NFL runs to CTV

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

Global hasn't got it anymore.

Canadian rights to NFL games, that is.

The league announced new deals yesterday that will put its games on CTV, Rogers Sportsnet and OMNI Television starting in the fall.

CTV grabbed the biggest prize in its three-year agreement, securing Canadian rights to the Super Bowl. Its deal also includes the 1 p.m. games throughout the regular season, plus all the playoffs.

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The Super Bowl has never aired on CTV, Canada's No. 1-rated broadcaster. Now the game joins Canada's football jewel in the CTV family. TSN takes over all CFL rights in 2008, including the Grey Cup.

"We've got football supremacy in our family of networks with the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl," said Rick Brace, president of CTV Inc. "With the exception of the 4 p.m. (NFL) game, we have all the NFL as well as all the CFL."

TSN already has contracts in place to be the Canadian carrier of NBC's Sunday Night Football and ESPN's Monday Night Football, as well as the Thursday-Saturday NFL Network package. Brace said all of that made CTV attractive as an NFL partner.

"The NFL saw a lot of synergies in the deals we have with TSN," he said of the cross-promotion opportunities. "That was one of our bigger advantages."

Right now, CTV affiliates generally carry movies early on Sunday afternoons. Brace believes the arrival of the NFL should grow audiences in that timeslot.

"Revenue follows ratings, and we hope this is another example of that," he said.

Sportsnet, which added the traditional U.S. Thanksgiving daytime doubleheader to its lineup last year as well as the Pro Bowl, bulked up its NFL presence with the new deal.

It will broadcast the 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon games on its four Sportsnet regional feeds and OMNI 2. Sportsnet Ontario and OMNI 2 will offer viewers different games.

"This is a huge step forward for our network," said Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth. "There is no sport in North America with a stronger following than the NFL, particularly among young people."

Global and CH had shared Canadian NFL coverage for the past several seasons.


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