The announcement came today that the men’s and women’s finals of the Players’ Championship will be broadcast live on Global Television, April 21-22.
Shaw Media owns Global Television as well as 18 specialty networks including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, History Television and Showcase. The Players’ Championship is the fourth and final event in the annual Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series.
The Players’ Championship gets underway at the Credit Union Centre in Summerside, Prince Edward Island on April 17.
Who will commentate? How about this odd couple: 2010 Olympic Silver Medallist skip Cheryl Bernard of Calgary, and old CBC/NBC warhorse Don Duguid?
“I’m really excited about this opportunity”, said Bernard, whose team missed qualifying for the Players’. “I have always wanted to try commentating but since I am always playing, there was never a chance. So when this became available, I jumped at it, and then to find out I will be sitting beside the master, Don Duguid, well that’s just icing on the cake.”
“I’m looking forward to being back on Canadian television,” said Duguid, who won the Brier and worlds in 1970 and 1971. “To be able to team up with a great champion like Cheryl will enable us to provide a new perspective on this event. The Grand Slam fans are going to see a very innovative broadcast as we will be committed to interacting with the fans and also taking them behind the scenes.”
“The Capital One Grand Slam of Curling is an outstanding addition to our lineup,” said Shaw SVP Barbara Williams. “As the crown jewel of the Grand Slam series with an elite field of competitors, it’s the perfect addition to our extensive PGA Tour coverage, adding up to a great weekend for Canadian sports fans.”
Each Slam event boasts a line-up featuring the world’s best teams competing for the Capital One Cup, awarded to the one men’s team and one women’s team that accumulate the most points throughout the season based on their performance in selected Capital One Grand Slam of Curling events. As such, the combined purse for Summerside will be $370,000.
The 16 top-ranked teams in the world that have qualified for the Players’ Championship are:
Team Mike McEwen, Manitoba
Team Glenn Howard, Ontario
Team Kevin Martin, Alberta
Team Niklas Edin, Sweden
Team Jeff Stoughton, Manitoba
Team Kevin Koe, Alberta
Team Brad Gushue, Newfoundland/Labrador
Team John Epping, Ontario
Team Jennifer Jones, Manitoba
Team Sherry Middaugh, Ontario
Team Heather Nedohin, Alberta
Team Cathy Overton-Clapham, Manitoba
Team Eve Muirhead, Scotland
Team Silvana Tirinzoni, Switzerland
Team Chelsea Carey, Manitoba
Team Stefanie Lawton, Saskatchewan
Taking place during the Players’ Championship will be the semi-final event for the Capital One Million Dollar Button contest. Seven lucky participants from across Canada will be given one chance to draw to the button, with the participant who’s rock lands closest to the button declared the winner of the semi-final. On Sunday April 22, one finalist will throw one rock in an attempt to draw to the button for a chance at $1 million.
Four of the semifinalists qualify onsite at each of the four Capital One Grand Slam of Curling events throughout the season, and an additional three semifinalists will be randomly selected from online entries.