CBC Sports and the International Swimming League (ISL) have partnered to provide broadcast and streaming coverage of the world’s first team-oriented professional swimming league, with the initial meet happening October 5–6 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. CBC Sports will offer live streams of every meet throughout the ISL season on cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, as well as broadcast coverage as part of weekly staple Road to the Olympic Games on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. Canadian audiences will be able to watch and cheer on the likes of Olympic Games gold medallist Penny Oleksiak and two-time World Champion Kylie Masse, who are among the 13 Canadians competing in the inaugural season of the ISL. Viewers can add schedule reminders of CBC Sports’ live coverage directly to their mobile devices through the ROKT Calendar tool.
“Team Canada has amazing depth in the pool, and CBC Sports is thrilled to offer Canadians the opportunity to watch our country’s elite swimmers compete against the best on the planet, offering a preview of what to look forward to at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year,” said Chris Wilson, Executive Director, Sports and Olympics, CBC.
The ISL is a ground-breaking global professional team competition launching this fall that is set to revolutionize the sport of swimming. Star swimmers will be competing on behalf of eight clubs (Cali Condors, DC Trident, Aqua Centurions, Energy Standard, LA Current, NY Breakers, Iron, and London Roar) to win points in regular season matches across Europe and the United States in October and November. The season culminates with the championship event in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on December 20 and 21, featuring the top four teams (two U.S.-based teams, two Europe-based teams) competing to be the first-ever ISL Champions. Approximately $180,000 USD in prize money will be awarded at each regular season meet, with nearly $1.5 million USD in prize money available at the championship.
“We are delighted to secure broadcast and streaming coverage with CBC Sports – the sports branch of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national public broadcaster,” ISL President Konstantin Grigorishin said. “This agreement is another great step for this new professional league, and we are delighted that millions of sports fans in Canada will be able to watch the first edition of the ISL.”
The meet dates and locations are as follows, visit cbcsports.ca for more information on live stream start times:
5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy
19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA
26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary
16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, College Park, Maryland, USA
23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain
20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – CHAMPIONSHIP
The world’s best swimmers – approximately 75 per cent of all current Olympic Games Champions – will compete in the league, with men and women sharing equal prize money and media attention as they do battle for their respective clubs. The ISL will engage sports fans each weekend with high-tempo two-hour matches, cutting-edge television production including a unique camera plan and behind-the-scenes access, and a never-before-seen live show. Canada will be represented by athletes on four of the eight ISL teams in the 2019 season:
Penny Oleksiak, a native of Toronto, Ontario, won a total of four medals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, including a gold in the women’s 100-metre freestyle. The 19-year-old will compete on the Energy Standard team alongside fellow Canadians Kierra Smith, Kayla Sanchez, and Rebecca Smith. All four swimmers earned bronze medals as part of Canadian relays at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
Kylie Masse, 23, is the two-time defending World Champion in the women’s 100-metre backstroke, and she also won an Olympic Games bronze medal in that event in 2016. The Windsor, Ontario, native will race for the Cali Condors alongside Kelsey Wog of Winnipeg, Manitoba. While she won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the World Aquatics Championships, she lost her World Record – and will be hungry this season to reclaim that mark.
Headlining for the Canadian men will be Markus Thormeyer, who is coming off a breakout 2019 campaign. The Delta, British Columbia native swept all four of his events at the Canadian World Championship Trials, and then followed up with an eighth-place finish at the World Aquatics Championships in the men’s 200-metre backstroke. The 22-year-old will represent the New York Breakers along with countrymates Emily Overholt, Mack Darragh, and Haley Black.
Canadian athletes will be competing alongside some of the world’s finest swimmers including Adam Peaty, Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, Cate Campbell, Federica Pellegrini and Florent Manaudou. Here is the full list of competing Canadian swimmers, and their respective ISL teams:
Penny Oleksiak – Energy Standard
Kierra Smith – Energy Standard
Kayla Sanchez – Energy Standard
Rebecca Smith – Energy Standard
Kylie Masse – Cali Condors
Kelsey Wog – Cali Condors
Markus Thormeyer – NY Breakers
Emily Overholt – Ny Breakers
Mack Darragh – NY Breakers
Haley Black – NY Breakers
Finlay Knox – London Roar
Yuri Kisil – London Roar
Sydney Pickrem – London Roar