TORONTO - TVA Sports is teaming up with Rogers Sportsnet to change the French-language sports TV landscape.
Rogers Communications is scrapping plans to launch its own French sports channel and will instead partner with Quebecor's new television venture that will launch next month.
TVA Group president and CEO Pierre Dion confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Rogers Sportsnet.
"I think it was a natural thing for both organizations," Dion said. "First of all its a program acquisition and content partnership, but also a production partnership. We came to a tentative agreement that will benefit both organizations."
TVA Sports has already announced it will air 25 Ottawa Senators game during the 2011-12 season, 60 Toronto Blue Jays games next year, UFC fights, UEFA Champions League games and a number of top-flight boxing matches, including those featuring Canadian star Lucien Bute.
In addition, broadcast rights to the Montreal Impact, which will join Major League Soccer next year, were recently acquired to bolster TVA Sports' content package.
Rogers Sportsnet owns the exclusive broadcast rights to the Blue Jays and the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, among other properties.
"When the Jays and Senators are playing in Ontario, Sportsnet is obviously going to be there with its squad and equipment," Dion said. "And what TVA Sports is going to do is support them with more equipment and staff. That way we will offer a quality of product that has never been seen in Quebec.
"This will benefit sports organizations, athletes and fans. We will be able to offer a national broadcast to sports organizations but to the fans as well."