Two Canadian Football League games per week will be broadcast on NFL Network in the United States this season, the Canadian Football League and NFL Network announced Tuesday.
NFL Network's telecast of 2011 CFL regular season games is a part of a new agreement with the CFL. The network also has the option to show additional games in the regular season, the CFL Playoffs and the Grey Cup championship game.
"This is very positive news for our CFL fans living in the United States," said Michael Copeland, Chief Operating Officer of the CFL. "And it's a very positive development for our football operations as it will continue to expose our product to prospects across the U.S."
Last season, NFL Network carried 14 CFL games featuring the fast-paced, wide open Canadian game which included numerous players familiar to Americans who follow U.S. college football. Additionally, the CFL continues to lay the foundation for some of the NFL's current standouts. Miami Dolphins linebacker Cameron Wake, a former B.C. Lions standout in 2007 and 2008, ranked third in the NFL in sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2010.
"We are pleased to offer more football to our fans with more CFL action this year," said Lawrence Randall, NFL Network's Director of Programming. "Delivering live games from all levels of football is part of our commitment to our passionate viewers who want football 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
The games will be produced by TSN, the leading sports broadcaster in Canada. NFL Network subscribers in Canada will get alternate programming due to TSN's exclusivity.
This year's CFL season kicks off June 30 when the British Columbia Lions, quarterbacked by former Montana State star Travis Lulay, visit the defending Grey Cup Champion Montreal Alouettes and their head coach, Marc Trestman, whose extensive coaching resume includes successful stints as an NFL offensive coordinator in Cleveland, San Francisco, Arizona and Oakland. The 99th Grey Cup game will be played in Vancouver on November 27th.
Canadian football has a history spanning more than a century. The Grey Cup is annually one of the most watched television events north of the border. Home to eight teams, all in Canadian cities, the league features three downs instead of four, 12 men a side instead of 11, unlimited motion before the snap of the ball, and a bigger playing field that measures 65 yards wide and 110 yards long, with end zones 20 yards deep.
Some of the league's most recognizable alumni include former NFL quarterbacks Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, Joe Theismann, Jeff Garcia and Joe Kapp and legendary coach Bud Grant. Moon and Grant have the unique honor of belonging to both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Additional matchups on NFL Network will be announced at a later date.
About NFL Network
NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only network dedicated entirely to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log onto www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the most popular sports league website and the exclusive Internet home of NFL Network. The website has a new, enhanced video player and has recently added community features.
About the Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League is built on a tradition as proud, staged on a field as broad, and played at a pace as exciting as the country we are proud to call home. Our championship game, the Grey Cup, is the biggest single annual sporting event in Canada. And the 99th edition will be played on November 27, 2011 in Vancouver, BC. For additional information, visit www.cfl.ca.