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CBC Pre-Olympic TV Broadcast Plans Include Canadian World Cups

Sun, Dec  4, 2005 - By CBC Television

Cross Country Canada and CBC Television are pleased to announce that CBC will provide national coverage of the Nordic World Cups from Vernon and Canmore in December. The Olympic season is underway and CBC Sports Saturday will feature Canada’s best in cross-country ski racing over three weekends.

Coverage will focus on the 15 km & 30 km pursuit competitions from Sovereign Lake (Vernon) on December 10 and the mass start 15 km and 30 km competitions from Canmore on December 17. On December 24th CBC will put the sprints into the spotlight, airing a complete package of those events from both World Cups.

CBC Sports Saturday airs weekly from 2pm ET – 6pm ET coast to coast.

The programs will be repeated on the main CBC network each Sunday evening (December 11th & 18th) as part of CBC Sports Late Night, as well as on Country Canada during the week after each event.

CBC commentators Scott Russell and Mark Connolly will call the action and Jack Sasseville and John Heilig will be on site with expert analysis. Sasseville is a veteran, an Olympic colour commentator and former NST Junior Coach. Heilig is new to the team for the Olympic season, bringing his experience coaching Nordic Combined and cross-country to this year’s broadcast.

On Saturday, December 17th, CBC Sports Saturday is live on site at the Canmore Nordic Centre delivering unprecedented coverage of the Canadian World Cup stops.

“It’s an opportunity to jump start the audience interest in the Olympic Nordic events.” commented Judy Dine, CBC Producer for the events. "These great athletes often spend their entire season overseas and receive limited coverage of their achievements. Sports Saturday tracked Sara Renner’s incredible season last winter and now she and Beckie Scott are able to perform at home. That’s too good to be true,” continued Dine. “The cross country events are front and centre every four years at the Winter Games. This is a sneak peek at the world’s best.”

The announced domestic broadcast plan adds the final piece in the television puzzle which CCC in cooperation with Sovereign Lake Nordic and the Alberta Centennial World Cup Society have been working on for over two years. In May, CCC finalized an agreement with Media Partners for distribution of the world-wide television rights. All five days of racing will be broadcast live from Canada throughout Europe and Asia. The international signal will be carried by Eurosport as well as broadcast partners in all major Nordic countries.

“The unique aspects of World Cup races in Canada have an appeal within the European community that we can capitalize on,” stated Roberto Dalmiglio, Media Partners Director of Nordic Media Rights. “We are naturally curious about Canada and of course the Olympic Games which will be hosted in Vancouver in 2010.”

The challenge of putting together the World Cup coverage was conferred to Double Black Diamond Productions out of Toronto in June. Executive Producer Chris Robinson, widely known for his TV show World of Skiing, has assembled a broadcast team of over 50 people at each site to bring world class coverage of all events to viewers across Canada and around the globe. “We’ve retained the services of Kalevi Uusivuori (FIN) as Director/Production Consultant for the development of the international signal,” stated Robinson. “We understand our broadcast will be compared with the very best signal produced in Europe and we wanted to ensure all expectations would be met with this exceptional opportunity to showcase Canadian facilities, talent and the organizational capacity at Sovereign Lake and in Canmore, continued Robinson. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Haywood NorAm race series will provide final tune up events at both race sites during the two weeks leading up to the Canadian World Cups. The first Haywood event is scheduled for Sovereign Lake Nordic on November 26.

CBC TENATIVE BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Sat Dec 10 - 5:15pm
(Vernon)
60 minutes within CBC Sports Saturday (1400-1800 ET) Schedule to incorporate live content
Sun Dec 11 - 11:30pm
(Vernon)
Repeat broadcast from Saturday Dec 10 (2330-2730 local)
Sat Dec 17 - 2:00pm
(Canmore)
60 minutes within CBC Sports Saturday (1400-1800 ET) Sport Saturday to be hosted live from the CNC
Sun Dec 18 - 11:30pm(Canmore) Repeat broadcast from Saturday Dec 17 (2330-2730 local)
Sat Dec 24 60 minutes within CBC Sports Saturday (1400-1800 ET) Wrap up show from 2 sites

COUNTRY CANADA TENTATIVE BROADCAST SCHEDULE

  • Repeat of Sunday Dec 10 CBC broadcast to be broadcast less than 1 wk post CBC airing
  • Repeat of Sunday Dec 17 CBC broadcast to be broadcast less than 1 wk post CBC airing
  • Repeat of Sunday Dec 24 CBC broadcast to be broadcast less than 1 wk post CBC airing