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Hockey Canada and CTV Specialty Sign Seven-Year Extension Through 2014 -- Exclusive Partnership Includes Broadcast and Multimedia Rights for TSN and RDS --
NR.003.06
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January 3, 2006
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VANCOUVER () – In the midst of the most successful IIHF World Junior Championship broadcast ever, Hockey Canada and CTV Specialty Television Enterprises Inc. (CTV Specialty) today announced an extension of its long-standing partnership. Under the new seven-year pact, TSN and RDS retain the exclusive broadcast rights to Hockey Canada events, as well as the addition of multimedia rights, strengthening the networks’ position as the home for hockey. The deal begins in 2007 and runs through the 2014 season, representing a 24-year ongoing relationship dating back to 1991.

The announcement was made on TSN and RDS today during the first intermission of the Canada/Finland semifinal game at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver.

The deal provides CTV Specialty with exclusive Canadian broadcast rights in English and French for TSN and RDS, plus rights in all languages, to 11 key Hockey Canada events including National Championships and International events. In addition, the agreement gives CTV Specialty the ability to distribute programming and content to networks within the CTV Inc. family, including CTV, NHL Network, ESPN Classic and RIS. The seven-year deal also provides the opportunity to broadcast on radio and broadband, plus emerging technologies such as video on mobile devices, video-on-demand, podcasting and interactive TV.

“This partnership delivers on two key objectives: First, it ensures that TSN and RDS will continue to be the home of international hockey and national hockey championships for the long-term. Secondly, the increase in the number of games and tournaments within the package clearly demonstrates our commitment to hockey at all levels,” said Rick Brace, President, CTV Inc.

“TSN and RDS have played a great role for Hockey Canada in promoting our development programs and initiatives and growing all of our broadcasts and events, whether National Championships or our men’s and women’s teams on the international stage. Our strong partnership also benefits hockey in Canada with the promotion on the hockey development side within all of our broadcasts,” said Bob Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada.

As part of the agreement, TSN and RDS will televise a minimum of 26 games from key Hockey Canada tournaments each year, up from the minimum of 22 the networks currently televise. TSN and RDS will add to its broadcast schedules the following events:

Allan Cup – Canada’s national Senior Men’s AAA Championship, featuring six teams competing for the title; one of the country’s oldest hockey tournaments

National Women’s Under-18 Championship – teams from Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Quebec, along with a representative from the Atlantic Provinces, join two teams from Ontario to compete for the national title

World Junior A Challenge – inaugural event takes place November 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., featuring two Canadian (East and West) all-star Junior A teams against four European teams

TSN and RDS will continue to televise the following popular Hockey Canada National Championships and International events in which Canada participates: World Junior Championship, Women’s World Championship, World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Telus Cup, RBC Royal Bank Cup, Esso Women’s National Hockey Championship, World Men’s Under-18 Championship, and the women’s national Team Canada games.

“International hockey and Hockey Canada’s National Championships have a strong and loyal following, as seen by the constant growth in viewership over the years for both the men’s and women’s game. TSN is committed to all facets of hockey and has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Hockey Canada over the years,” said Phil King, President, TSN.

“We are pleased to further strengthen our commitment to Canadian amateur hockey and bring a level and variety of hockey coverage like never before,” said Gerry Frappier, President, RDS. “Our viewers' passion for the sport will be well-served by this enhanced partnership."

TSN’s and RDS’s partnership with Hockey Canada dates back to 1991, and the networks are currently in the fourth year of a five-year agreement. TSN is enjoying its most successful IIHF World Junior Championship this year, with an average of 1.24 million viewers* for Canada’s four round robin games. The recent Canada/USA round-robin match-up on New Year’s Eve attracted 1.4 million viewers, making it the most watched round robin game in World Junior history. The popularity of international hockey on TSN is evident as 10 of the Top 20 programs of all-time are international hockey broadcasts, while six of the Top 10 programs on TSN are World Juniors games. The most-watched program ever in TSN’s 21-year history is the Gold Medal Game from the 2003 World Junior Championship in Halifax, which attracted 3.45 million viewers, followed by last year’s Gold Medal Game from the World Juniors in North Dakota with 3.2 million viewers.

TSN and RDS have been committed to amateur sports and amateur hockey at all levels since the networks’ inception in 19, respectively.

Hockey Canada, a not-for-profit organization, is the governing body for hockey in Canada. Hockey Canada oversees the management of hockey programming in Canada from the entry level of the game for coaches, volunteers, players and officials to hosting National Championships in men’s and women’s hockey. Hockey Canada oversees Canada’s participation in international competition, including World Championships, the World Cup of Hockey and Olympic Games.

CTV Specialty Television Inc. is a leader in Canadian specialty television. Committed to providing Canadian viewers with the highest quality programming available, it operates world-class specialty services and production facilities. CTV Specialty has ownership interests in and operates three of Canada’s premier specialty television services - TSN, the top-rated Canadian specialty channel; RDS, the world's first French-language all-sports channel; and Discovery Channel, an award-winning specialty channel. CTV Specialty also manages OLN, featuring adventure-based programming. CTV owns interests in and operates six digital specialty channels, including; Animal Planet, a specialty channel focusing on the animal kingdom; Discovery Civilization, a specialty channel devoted to studying past and present civilizations; ESPN Classic, which airs encore broadcasts of the most cherished classic games and moments from the world of sports; CTV Travel, an English-language travel channel; the NHL Network, which delivers ‘round-the-clock hockey programming that offers viewers the most complete and in-depth hockey coverage; and Le Réseau Info Sports, a French-language sports news channel. CTV Specialty also owns interests in Dome Productions Inc., Canada's leading provider of mobile television production facilities, as well as Exploration Production Inc. and Exploration Distribution Inc. CTV Specialty Television Inc. is owned by CTV Inc. and ESPN, Inc.


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

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