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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

EpicPonyTime Jun 17, 2022 1:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jonny24 (Post 9652161)
Is it any different than DAZN or something? Login, click the video, watch the game. I'm pretty sure it even has an integrated Chromecast button.

*Live, of course. their On-demand is a joke with no sorting or categorizing.

No different, really. I'm surprised that TSN Direct and DAZN are basically the same price, because the most common complaint I've heard about TSN is that it's too expensive. Other complaints include the quality of the service itself, which I can confirm: TSN Direct is not great to use.

I think the bigger issue is that the CFL shouldn't be giving exclusivity over TV and streaming to one provider. I get why they do, but young people simply aren't spending 20 bucks a month for TSN Direct. They need either a cheaper option, or for something like DAZN to include the CFL where the service's other offerings help justify the price.

thurmas Jun 17, 2022 2:21 AM

12,498 for Argos attendance tonight I guess its an improvement over last year ugh

elly63 Jun 17, 2022 2:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9652299)
12,498 for Argos attendance tonight I guess its an improvement over last year ugh

They eked out a win so that's a good thing.

jonny24 Jun 17, 2022 5:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EpicPonyTime (Post 9652248)
No different, really. I'm surprised that TSN Direct and DAZN are basically the same price, because the most common complaint I've heard about TSN is that it's too expensive. Other complaints include the quality of the service itself, which I can confirm: TSN Direct is not great to use.

I think the bigger issue is that the CFL shouldn't be giving exclusivity over TV and streaming to one provider. I get why they do, but young people simply aren't spending 20 bucks a month for TSN Direct. They need either a cheaper option, or for something like DAZN to include the CFL where the service's other offerings help justify the price.

But TSN also has a whole bunch of other things to justify the price :shrug: I guess not attractive enough stuff? I only use it for CFL and Super Rugby, and the odd AFL game, and I traded my Disney login for my buddy's TSN login so I'm not exactly paying full price for it.

DAZN I pay monthly for when the 6 nations is on, tried keeping it for NFL one year and could never remember to watch so now I don't bother.

thurmas Jun 26, 2022 3:27 PM

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/s...saputo-stadium

Stu Cowan: CF Montréal struggling to attract fans at Saputo Stadium
Ranks 25th out of 28 teams in Major League Soccer attendance and only 13,520 showed up Saturday night to watch 2-1 win over Charlotte FC.


It was a gorgeous summer Saturday night at Saputo Stadium.
The sun was shining and the temperature was 28C for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff between CF Montréal and Charlotte FC on the St-Jean-Baptiste holiday weekend.

That was the good news for local soccer fans, along with a 2-1 victory for CF Montréal.

The bad news is only 13,520 were in attendance, well short of the capacity of 20,801 at Saputo Stadium.

Heading into the game, CF Montréal ranked 25th out of 28 teams in Major League Soccer attendance — according to Soccer Stadium Digest — with an average of 13,950. The only teams below them were the Colorado Rapids (13,864), the San Jose Earthquakes (13,132) and Inter Miami FC (12,614). Atlanta United FC ranked first in attendance with an average of 45,776 and 11 teams were averaging more than 20,000 fans per game.


CF Montréal improved its record to 8-6-2 with Saturday night’s win, including a 5-3-0 record at home. Romell Quioto (sixth minute) and Mathieu Choinière (47th) scored for CF Montréal, while Guzmàn Corujo scored for Charlotte FC.

The small crowd highlighted again how Montreal is a great Canadiens city and a great event city, but not necessarily a great sports city. Last Sunday’s Formula One Canadian Grand Prix — the first big event of the Montreal summer — was a sellout, attracting a record 338,000 fans over the three-day event, plus the open house. But one weekend later, on a gorgeous summer evening, less than 14,000 showed up at Saputo Stadium.

You have to wonder if the Canadiens playing in a charity soccer game might attract more people.

The Alouettes played their Canadian Football League home opener Thursday night at Molson Stadium, beating the Saskatchewan Roughriders 37-13 in front of 16,027 fans on a rainy night at Molson Stadium, which has a capacity of 25,012. The Alouettes improved their record to 1-2.

Earlier this month, Alouettes owner Gary Stern spoke passionately at the Montreal Sports Celebrity Breakfast about how much the team and the CFL mean to him and how he was going to work hard to get fans to fill Molson Stadium. He has also been very active on Twitter recently, trying to connect with fans and asking for suggestions.

“Hey Alouette fans,” Stern tweeted Friday. “We are looking hard at increasing family zone and family specials. Want to make coming to a game family entertainment. Tell me what is it you want the most when you go to a game. Thank you.”

