CBC inks new soccer deal

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TORONTO -- Extending its reach into professional soccer broadcasts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday said it has acquired exclusive TV broadcast and Internet streaming rights to games played by Toronto FC, the country's first major league soccer club.

The agreement follows the broadcast and new media rights deal the CBC struck last year with the Federation Internationale de Football Assn. for a range of FIFA World Cup soccer events to 2014.

The latest three-year pact with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which also owns and operates the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team and the NBA's Toronto Raptors, will see the CBC air Toronto FC's inaugural season, which kicks off April 28.

In addition to a package of 14 regular-season Toronto FC games and playoff games, the CBC also will stream the professional soccer games live and on-demand.

Additionally, CBC Country Canada, the public broadcaster's variety cable channel, will air encore presentations of all 14 regular-season match-ups.

"We were clear when we announced our agreement with FIFA last fall that CBC is committed to helping to grow the game in Canada. Coverage of the first Canadian team in major league soccer history is an important part of that," CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore said.
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