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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grey Cup to Air on Versus

I watch Versus as often as Seahawks receivers catch passes, but they are an improving sports network. They have already made history as the first US network to air the Grey Cup (the Canadian Football League championship game) live. The 95th Grey Cup will be played in Montreal on November 23rd, with the possibility that the Montreal Alouettes could be playing for the title at home, something that hasn’t happened this decade. The CFL on US TV is a mystery, Gus Johnson called some games for ESPN 2 over a decade ago, and now only if you have America One (which most of you probably don’t) can you see CFL games south of the border. I am quite relieved though that Joe Beninati won’t growl his way to Canada, they will use TSN’s feed:

The CFL announced this week that VERSUS will, for the first time, carry the Grey Cup in the United States. This year’s game will be played Nov. 23 in Montreal and will be carried live, starting with the pre-game show at 5:30 p.m., followed by the game broadcast that will start at 6 p.m.

“There’s no bigger single game on the Canadian sports calendar,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. “And this year’s Grey Cup will punctuate a year in the CFL that has had no shortage of excitement and dramatic finishes, which is what Canadian football is all about.

“We’re proud to partner with VERSUS to offer our fans south of the border, and sports fans alike, the opportunity to enjoy this year’s Grey Cup.”

Marc Fein, the executive vice president of programming, production and business operation for VERSUS, agreed.

“We are excited to work with the CFL to broadcast the 96th edition of the Grey Cup to more than 73 million American viewers,” he said. “With nearly a hundred years of hard-hitting action and memorable finishes, the Grey Cup is a great addition to the ever-growing programming line-up on VERSUS.”

Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor will be in the commentary box, the only big flaw I see in this for Versus, is the fact that it’s on Sunday. Big NFL day, important games….I doubt the average American will head to Versus to watch a CFL game, so the ratings cannot be too good. Kudos to them, I will be watching the Grey Cup on TV after all!

1 comment:

JustinY said...

With the exception of a lot of hunting, VS is becoming everything ESPN used to be. All Sports all the time.

People love sportscenter, that's great, especially in the AM when realistically, you can't play too many sports, but firing away with crapfests like Rome is Burning and Cold Pizza really kinda kills the network. Maybe if ESPN 2 got back to their roots (I love me some World's Strongest Man competition...great stuff to just leave on the tube) I'd feel better

Anyways, smart move by versus because frankly, they stand to pick up more viewers this way then with some of their crappier shows (like cycling)

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