TORONTO - The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has signed a three-year broadcast partnership with CBC Sports.

CBC will live stream all 70 regular-season games plus all five playoff games, the CEBL announced on Tuesday. CBC will also provide broadcast coverage of seven regular-season games plus the CEBL championship.

The news comes a week after the year-old league announced its first expansion franchise — the Ottawa BlackJacks will begin play in the summer of 2020.

"While our second season does not tip off until May, we are well positioned for success both on and off the court," the league's CEO and commissioner Mike Morreale said in a statement. "This CBC Sports partnership is a game changer for basketball in Canada."

The league tips off May 7 when the BlackJacks travel to play the Niagara River Lions.

The league's other teams are the Saskatchewan Rattlers, winners of the league's first championship last summer, the Edmonton Stingers, Fraser Valley Bandits, Guelph Nighthawks and Hamilton Honey Badgers.

The inaugural season saw more than 100 Canadian and international players who'd come from NBA G-League teams, Canada's national team, both U Sports and NCAA college programs, plus other FIBA leagues.

"As we experience historic times for basketball in Canada, the CEBL will play a pivotal role in showcasing the growing talent from coast-to-coast-to-coast," said Canada Basketball's CEO Glen Grunwald.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2019.

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