Canadians revamp CPL into a one-off made-for-TV tournament

July 30 – The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has announced it will kick off its delayed second season August 13, with a 35-match centralised tournament that will crown a CPL champion mid-to-end September.

The 2020 season will see expansion team Atlético Ottawa – owned by LaLiga’s Atlético de Madrid – make their league debut and take the CPL to eight teams. All games will be played in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The made-for-TV event – dubbed The Island Games – will open with a rematch of the 2019 season finalists Forge FC vs Cavalry FC. All games will be played to closed doors in a quarantined environment in Charlottetown.

Local organisers are exploring the opportunity to create an exclusive fan zone for grassroots soccer players from across the Island.

“We are excited about The Island Games / Canadian Premier League 2020 season and the level of support from the Government of PEI, and City of Charlottetown who have been at the forefront of all our planning with our priority being that every participant and PEI citizens will be safe,” said Canadian Premier League Commissioner, David Clanachan. “We are appreciative of all their hard work and their enduring support in making our season a reality.”

The tournament will consist of a 28 game opening league stage followed by a top four group stage that will see the top two teams qualify for the championship final.

All 35 games will be aired live onOneSoccer,  Mediapro Canada’s dedicated soccer channel. Mediapro Canada, is the league’s broadcast partner for both production and distribution, and will beef up production values with High Definition coverage of all games using a minimum of nine cameras.

Alba Campabadal, head of production of Mediapro Canada and the first woman to lead the production of a major Canadian professional sports league, said: “The silver lining of the Covid-19 situation is that we have had ample time to review our workflows and production plans for the upcoming season, whereas last year we were faced with significant challenges in building our broadcast strategy with only a three-month lead-up.”

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