TORONTO (January 29, 2013) – Rogers Media and the Buffalo Bills today announced key details of a renewed five-year partnership that will continue to deliver a first-class sports experience to Canadian NFL fans. The agreement, which begins in 2013 and runs through 2017, will see the Bills play a total of six games at Rogers Centre in Toronto: one regular season game each season, plus one pre-season game in 2015.
The deal is an extension of a partnership between Rogers Media and the Buffalo Bills that began in 2008.
“Rogers Media is committed to producing and delivering premium sports content and experiences for fans,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “We are ambassadors of the NFL and are continually assessing the market to bring that true NFL experience to Canadians. We created a benchmark for our game last season with a first-rate pre-game festival and half-time show, and look forward to building on that over the next five years.”
“The Bills partnership with Rogers Media is key to our franchise’s regionalization plan and we are excited to continue it for years to come,” said Russ Brandon, Buffalo Bills’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our regionalization efforts have strengthened the franchise’s foothold in Western New York by supporting our efforts to further develop our fan base in Toronto and Southern Ontario. The Bills-Rogers Media partnership continues to give us tremendous exposure in the market and its success will only accelerate with a few wins on the field.”
Ticket prices will remain consistent with last season’s game, with more than 60% of tickets less than $100.
The games (date, time, and opponent) will be determined by the NFL, with information for the 2013 season available in April when the league announces the schedule. Tickets will be available to the general public shortly thereafter. Past ticket holders and Bills in Toronto Insiders will have the opportunity to be placed on a priority reserve list for tickets, beginning today through February 14. Fans can visit Bills in Toronto for more information.
Bills in Toronto games will continue to air nationally on City and Sportsnet, with NFL games continuing to experience growth with Canadian audiences year-over-year. Audiences for the 2012 Bills in Toronto game (Bills vs. Seahawks, Dec. 16) on City and Sportsnet were up 6% over 2011 (404,000 viewers vs. 381,000*) and 19% since the inaugural Bills in Toronto game in 2008 (404,000 vs. 340,000**). Sportsnet’s average audience for the NFL Thursday night games this season was up 3% over last year (370,000 vs. 359,000*), while City’s average audience of the Sunday late game this season was up 3% over last year (361,000 vs. 352,000*).
Rogers Media will continue to leverage its robust portfolio of assets across television, radio, print and digital to drive mass awareness and increase the Bills fan base in Canada.
About Buffalo Bills
Founded in 1959, the Buffalo Bills are one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills have won two American Football League (AFL) Championships (1964 – 1965) and won an NFL record four straight AFC Championships (1990 – 1993) that included four trips to the Super Bowl. The Bills are a progressive organization and pride themselves on the regionalization of their team. They hold their training camp in Rochester, NY and were the first NFL team ever to play a home game in Canada with the Bills in Toronto initiative that began in 2008. As Western New York’s top-rated sports and entertainment choice, the Bills annually entertain three quarters of a million fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium, produce the region’s number-one rated sports television programming, have one of the NFL’s largest fan clubs with the Bills Backers, and host the most visited team website in Western New York. Under the guidance of Hall of Fame member and original team founder, Ralph Wilson, Jr., the Bills will play six games in Toronto from 2013 – 2017 (one regular season game per season and one pre-season game in 2015). For more Bills information, visit buffalobills.com, call (716) 648-1800, become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/buffalobills, follow the Bills on Twitter at twitter.com/buffalobills or get the Bills mobile app via buffalobills.com/fans/mobile-app.html
About Rogers Media Inc.
Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), is a diversified leading Canadian media company that engages in television and radio broadcasting, publishing, digital, and sports entertainment. Rogers Broadcasting has 55 AM and FM radio stations across Canada; television properties include six Citytv stations, five OMNI multicultural television stations, Sportsnet (consisting of four regional channels and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World), and The Shopping Channel, a televised and internet shopping service. Rogers Publishing produces many well-known consumer and online magazines, such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine, L’actualité, Canadian Business, and is the leading publisher of a number of industry, medical and financial publications. Rogers Media’s suite of digital assets reaches 17 million unique visitors per month through more than 1,000 premium owned + exclusive and extended network sites. Rogers Media Inc. owns Rogers Centre stadium, a year-round sports and entertainment facility, and the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.
*Source: BBM Canada PPM Data; all audiences 2+
**Source: BBM Canada NMR Data; all audiences 2+