(CBS Local)- CBS Sports announced Thursday that it has reached a new multi-year agreement to be the media rights partner for the International Swimming League. The league, which is entering its second season, will begin airing its events on October 16th on CBS Sports Network.
The ISL is holding its 2020 season in Budapest, Hungary with a condensed five week schedule in order to ensure the health and safety of its athletes. With ten teams spread across seven countries, the league offers the only major competition featuring the world’s best swimmers prior to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Swedish Olympic gold medalist Sarah Sjostrom and American gold medalist Caeleb Dressel won the league’s MVP and Finals MVP awards a year ago and are back once more for the 2020 season. They’ll be joined by fellow American swimmers Lilly King and Ryan Murphy along with many others.
“We are thrilled with this partnership and the commitment made by CBS to air all ISL events live to its North American audience. From the beginning, the team at CBS really impressed us with their understanding of our vision,” said ISL founder and Chairman Konstantin Grigorishin in a statement. “This partnership will provide a wonderful platform to showcase the world’s best swimmers, female and male, challenging each other in the most entertaining competitive format ever created in the sport.”
Aside from the opener on October 16, CBS Sports will provide coverage of all 13 events live across its various platforms. The league makes its CBS Television Network debut on Saturday, October 17 from 2-4 p.m.
“We are pleased to add International Swimming League to the CBS Sports portfolio with live swimming across various platforms,” said CBS Sports Executive Vice President of Programming Dan Weinberg in a statement. “ISL’s exciting team-based competitions, featuring the world’s top swimmers, is a great fit for CBS Sports and we look forward to bringing the action to swim fans across the country.”
The 10 clubs will be competing to earn a spot in the ISL Grand Finals for which a location and dates will be announced later.