Sportsnet Buys Grand Slam of Curling

By Community | September 4, 2012

Sportsnet have purchased the Grand Slam of Curling, an elite series of men’s and women’s curling events.

The series, which caters to elite teams, was on shaky ground last season. That problem became public when a financial dispute resulted in CBC ending a five-year agreement with Insight Sports Ltd. and refusing to televise the Players’ Championship at the end of the season.

“It’s exciting because they’re definitely going in the right direction,” said Ted Appelman, who will be back with his brother, Tom, this year after playing last season with former Canadian and world champ Randy Ferbey. “They’ve got a major corporation taking ownership of the Grand Slams and it’ll continue to grow for years to come.”

Reigning Canadian women’s curling champion Heather Nedohin said: “We were hoping,” when asked if she had expected the Grand Slam events to be held again this season.

“This is extremely late in the season, as in the season starts here in three weeks,” said Nedohin, whose championship rink includes third Beth Iskiw, second Jessica Mair and lead Laine Peters. “It’s very late in the year to know what’s a Slam or not and what’s going on. That’s challenging for a team trying to determine where you’re going to be placed and stuff.

“Hearing this announcement today is great news for all of us because now we can secure our schedules and proceed with those that are going to be high in points and high in calibre of play,”

In the past, teams qualified for Grand Slam events based on the number of points they accumulated in other bonspiels on the World Curling Tour.

The 2012-13 series will commence with The Masters at Brantford, Ont., from Nov. 14-18 and features 34 men’s and 34 women’s teams, “which is unusual for the Grand Slams, which has always been the top 18 teams,” said Ted Appelman. “It’s going to be a big event, I guess. The first one is a lot of teams.”