He also tweeted: “To the I like football, but need to be entertained, what can we do for you to party with us. Love your thoughts.”

And: “To the hardcore football fan. How can we get you more involved in the game. Please your thoughts very welcome.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and inflation haven’t helped CF Montréal or the Alouettes when it comes to attracting fans, but it certainly didn’t hurt the Grand Prix or tickets to next month’s NHL Draft at the Bell Centre, which sold out quickly.

“Inflation is skyrocketing, gas prices are what they are and people’s discretionary income has gone down,” Impact owner Joey Saputo said in a recent interview with the Journal de Montréal. “People will think twice before spending a dollar and they will cut the soccer ticket first. I know it will be difficult for the next few years.”

Saputo added the key now is to make sure the fans who are showing up at Saputo Stadium have fun and then focus on attracting more fans in the future.

Montreal fans had fun Saturday night, including members of the Ultras fan club who returned to Section 132 directly behind one of the nets for the first time since the team changed its name from Impact to FC Montréal in January 2021. The Ultras still aren’t happy with the name change and had a big “Impact Montréal” sign draped over the front of their section and held up signs early in the game that read: “Pour toujours on chantera ton nom Impact!” (Forever we will sing your name Impact!)

It was back in 1993 that former Montreal Gazette sports columnist Michael Farber wrote about soccer in the city, noting: “Kids play until they are old enough to drive. After they get their licences, the last place they think of driving to is a soccer field.”

Kids in Montreal still love soccer — just look at all the pitches around the city and in the suburbs — and CF Montréal still can’t fill Saputo Stadium.

The biggest problem might be a case of Habs-itis in the city. Montreal sports fans can’t seem to get enough of the Canadiens, even though they finished last in the NHL standings this season. The Habs-itis will only get worse this summer with the NHL Draft slated for July 7-8, followed by the free-agency period that begins on July 13.

Meanwhile, CF Montréal and the Alouettes will keep working hard to put people in the seats at their stadiums.

The best way to do that at this point is to keep winning games — and hope Habs-itis might wear off a bit.

JHikka Jun 26, 2022 4:19 PM

Cowan sort of glosses over it but there's been a major disconnect between CF Montreal's owner and the supporters groups over the past few seasons, particularly in regards to the team's rebranding, which the SGs were not really consulted on. The club has been flip-flopping back and forth for a while now and has to show better commitment to its fans before people start going back to the stadium in larger numbers. Soccer fans are more willing to boycott matches over things like this compared to other franchise sports locally, which partly explains the lacklustre crowds.

This article seems counter to the recent Zurkowsky article this week highlighting the Alouettes' struggles and how the team at one point was down to just 3K season-ticket holders. They're back up to somewhere between 5-6K now under Stern and Cecchini, and claim that all of the people attending the Als match on Thursday paid to enter, as opposed to past seasons where many would be free tickets given out. I think it's obvious what the owner is trying to do when he speaks to media/tweets out things like they're going to 'kill the Argos' in their opener in an attempt to generate media attention and clicks. Seems like a miss and a bit of a desperate play.

Montreal is an iffy sports city, though. Better for one-off events than for clubs, unless they're Canadiens.

blueandgoldguy Jun 26, 2022 9:00 PM

The vast majority of the Impact's games are on weekends so the impact on attendance as a result of being "far from downtown" should be minimal, and not like the Expos, who played the majority of their games on weekdays.

I said it before and I will say it again - the Impact will likely move if they do not get significant funding, whether public or private, to improve revenue streams from their MLS 1.0 stadium. They are near the bottom in MLS in terms of revenues.

Announcements of underwhelming tv deals in which Apple TV will have exclusive rights to all MLS matches (and the end of regional tv deals, not that those were worth much) for $250 million (minus approximately $60 million in annual production costs MLS will have to pay for all the matches) certainly don't help with their long-term viability. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as the expansion fees dry up with MLS reaching its saturation point.

thurmas Jun 26, 2022 9:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660584)
The vast majority of the Impact's games are on weekends so the impact on attendance as a result of being "far from downtown" should be minimal, and not like the Expos, who played the majority of their games on weekdays.

I said it before and I will say it again - the Impact will likely move if they do not get significant funding, whether public or private, to improve revenue streams from their MLS 1.0 stadium. They are near the bottom in MLS in terms of revenues.

Announcements of underwhelming tv deals in which Apple TV will have exclusive rights to all MLS matches (and the end of regional tv deals, not that those were worth much) for $250 million (minus approximately $60 million in annual production costs MLS will have to pay for all the matches) certainly don't help with their long-term viability. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as the expansion fees dry up with MLS reaching its saturation point.

