COC Unveils Plans For Groundbreaking Amateur Sport Television Networks

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today unveiled details of its application for groundbreaking English and French amateur sport television networks, which would be a first in Canada if approved. The proposed Canadian Amateur Sports Network (CASN) and le Réseau du sport amateur canadien (RSAC) would provide much-needed exposure and funding for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

“The opportunity here is to provide a service that fills a programming niche that exists today,” says CASN/RSAC chair and International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound. “Between Olympic Games it is as if there are no Canadian athletes. Our networks will bring more sports and more young Canadians to the attention of Canadians.”

“The Canadian Olympic Committee has long recognized the need for dramatically increased television coverage of Canadian amateur sport on a consistent and regular basis,” said COC Chief Executive Officer Chris Rudge. “These networks would finally bring our athletes into the spotlight and also motivate young people everywhere in Canada to get up out of their seats and engage in sport and a healthy lifestyle.”

The applications were formally submitted by the COC and its partners to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in early December. The proposed national digital television networks would each focus solely on Canadian amateur sport 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing Canadians to watch amateur athletes compete in regional, national and international events in both Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

The applications ask for mandated distribution of the networks on the basic digital service of all Cable and DTH Satellite carriers, and a mandated wholesale subscription rate of 60 cents per household per month (in geographic areas that are consistent with its broadcast language).

The proposed networks would contribute more than $100 million to amateur sport over the first seven years of operation and would continue to contribute sustainable funding to the sport community after that period.

The COC is hopeful that public hearings on the applications will take place in the near future and a CRTC decision will be rendered as soon as possible after the hearings.

Full details surrounding the CASN/RSAC applications can be found at the newly-launched website.