Bell Media, the Canadian media group, has extended and expanded its exclusive rights deal with American football’s NFL in a long-term agreement announced today (June 13).
The deal means that Bell Media – and its CTV, CTV2, TSN, and RDS channels – will continue as the NFL’s sole live TV partner in Canada for the duration of the agreement, with the last arrangement between the two parties having been concluded in September last year and having expired at the end of the 2021-22 NFL campaign, which concluded in February.
From pre-season, through the regular campaign, and then into the post-season playoffs and Super Bowl, the aforementioned platforms will be the only place to watch NFL action.
NFL action has been exclusive to Bell Media in Canada since 2017 when the group ousted its chief rival Rogers, with which it had previously shared rights (although Rogers has since shown games through carriage deals, as has international sports subscription platform DAZN).
The agreement covers live games on Thursday evening, two on Sunday afternoon, one on Sunday evening and action from Monday night. The NFL Redzone service, which covers the best action from games that take place simultaneously through multiple cameras, will also continue to be available, as well as all International Series games, the playoffs, and the annual iconic Super Bowl.
TSN has been covering NFL action in Canada since 1987, while CTV first showed the league on its channels in 2007.
As well as the live coverage, TSN’s Sportscentre service will continue to be “Canada’s source for NFL news and information, while TSN Edge will feature “NFL fantasy content and betting edge.”
Multiple NFL-centric programs from ESPN, the global media giant and one of the domestic NFL rights-holders, will also be available.
Stewart Johnston, senior vice-president at Bell Media Sales and Sports, said: “We’re thrilled to continue to bring the NFL to Canadian fans through our multi-platform coverage,” said Stewart Johnston, Senior Vice-President, Bell Media Sales and Sports. “We’re proud to extend and expand our longstanding partnership with this major investment, and to showcase NFL action across Bell Media platforms like never before.”
Sameer Pabari, managing director for international media at the NFL, added: “We’re delighted to be extending our longstanding partnership with Bell Media … This new deal will allow NFL fans in Canada to enjoy a comprehensive line-up of games throughout the season from Kickoff to the Super Bowl across the full breadth of Bell Media’s TV and digital services.”
At the end of May, it was reported that the NFL is going ahead with the creation of an in-house streaming platform, with a launch expected in July.
NFL Plus will be a mobile-focused platform that will show games limited to what fans could ordinarily watch in their local markets, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ).
Yahoo had held rights for these games to be distributed via mobile phones and tablets but its deal ended this year.