Alouettes drawing 2500 more fans on a Thursday with rainy weather and an 0-2 record heading into the game further illustrates in my opinion that for all its faults Molson stadium is a much better location to draw fans to that of stade saputo at olympic Park even though it has far better amenities than Molson stadium fans prefer to be downtown.

thurmas Jun 26, 2022 9:32 PM

Longer term if Alouettes and CF montreal team up a new stadium site that makes more sense and has room for expansion is the Montreal Carbins CEPSUM stadium site in Montreal as its not as hemmed in a confinded like Molson stadium is with the hospital and various buildings cramming it in. The Carabins site is just 4 kilometers from molson stadium.

JHikka Jun 26, 2022 9:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660584)
Announcements of underwhelming tv deals in which Apple TV will have exclusive rights to all MLS matches (and the end of regional tv deals, not that those were worth much) for $250 million (minus approximately $60 million in annual production costs MLS will have to pay for all the matches) certainly don't help with their long-term viability.

Apple's new deal with MLS is not exclusive. There are still ongoing discussions with ESPN, TSN, etc. for further national rights to games.

This is an interesting position to take given that the deal with Apple represents a 400%+ increase in their broadcasting deal revenues, including complete production control over the broadcast product itself. It will turn team expenses on this from breakeven or losses to profits. It provides a more consistent and sturdy revenue base for the league as it continues to grow and expand.

Like, yeah, CF Montreal is struggling getting crowds out, but their reliance on crowds today isn't as dire as it was 5-10 years ago with diversifying and increasing sources of revenue elsewhere.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660584)
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as the expansion fees dry up with MLS reaching its saturation point.

There are still three cities (Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego) interested and likely willing to pay increasing expansion fees, to say nothing of previous candidates that would still be interested with stronger ownership groups (Sacramento, Detroit).

People have been saying MLS will collapse for decades now. Meanwhile, LAFC signs Gareth Bale this week and TFC is signing Italian National Team players. :shrug:

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas
Longer term if Alouettes and CF montreal team up a new stadium site that makes more sense and has room for expansion is the Montreal Carbins CEPSUM stadium site in Montreal as its not as hemmed in a confinded like Molson stadium is with the hospital and various buildings cramming it in. The Carabins site is just 4 kilometers from molson stadium.

CF Montreal have no incentive to split a stadium with the Alouettes. There aren't going to be many sites that are better than Saputo at the end of the day.

thurmas Jun 26, 2022 10:37 PM

The new deal pays 8.6 million a team. Whitecaps an cf montreal player salaries are 11 million this year. I am not sure what their costs are for coaches scouts and office staff.

blueandgoldguy Jun 26, 2022 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9660612)
Apple's new deal with MLS is not exclusive. There are still ongoing discussions with ESPN, TSN, etc. for further national rights to games.

This is an interesting position to take given that the deal with Apple represents a 400%+ increase in their broadcasting deal revenues, including complete production control over the broadcast product itself. It will turn team expenses on this from breakeven or losses to profits. It provides a more consistent and sturdy revenue base for the league as it continues to grow and expand.

Like, yeah, CF Montreal is struggling getting crowds out, but their reliance on crowds today isn't as dire as it was 5-10 years ago with diversifying and increasing sources of revenue elsewhere.


There are still three cities (Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego) interested and likely willing to pay increasing expansion fees, to say nothing of previous candidates that would still be interested with stronger ownership groups (Sacramento, Detroit).

People have been saying MLS will collapse for decades now. Meanwhile, LAFC signs Gareth Bale this week and TFC is signing Italian National Team players. :shrug:


CF Montreal have no incentive to split a stadium with the Alouettes. There aren't going to be many sites that are better than Saputo at the end of the day.

The deals with ESPN, TSN, etc will not be worth much given they no longer have exclusive access - there is value in that.

The previous deal with apple increased revenues from their American and Canadian national deals from $105 million per year to $250 million per year. That's about a 138% increase. Of course that doesn't factor in estimated $60 million in production costs MLS will be saddled with each year. lol I love how you spin that as MLS control over the production like it is nothing but a position. The fact is, this $60 million can be subtracted from the $250 million each year.

While we are it, we may also subtract the revenues from all the regional TV deals. Not a big deal for the majority of cities as ratings barely registered (but it means something to the bigger markets with bigger regional deals that were actually worth something). Suddenly this deal, while decent, doesn't seem so amazing when scrutinized more closely.

