Curling slides back to TSN

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

Something's brewing between the Canadian Curling Association and CBC.

Dave Parkes, CCA chief operating officer, confirmed yesterday his organization and the TV network have been talking.

"All I can tell you is that we've had some really positive and productive conversations with CBC over the last number of days," said Parkes. "The outcome of those will be well received by fans and sponsors, assuming we can finalize an agreement."

The news comes at the end of a summer marked by questions surrounding the CCA's TV coverage for the upcoming season. The CCA announced in July it was pulling out of its four-year deal with the CBC, signed in 2004. While the CBC had always aired the playoffs and championship draws of the major CCA events, the deal wrested weekday coverage away from TSN.

CBC last season used its subscribers-only channel, Country Canada, to broadcast evening draws from the Scott Tournament of Hearts, Tim Hortons Brier and the worlds -- drawing the ire of fans across the nation.

The Globe and Mail reported yesterday TSN is back in the mix but Parkes would not confirm.

"At this point, anything I can say on TSN is speculative," he said.

However, he added, fans should be pleased with the deal, which should be officially announced in a few days.

"We've remained focused on the objective and the objective has been to create a television package that serves our sponsors and our fan base well," said Parkes.

The fans, he noted, were quite vocal in their objections to CBC's presentation and their concerns did not go unnoticed.

TSN involvement means the return of Ray Turnbull, Linda Moore and Vic Rauter, all fan favourites.

A Vancouver paper reported yesterday Moore has resigned from her 19-year post as Curl BC executive director, while the Winnipeg Sun learned Turnbull has been warming up his pipes for some time.

"I knew there was something brewing but I haven't heard anything official yet," Turnbull said. "But my gut feeling is, yeah, I think it's going to happen."


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