Japanese-American pairs skater Kyoko Ina, and Anabelle Langlois.

Battle of the Blades producer Insight Productions did pick a fresh crop of eight ex-NHL hockey players to lead and lift the ladies, including Theo Fleury, Patrice Brisebois, Valeri Bure and Kelly Chase. Also donning skating tights to master graceful dance routines are NHL tough guy Georges Laraque, Russ Courtnall, Todd Warriner and former hockey player and CBC commentator PJ Stock.

Opportunties for brands to be a part of Blades are still available, although it’s getting tight, confirms Melis Piluso, senior manager, brand development, CBC Media Sales and Marketing.

‘We’re very excited to have four sponsors on board for Battle this season, three of which are integrated into the program,’ she says. ‘Although there isn’t much room left for branded entertainment opportunities, if something comes up between now and our premiere date that fits with the Battle brand and can be easily accommodated with production schedules, then we would definitely consider it and try our best to make it work.’

The second season will add to its behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and vignettes about the knockout competition participants. Battle of the Blades‘ sophomore season starts Sept. 26 with a training camp episode, ahead of the competition gearing up on Oct. 3.

From Playback Daily, with files from Media in Canada.