ESPN Inks U.S. Rights to Seasons of Champions Curling, 2015 World Armwrestling League
Last week, ESPN locked up a pair of sports properties that will surely diversify its programming offerings. The company announced it has acquired the rights from the Canadian Curling Association to deliver more than 300 hours of live action from the Seasons of Champions curling events on ESPN platforms in the U.S. through March 2015. It also reached an agreement with the World Armwrestling League (WAL) that provides the network with exclusive rights to televise the 2014 World Armwrestling League Championship and the 2015 World Armwrestling League season.
World Armwrestling League
The deal features eight hours of programming on ESPN networks and WatchESPN, starting with the 2014 World Armwrestling League Championship, which takes place on January 10, 2015, and will air shortly thereafter. Events from the 2015 season will air throughout the summer.
Through a series of 100 events in 100 cities throughout the United States, the WAL brings the best professional and amateur arm wrestlers alike to compete for cash prizes and for the opportunity to make it to the 2015 World Armwrestling League Championship.
“Bringing the action of the World Armwrestling League to ESPN is yet another example of our commitment to reaching fans of all sports.” said Daniel Ochs, Director of Content Strategy & Acquisitions at ESPN.
“We are thrilled to partner with the leading sports network,” says Business Expert Steve Kaplan, president of the World Armwrestling League. “Together with ESPN, we will spotlight the dynamic sport of arm wrestling and feature world class professional athletes, while opening up the sport to anyone who believes they have the strength and will to compete with the best in the world.”
“The WAL is like no other sports league out there. Our athletes come from all walks of life – they’re mechanics, chemistry teachers, bankers, and oil-rig workers. When you’re in The Pit, it’s not about what you do or where you come from, it’s about one thing and one thing only: what you’re made of.”
Seasons of Champions Curling
Events will be produced by TSN, the official broadcaster in Canada. The announcement comes off the heels of ESPN’s debut coverage this past weekend of the 2014 European Curling Championships on ESPN3.
Curling events under the new agreement include:
- Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 3-7 – Camrose, Alta. – 2014 Home Hardware Canada Cup
- Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 8-11 – Calgary, Alta. – 2015 World Financial Group Continental Cup of Curling
- Friday-Sunday, Jan. 16-18 – Banff, Alta. – Pinty’s All-Star Curling Skins Game
- Friday Jan. 31-Sunday, Feb. 1 – Corner Brook, Nfld. – 2015 M&M Canadian Juniors
- Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 14-22 – Moose Jaw, Sask. – 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
- Saturday, Feb. 28-Sunday, Mar. 8 – Calgary, Alta. – 2015 Tim Hortons Brier
“Through this agreement with the Canadian Curling Association, ESPN is making a new and exciting commitment to the sport,” said Brian Kweder, senior director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “We look forward to delivering these events nationwide to draw out the curling fan in all of us.”
“We couldn’t be happier to have ESPN on board, and to give curling fans south of the border this opportunity to watch Canada’s elite curlers in action,” said Canadian Curling Association chief executive officer Greg Stremlaw. “We know there’s an appetite in the United States, particularly with snowbirds who spend their winters in warmer weather, Canadians working or attending school south of the border, and the many curling enthusiasts that travel throughout the United States. We’re excited that these fans will be able to get their curling fix this season.”
Sweeping coverage of the 2014 Home Hardware Canada Cup – featuring the country’s top seven men’s and top seven women’s teams – continues today with round robin draws and culminates on Sunday, Dec. 7 with the finals live on ESPN3, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.