TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE)
announced Friday that it has entered an agreement to purchase Insight Sports
Ltd's ownership in GolTV Canada. The purchase, made by one of MLSE's affiliate
companies, will see Canada's premier sports and entertainment organization
acquire an 80.1 per cent stake in the 24-hour soccer network. The transaction
will require CRTC approval.
"In just over three years with Insight Sports, GolTV has quickly become
the number one source for 24/7 soccer coverage in Canada. Given Maple Leaf
Sport & Entertainment's operation of Toronto FC, its on-going investment in
soccer in Canada and its existing broadcast business we believe soccer fans
will continue to be extremely well-served," said Mark Rubinstein, president of
Rubinstein added "Insight Sports remains committed to our other strong
broadcast properties, WFN: World Fishing Network and GameTV and are excited
about a number of upcoming initiatives that will be announced shortly
regarding both networks."
"GolTV is a great acquisition for our organization," said Tom Anselmi,
executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports &
Entertainment. "We're looking to take GolTV programming to the next level,
which will benefit soccer, and support the development of the game at both the
professional and grassroots levels. GolTV is 100% dedicated to soccer and will
continue to feed the insatiable appetite of soccer fans across our country."
Anselmi added, "GolTV will create greater programming opportunities for
our soccer club Toronto FC and also help the growth of Major League Soccer in
GolTV's current soccer programming ranges from live league action from
Europe and South America to behind the scenes access to some of soccer's
biggest superstars in the world. GolTV Canada will also have exclusive
coverage of qualifying Italian, Spanish and South American matches leading up
to the 2010 World Cup.
GolTV US will still retain an ownership stake of 19.9 per cent in GolTV
Canada and will supply soccer game broadcasts from South American and various
Major League Soccer is North America's premier professional soccer league
and is in its 15th season. Recent expansion has resulted in 15 Major League
Soccer teams with the League intending to expand to 18 teams by 2011.
About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is one of North America's
premier sports and entertainment companies and the owner of some of the most
coveted and respected sports brands and properties in the industry including:
the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS),
the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and Air Canada Centre. MLSE also operates and
manages events at BMO Field, home of Toronto FC and Ricoh Coliseum, home of
About Insight Sports Ltd.
Insight Sports Ltd. is a leading North American sports media and
entertainment company which owns, creates, aggregates and distributes sports
and entertainment content across multiple platforms, including broadcast
television, events, on-line, mobile, in-arena and video on-demand. Among its
traditional media assets, Insight Sports operates specialty television
networks: WFN: World Fishing Network, North America's only network devoted
entirely to fishing, and GameTV, a specialty network for Canadians who love to
play and watch games. Today, WFN and WFN HD are available in more than 20
million households through North American cable, satellite and
telecommunications distributors. The company also owns Aquila Productions
Inc., a leader in sports television and event production, and holds a
significant interest in the NHL Network, a 24-hour hockey channel. More
information is available at www.insightsports.com
For further information:
For further information: Media Contacts: Rajani Kamath, Director,
Corporate Communications, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, (416) 815-5790;
Christopher Doyle, VP, Marketing, Insight Sports Ltd., (416) 627-4428,