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Sportsnet to broadcast curling championships on TV, online

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Manitoba’s provincial curling championships have found a new television home.

Sportsnet announced Tuesday a new 10-year "multi-platform" agreement for exclusive coverage of the B.C, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario men’s and women’s provincial curling championships. The agreement, announced earlier this month by the Winnipeg Free Press, will see the network partner with the four provincial governing bodies to deliver the championships not just on TV, but on-line and via mobile platforms.

The deal marks the first time the provincial curling championships will be televised nationally across Canada and includes the men’s Safeway Championship and the women’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Sportsnet’s coverage begins in January 2012 with the Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario women’s events, followed by the men’s championships in February. The network’s deal with B.C. begins in 2014.

Manitoba curling fans will first be able to watch the Scotties live from the Veterans Memorial Arena in Stonewall, with the network televising the semi-finals on Jan. 26 followed by the second semi- and championship final on Jan. 27.

The men’s coverage, which will also include the semi-finals and finals, will be televised live from the Yellowhead Arena in Neepawa on Feb. 9-10.

"We are please to expand our coverage of Men’s and Women’s coverage in Manitoba and across Canada," said Shane Ray, executive director of Curl Manitoba. "Sportsnet has shown a commitment to the sport of curling and we look forward to working with them to grow the sport into the future."

"As curling’s popularity continues to grow at an impressive rate, Sportsnet is committed to providing curling fans with increased access to high-calibre events such as the Provincial Curling Championships," said Navaid Mansuri, vice-president of Finance and Sports Programming, Sportsnet in a press release. "By building on the growing popularity of the sport, these agreements allow us to expand our curling coverage while elevating the profile of these events, as well as the sport of curling across Canada."

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