Canadian Premier League Takes Big Leap Into Live Television
A new deal broadcast deal between MEDIAPRO Canada and Telus will have significant ramifications for Canadian soccer accessibility, opening up the domestic game to a significant audience throughout Canada.
The OneSoccer channel will now be simulcast as a linear channel on the Telus Optik TV service, marking the first time the majority of the streaming service’s catalogue will be made available on cable television. It’s a landmark moment for the Canadian Premier League and Canadian soccer as a whole, which has fought tooth-and-nail in the past for representation in traditional media.
The brand new high-definition channel launches today, with Telus subscribers already able to tune in to Channel 980 in order to catch tonight’s three Canadian Championship matches and the accompanying studio content produced by OneSoccer itself.
It is the only Canadian sports channel to launch on cable over the last ten years.
When the launch of the Canadian Premier League occurred in 2019, one of the biggest worries was its reach for Canadian consumers: without significant access to traditional television markets, some wondered how many would tune in to the fledgling domestic league. While CBC Sports ran select matches over the last two years and some regional broadcast deals were put in place during the league’s second season, those were much smaller in terms of size, scope, and reach compared to today’s arrival to Telus on one of its free channels.
The ramifications of the deal are significant: Telus customers now have access to the full catalogue of OneSoccer live offerings, which include the Canadian Premier League, Canadian Championship, Concacaf League, Concacaf Champions League, and the men’s and women’s national team matches, among others.
It’s also big news for Major League Soccer fans who enjoy seeing their sides in the Canadian Championship but don’t like signing up for a digital subscription in order to do so. In fact, today’s announcement comes just hours ahead of three Canadian Championship games that will be aired live on Telus Channel 980, including both of CF Montreal and Toronto FC’s quarter-final matches.
We are immensely excited and proud to be a part of Telus’ portfolio of channels going forward. This partnership with Telus, one of Canada’s ‘big three’ telecoms companies, will allow us to showcase the best of Canadian soccer to new and existing soccer fans across the country at a time when Canadian soccer is reaching new heights. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Telus and further igniting the passion for soccer among all Canadians, from coast to coast.MEDIAPRO Canada CEO Oscar Lopez
This year has seen MEDIAPRO strike deals with Sportsnet and RDS for national team coverage and sign with fuboTV for a similar live simulcast arrangement, while US-based viewers saw Fox Sports renew its license for Canadian Premier League content last month.
The streaming service had actually tested the Telus market prior to today’s channel launch, airing a free national team game on Telus, Bell, and Rogers channels in 2019.
With the OneSoccer 24/7 channel now airing on Telus Optik TV, the Canadian Premier League now finds itself much more accessible to fans from coast-to-coast. OneSoccer isn’t finished there either, with the company putting out an action call to fans in order to bring OneSoccer to additional television broadcasters, too.
The release also made note that the deal will bring coverage of both the men’s and women’s side from the national team down to semi-professional leagues, suggesting that League1 Ontario coverage will be returning to the menu at some point in the future. OneSoccer had last covered the provincial league during the 2019 League1 Ontario finals.
Telus subscribers wanting to tune into the action tonight – and all nights afterward – can do so by selecting HD Channel 980, which will effectively be a simulcast of the OneSoccer 24/7 channel.
The free preview period for the channel will run until January 1, 2022.