Bigger, Better Bonspiels Coming to Curling Fans for 2014-15 Season; Kevin Martin Joins Sportsnet as Insider and Analyst

- Grand Slam of Curling expands to five events with addition of Elite 10 -

- $700,000 minimum in prize money to be distributed in 2014-15 -

- Sportsnet to broadcast up to 200 hours of curling coverage next season -

TORONTO, April 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Curling fans, get ready to be swept away!  As announced tonight during Sportsnet's Players' Championship broadcast from Summerside, PEI, the Grand Slam of Curling is expanding to five events in 2014-15. Also new for next season, Sportsnet will be welcoming Canadian curling icon Kevin Martin as both a broadcast analyst and official spokesperson for the Grand Slam of Curling series.

The newest event, the Elite 10, joins the Masters, National, Canadian Open and Players' Championships to round out the Grand Slam of Curling series for 2014-15. Total prize money for the Grand Slam of Curling events will be increasing to a total minimum of $700,000, with the $1 million bonus still available to the men's team who can win all five Slams in a season. In addition, Sportsnet's curling broadcast coverage will increase to up to 200 hours for next season.

"When Sportsnet first acquired the Grand Slam of Curling, we made a commitment to curling fans that we would grow the sport in Canada," said Scott Moore, President, Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers. "I'm thrilled to be delivering on that promise to Canadians. Through adding a fifth event to the Grand Slam series and bringing Kevin Martin on our team, we are finding more ways to grow our coverage and serve fans and communities across the country than ever before."

Martin will begin his new role with Sportsnet in the coming months, following a tremendous career that includes an Olympic gold medal, a World Curling Championship, four Brier titles and 17 Grand Slam wins. In addition to serving as a broadcast insider and analyst, Martin will help to shape the future of the Grand Slam of Curling, working with the players, communities and sponsors.

"It has been an amazing run.  I am closing the chapter on my playing career in the sport of curling that has been so good to me," said Martin. "I can't wait for what lies ahead in my new role with Sportsnet as we work together to elevate the sport to new heights, inspiring our curling youth."

Confirmed venues for the 2014-15 Grand Slam of Curling series include:

  • Masters - Selkirk, MB (October 28-November 2 at the Selkirk Arena)
  • National - Sault Ste. Marie, ON (November 19-23 at the Essar Centre)
  • Canadian Open - Yorkton, SK (December 10-14 at the Gallagher Arena)
  • Elite 10 - Fort McMurrary, AB (March 18-22, 2015 at MacDonald Island Park)
  • Players' Championship - Toronto (April 7-15, 2015 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre)

*Ticket information for the above events will be announced at a later date

Owned and operated by Sportsnet since 2012, the Grand Slam of Curling is an elite series of men's and women's curling events which are part of the World Curling Tour and feature the best teams from across Canada and around the world. In 2014-15, Sportsnet will broadcast up to 200 hours of curling coverage, including all Grand Slam of Curling events, as well as the Alberta, B.C., Manitoba and Ontario Provincial Curling Championships.

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Sportsnet connects Canadian sports fans to their favourite teams and athletes, using five platforms: TV, Radio, Print, Online and Mobile. Sportsnet is Fuelled By Fans, and delivers storytelling on a local, regional, national and global level. The multiplatform brand consists of Sportsnet, sportsnet.ca, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, Sportsnet 960 The FAN, Sportsnet magazine, Sportsnet Mobile and the Hockey Central app on iPad and Playbook.  Sportsnet consists of four regional channels (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific), and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet World, and Sportsnet 360. Sportsnet is the Canadian leader in NHL and MLB television broadcasts and is home to 162 Toronto Blue Jays games, plus MLB Playoffs and the World Series.  Sportsnet is an official licensed broadcaster of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM and also offers an exciting sports lineup including the NFL, the Memorial Cup, CIS Vanier Cup, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Grand Slam of Curling, IndyCar, the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, and extensive soccer programming including Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONCACAF and Canadian national team matches for men and women. Connected is the network's nightly news program, providing regional and national coverage of the day's events in the world of sports.

SOURCE Rogers Media

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Neziol, jennifer.neziol@sportsnet.rogers.com, (w) 416.764.6361, (m) 416.275.9182
Sebastian Gatica, sebastian.gatica@sportsnet.rogers.com, (w) 416.764.6368, (m) 416.710.9953
Jennifer Cram, jennifer.cram@sportsnet.rogers.com, (w) 416.764.6364, (m) 416.804.1683