Vancouver Warriors GM Dan Richardson: “Anytime you can get more eyeballs on your sport, that’s a good thing. You get those people watching on TV and hopefully they decide they like what they see and want to watch a game in person.”
The National Lacrosse League is getting a profile boost.
The winter box lacrosse loop, which features the Vancouver Warriors, announced on Thursday that it has signed a multi-year agreement with the TSN to broadcast games.
According to a press release, TSN has rights to a regular season “NLL game of the Week,” plus “comprehensive,” playoff action, including the league championship series. The press release also pledged live streaming on TSN digital platforms.
“Anytime you can get more eyeballs on your sport, that’s a good thing,” said Warriors general manager Dan Richardson. “You get those people watching on TV and hopefully they decide they like what they see and want to watch a game in person.”
You’d assume that the TSN TV games will involve at least one of the league’s five Canadian teams. Besides the Warriors, there’s the Calgary Roughnecks, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Halifax Thunderbirds in the current 14-team circuit. The league schedule for 2021-22 is yet to be released. The league has announced the opening slate of games will be on the Dec. 3-4 weekend.
Doing a deal with TSN also undoubtedly means getting clips on their nightly highlight shows, as well feature stories. That will add to the game’s exposure. As well, you’d think that TSN would promote the product on its social media feeds.
“Box lacrosse is an exciting, fast-paced sport, and we are very proud to partner with the NLL to grow the game and bring comprehensive live coverage to Canadian viewers throughout the season,” Nathalie Cook, VP of TSN, was quoted in a release. “The NLL is a significant addition to our live sports schedule, one we know our fans will enjoy for years to come, and we’re excited to deliver expansive coverage, both on and off the floor, to spotlight the league’s talented players.”
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the league do a similar deal with an American network to showcase its U.S. teams.
TSN should give the NLL more viewers than its its previous live-streaming package it had with Bleacher Report Live. That deal expired June 30.
The NLL web site states: “All NLL content previously on B/R Live will be available for viewing on the NLL YouTube channel. Please subscribe to @NLL on YouTube to be notified when the games will be available starting late Summer 2021.”
The TSN announcement brings back memories of when Don Taylor was doing play-by-play of Vancouver Ravens’ games on Sportsnet. The Ravens lasted three seasons in the NLL, the last in 2004.