The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) led the NHL, NBA and later the CPL in returning to play in Canada after the coronavirus shut down the sports world in March of 2020. The CEBL Summer Series put professional basketball on the television and digital screens of millions of viewers across Canada and around the world, establishing the CEBL as the top Canadian-based global team sports brand. The 2021 season will build on that momentum with an expanded viewing audience around the world, and locally through an innovative approach to addressing the uncertainties due to the pandemic around having fans in arenas across the league.
The CEBL unveiled its 2021 regular season schedule Thursday, a 14-game slate reduced from the standard 20 games per team and pushed back from a mid-May start to June 5 to accommodate the possibility of fans being able to attend games in person this summer in the league’s seven cities. The league cannot push its season beyond a late-August playoff finish because most of its players must report to their international pro teams by September.
CBC Sports is the premier media partner of the CEBL and will broadcast seven of the league’s 49 regular season games on CBC, including the season-opening showdown between the 2020 CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers and the team they defeated in last summer’s title game, the Fraser Valley Bandits, on Saturday, June 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. That matchup will be the first of seven consecutive Saturday afternoon broadcasts across Canada. Each of the CEBL’s seven clubs will appear on CBC, with Edmonton leading the way with four appearances.