Toronto -- The Canadian Football League and NFL have agreed to a new telecast deal for 2010, it was announced today. NFL Network will broadcast fourteen regular season CFL games starting with the season opener Thursday, July 1 at 7:00 PM ET featuring the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders in a rematch of last year's Grey Cup championship game.
"This is great news for CFL fans living in the United States, a group that includes some of our most passionate and dedicated fans," said Rob Assimakopoulos, the CFL's Senior Vice-President for Marketing and Commercial Assets. "And it promises to expose our brand of football to a broad, new audience."
NFL Network adds the fast-paced, wide open CFL football action that features familiar names from U.S. college football.
"We continue to acquire more games for our fans and look forward to CFL action kicking off on Thursday with a rematch of the Grey Cup," said Charles Coplin, Vice President of Programming, NFL Network. "With the addition of the CFL, we now have live games from every level to deliver to our viewers who want football 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
The 14-game CFL schedule on NFL Network in high definition features three games on Saturday nights in July following the Thursday night debut on Canada Day. Due to NFL Network's commitment to air every NFL preseason game in August, CFL action resumes on Friday nights in September, October and November.
The games will be produced by TSN, the leading sports broadcaster in Canada. NFL Network subscribers in Canada will get alternative programming due to TSN's exclusivity.
NFL Network's programming includes live NFL regular season Thursday Night Football games, Arena Football Friday AFL games, college and high school all-star games and now the CFL.
Canadian football has a history spanning more than a century and its championship game, 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 aside instead of 11, unlimited motion before the snap of the ball, and a playing field that 65 yards wide and 110 yards long, with end zones 20 yards deep.
Some of its most recognizable alumni include: former NFL quarterbacks Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, Joe Theismann, Joe Kapp, and legendary coach Bud Grant. Moon and Grant are members of both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame .
2010 Canadian Football League Schedule on NFL Network