TV deal could help Quebec curling

JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

OTTAWA - Curling couch potatoes in Quebec can rejoice.

Last week, TSN and the Canadian Curling Association not only extended their agreement for coverage of the Season of Champions through to 2020, but also announced the same curling coverage on RDS.

Veteran broadcaster Michel Lacroix and analyst Guy Hemmings will anchor the RDS telecasts.

Hopefully, this extended coverage in French Canada will bring more Quebecers to the sport as it has done in the rest of the country.

Marco Berthelot, Curling Quebec’s executive director said in an e-mail: “Obviously we see this as a very important step in the right direction in selling and popularizing curling in our province.”

Quebec suffers from a curling deficit. Its population of more than 7 million supports 64 curling clubs. Compared with other provinces, this is a skimpy ratio of one club per 123,000 people.

Tiny P.E.I., with a population of 142,000 and seven clubs, has a ratio of 1:20,000. Manitoba, with one seventh of Quebec’s population, boasts 124 facilities — 18 in Winnipeg alone. Both Alberta and Ontario have close to 200 clubs each.

TEE TIME AND CURLING

In keeping with TV exposure, the CCA and the Golf Channel teamed up in August by bringing their golf travel show GolfNow to Ottawa, where a segment on curling was taped with Craig Savill. The show premiered Monday, but will be shown regularly into December.

WINNERS' CIRCLE

The Ottawa junior team of Chris Lewis, David Staples, Scott Chadwick and Geordin Raganold scored a 5-4, extra-end victory over Ryan McCrady to win the Rideau Ice Breaker on Sunday.

CURLING THIS WEEK

The Mac Ice Classic takes place this weekend at the RCMP. The women’s side features Marie-France Larouche, with her new rink, and Jenn Hanna, the winner of the Moosehead Fall Classic. This section will be competing in a pool format, while the men will play a triple knockout format. Jean-Michel Menard, Hemmings and Bryan Cochrane head up the men’s bracket. The women kick things off Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., while the men begin at 9 p.m. The finals are Monday at 5 p.m.


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