June 17, 2004 - Canadian Football League (CFL)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada; New York, USA, June 17, 2004 Â– Canadian Football League games will be broadcast to millions of sports fans around the world during the 2004 season as the result of a strategic agreement reached by the CFL with Trajectory Sports & Media Group.
International coverage of CFL games begins during the seasonÂ’s June 14 opening week, and continues to the Grey Cup Championship Game on November 21 in Ottawa. With this expanded broadcast reach, the number of potential new viewers worldwide will increase to approximately 50 million homes during the season Â– a five-fold increase over the general Canadian home market.
Â“I am pleased that sports fans in the United States and around the world will be able to share the excitement of CFL games as a result of our agreement with Trajectory Sports & Media Group,Â” said CFL Commissioner Tom Wright. Â“As the oldest professional football league in North America, the CFL has been able to combine innovation with tradition. New fans will now be able to discover the fast pace, grit and energy of our three-down game.Â”
In addition to introducing CFL games to new audiences, the broadcasts will fill a void between the end of broadcast coverage for the spring football leagues (NFL Europe and Arena Football) and the start of the fall NFL season Â– building to the Grey Cup game in November. By capturing Friday and Saturday night positions for the international coverage, Trajectory Sports & Media Group has ensured that CFL games will be seen in primetime broadcast slots that otherwise are devoid of hard-hitting professional sports.
Â“Professional football is one of the most popular sports in America today, and fans have shown a tremendous appetite for more,Â” said Richard Stone, the President of Trajectory Sports & Media Group. Â“Bringing CFL games to prime time in the U.S. and abroad meets a market demand for high-quality live sports events, particularly on the weekends.Â”
In the United States, the two major American satellite services Â– DirecTV and DISH Network Â– will carry sports channels that feature weekly CFL games as part of their regular lineup. The America One Television Network also will feature the games and make them available to local broadcast television stations across the country.
In the New York/New Jersey area Â– one of the key U.S. sports markets Â– CFL games will be broadcast on Madison Square Garden Network and on Fox Sports New York. Cable subscribers in upstate New York will find coverage on Empire Sports Network.
For New England, games can be seen each week on the New England Sports Network.
U.S. coverage of CFL games is important for many reasons. Several hundred U.S. players are members of the leagueÂ’s nine teams, and NFL stars such as Doug Flutie, Warren Moon and Jeff Garcia formerly played in the CFL. In addition, U.S. coverage allows the many Canadian citizens living in America an opportunity to see and hear CFL games during the season.
For European coverage, CFL games will be seen on the North American Sports Network (NASN), which is distributed on EuropeÂ’s largest direct-to-home provider, the BSkyB platform. NASN currently serves the United Kingdom and plans to expand to Germany and the rest of Europe later this year.
Allied Forces serving in the Persian Gulf region and throughout the Middle East will also be able to see weekly games on Fox Sports.