CTV finds the end zone

Deal covers NFL's '07-'09 seasons

TORONTO — CTV and the National Football League have inked an exclusive three-year broadcast deal giving the Canadian web broadcast rights to NFL regular season Sunday early afternoon games, the NFL Playoffs and, for the first time ever, exclusive rights to the Super Bowl.

The deal covers the upcoming 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons.

It is the first such agreement between the two entities, though the sports cable network TSN, which is controlled by CTV parent CTVglobemedia, has traditionally broadcast NFL games on Sunday and Monday night. In December, TSN acquired exclusive rights to all Canadian Football League games, including the Grey Cup, starting in 2008.

“The NFL and its crown jewel, the Super Bowl, represent a strategic fit for CTV,” says CTV prexy Rick Brace.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement is undoubtedly a blow to CTV rival Global Television, which traditionally held most of the rights that CTV just nabbed and was an unsuccessful bidder this time around.

The rights for the games that air later Sunday afternoon, which kick off at 4 p.m. ET and were previously held by Global, went to Rogers and Omni.

“Securing a strong appointment brand like the NFL is in keeping with our program strategy of generating continued upward momentum across the entire CTV schedule,” says CTV prexy of programming and chair of the CTV Media Group Susanne Boyce.

As part of the agreement, CTV plans to make the telecasts available in high definition.

CTV’s NFL coverage begins in September.

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