Yes, there will be a few more markets added in the coming years, but at some point in the very near future that will no longer be the case they are not likely to go past 30 or 32 teams. Given the current TV deal and ratings have not really improved all that much, if at all in recent years, I don't think they will have too many markets (if any) lining up to pay $400 million or more for a franchise that has limited ROI in the short and medium to medium-long term.

As it stands, one fellow asked some owners what they thought of the new deal and the majority hated it...but I guess you take what you can get when traditional networks aren't willing to give you a substantial raise based on years of underwhelming ratings.

Good to see you back.

JHikka Jun 27, 2022 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
The deals with ESPN, TSN, etc will not be worth much given they no longer have exclusive access - there is value in that.

Of course, but they'll still have value regardless.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
The previous deal with apple increased revenues from their American and Canadian national deals from $105 million per year to $250 million per year. That's about a 138% increase.

The below is from SMW:

Quote:

Originally Posted by SportsMediaWatch
This new deal represents an enormous increase for the league. The last deal, while technically at $90 million, included about $25 million for the rights to the US men’s national team games, which were sold separately to Turner earlier this year. Going from $65 million to nearly $300 million represents an approximate 450% increase in income, and importantly enough for individual clubs to move from breaking even on production costs to a small profit.

https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/202...ons-breakdown/

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
Of course that doesn't factor in estimated $60 million in production costs MLS will be saddled with each year. lol I love how you spin that as MLS control over the production like it is nothing but a position. The fact is, this $60 million can be subtracted from the $250 million each year.

Sure, but I think you're underestimating the potential that this position creates for the league. Again, from SMW:

Quote:

Originally Posted by SportsMediaWatch
Every game will have national pre- and post-game shows, with teams having the option to produce local pre- and post-game shows that would take place before and after the national versions. This will end the practice of other sports or events preceding MLS games bleeding into their scheduled programming, a common complaint for the league and viewers alike. In addition, there will be, for the first time, scheduling consistency for MLS games. Matches will take place on Saturday nights and weekday matches will take place on Wednesday nights, with few exceptions made for linear TV or stadium availability issues.

So not only is it more money but it's more consistency and more control over the league's schedule. I've gotten into lots of arguments in the past few years wrt the CPL and OneSoccer, but it's vitally important for leagues to take control of their scheduling so that they're not relying on broadcasters to play nice - because they won't. Rather than sitting around for ESPN or FOX, MLS can reliably schedule matches with everything provided in-house, similar to how CPL doesn't have to rely on a CBC or TSN and beg them for consistency and exposure.

It's an aside but the NHL's playoff scheduling was so much better this season because of their new US TV deal. For whatever forsaken reason NBC prevented the NHL from staggering games through the evening, so playoff games would start at 7/7/10/10 or whatever, whereas this year ESPN/TNT were able to offer the NHL 7/830/930/1030 or whatever on any given night. Much more flexibility provided by an improved media rights deal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
While we are it, we may also subtract the revenues from all the regional TV deals. Not a big deal for the majority of cities as ratings barely registered (but it means something to the bigger markets with bigger regional deals that were actually worth something). Suddenly this deal, while decent, doesn't seem so amazing when scrutinized more closely.

Regional deals are not a big loss.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
Yes, there will be a few more markets added in the coming years, but at some point in the very near future that will no longer be the case they are not likely to go past 30 or 32 teams.

Why not? There's nothing stopping MLS from pushing past 30 or 32 just as there isn't anything preventing the other leagues from pushing past that number. As long as there's demand for it the leagues will grow as big as they want.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
Given the current TV deal and ratings have not really improved all that much, if at all in recent years, I don't think they will have too many markets (if any) lining up to pay $400 million or more for a franchise that has limited ROI in the short and medium to medium-long term.

Given that Apple signed on for a decade despite these issues that you highlight i'm going to imagine that they're not as serious as implied, and that still doesn't address the fact that there's still a line of interested landing spots for future teams. This is including the fact that MLS is requiring teams to enter with stadium plans in place - St. Louis will be entering next year with a purpose-built stadium, Nashville just opened their purpose-built stadium, etc. MLS is still desirable enough that they're able to make these demands and have them be met.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
As it stands, one fellow asked some owners what they thought of the new deal and the majority hated it...but I guess you take what you can get when traditional networks aren't willing to give you a substantial raise based on years of underwhelming ratings.

Do you have any insight to show that traditional broadcasters weren't willing to pay what MLS was looking for?

The days of relying on traditional broadcasters are over and it's too bad that many of the owners don't understand that. It's become obvious that leagues can produce their own content and then sell it to broadcasters who are willing to buy it. The NFL has done this, F1 has done this, and now MLS will be doing this, to say nothing of other sports who have taken advantage of streaming services as the lead heading into the future.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9660651)
Good to see you back.

Thank you. :tup:

thurmas Jun 27, 2022 12:11 AM

Will be interesting how Genius sports guides the CFL in their next broadcast negotiations if they stick with TSN again for everything or try maybe a hybrid MLS model or split the rights between tsn sportsnet and maybe global

samne Jun 27, 2022 1:16 AM

I don’t think 13k is not so bad attendance for soccer in Montreal considering other factors. Most teams in Italy, Spain and Europe average less than 20k. We mostly see the marquee teams play in massive stadiums on tv, but their hundreds of lower table teams playing in front of similar crowd as MLS..

Acajack Jun 27, 2022 1:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9660433)
Cowan sort of glosses over it but there's been a major disconnect between CF Montreal's owner and the supporters groups over the past few seasons, particularly in regards to the team's rebranding, which the SGs were not really consulted on. The club has been flip-flopping back and forth for a while now and has to show better commitment to its fans before people start going back to the stadium in larger numbers. Soccer fans are more willing to boycott matches over things like this compared to other franchise sports locally, which partly explains the lacklustre crowds.

This article seems counter to the recent Zurkowsky article this week highlighting the Alouettes' struggles and how the team at one point was down to just 3K season-ticket holders. They're back up to somewhere between 5-6K now under Stern and Cecchini, and claim that all of the people attending the Als match on Thursday paid to enter, as opposed to past seasons where many would be free tickets given out. I think it's obvious what the owner is trying to do when he speaks to media/tweets out things like they're going to 'kill the Argos' in their opener in an attempt to generate media attention and clicks. Seems like a miss and a bit of a desperate play.

Montreal is an iffy sports city, though. Better for one-off events than for clubs, unless they're Canadiens.

You are correct about the disconnect between CF Montréal and a significant portion of the hardcore fanbase. They never accepted the rebrand and a few other things.

A big media story this weekend in Quebec was justement the official return of the ultras to Saputo.

Not all of them were there though.

thebasketballgeek Jun 27, 2022 1:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samne (Post 9660693)
I don’t think 13k is not so bad attendance for soccer in Montreal considering other factors. Most teams in Italy, Spain and Europe average less than 20k. We mostly see the marquee teams play in massive stadiums on tv, but their hundreds of lower table teams playing in front of similar crowd as MLS..

Imo it’s a bit underwhelming considering Montreal has the most European flavour of any city in North America and is a market of 5m people. You’d think that Montreal would be a soccer haven but it just hasn’t been a very successful franchise yet.

Although we have to consider CF Montreal has been a bastion of mediocrity ever since arriving to the MLS. 1 playoff game in 5 years is simply putrid and the attendance numbers reflect that lack of success.

Acajack Jun 27, 2022 1:36 AM

CF Montréal tv ratings are 150-250k. Peaks over 500k for really really big games like Champions League finals. I don't think Toronto and Vancouver almost ever get those kinds of numbers but not sure about US clubs' ratings.

One thing I am sure is you'll never come close to that with a streaming service in Québec.

The money needs to be good to offset what it will cost CF Montréal in exposure.

elly63 Jun 27, 2022 1:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samne (Post 9660693)
I don’t think 13k is not so bad attendance for soccer in Montreal considering other factors. Most teams in Italy, Spain and Europe average less than 20k. We mostly see the marquee teams play in massive stadiums on tv, but their hundreds of lower table teams playing in front of similar crowd as MLS..

That is a good point that you don't often hear. IIRC not all that many years ago, aside from the very biggest clubs, most of the CFL stadiums were larger than many in the EPL. We just had a Canadian player transfer from the CPL to a Ligue 2 club (a pretty good league). He went from a 4k stadium to a 4k stadium.

JHikka Jun 27, 2022 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thebasketballgeek (Post 9660706)
Imo it’s a bit underwhelming considering Montreal has the most European flavour of any city in North America and is a market of 5m people. You’d think that Montreal would be a soccer haven but it just hasn’t been a very successful franchise yet.

Something that is brought up very frequently in American circles is the fact that the US is a very soccer-centric country but that does not make it a very MLS-centric country. Montreal is a soccer haven, and does support CF Montreal at times, but unlike the other major leagues MLS is having to compete against major European and other leagues for eyeballs. I think the old adage is that MLS is the third most popular soccer league in the US (after the EPL and La Liga).


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