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

thewave46 Nov 10, 2022 2:56 PM

Conceptually, I don’t understand the concept of a streaming service that would own a sports league.

Either one ends up with type of sports/team-specific streams (already done), or just a TV sports network that captures a large slice of various sports.

esquire Nov 10, 2022 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9787009)
Conceptually, I don’t understand the concept of a streaming service that would own a sports league.

Either one ends up with type of sports/team-specific streams (already done), or just a TV sports network that captures a large slice of various sports.

I suppose it comes down to them figuring out what is more profitable... buying rights to an existing league, or spending the money on setting up (or buying) their own league.

No question the NFL or NBA would pull in more money than the Netflix Football League or Netflix Basketball League, but as we all know, the rights to established leagues cost a fortune. So this alternative approach could make sense.

I wonder if something like basketball is a much surer bet for Netflix. Smaller rosters, ample supply of players including "undiscovered" pros from overseas, loads of venues that are easy to dress up for TV (as compared to an empty football stadium), as well as an audience that probably skews a bit younger and may be more receptive to something like that.

I have a hard time imagining the CFL going along with this any more readily than they went for the XFL proposition to buy the CFL 20-odd years ago. I know the Canadian mentality is to sell quickly to the first American to come along with a fat wallet, but maybe it makes sense to resist that temptation.

VANRIDERFAN Nov 10, 2022 3:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9786699)
Personally I would like to see Ambrosie go i have found cfl 2.0 to be a complete money drain and time waster that has generated zero additional interest in the game from New Canadians which was the target audience. The handing over of everything to TSN since 2007 has made the game presentation and promotion extremely stale and poor. The league needs another Marc Cohon as commish as league was in much better health under his leadership and he understood who to cater to to draw the average cfl fan in to watch the product.

I'm going to try to get a question in during the Q&A between the fans and Ambrosie during Grey Cup. Basically it'll be: There has been declining interest in the league ever since TSN took over, so what is your path to recovery because nothing you've tried has worked yet.

Hawrylyshyn Nov 10, 2022 3:30 PM

I still stand by the idea that improving the product on the field is one of the most important aspects of improving popularity, more so than marketing gimmicks. People won't spend if they don't feel they're getting their money/time's worth in terms of quality.

However, whenever I suggest this I get shit on for "hating the CFL"

esquire Nov 10, 2022 3:33 PM

I wonder what TSN's stance is on the way things are with respect to the CFL? They bought in when the CFL was riding pretty high, at a time when attendance and viewership was way up and there was a general resurgence of interest in the league. It feels like it kind of peaked about 10-12 years ago.

You would think they'd have a vested interest in maintaining that interest considering the money they're paying. But CFL coverage on TSN is starting to feel like NLL or wrestling, which gets their couple hours of live action of week but no other coverage to speak of.

esquire Nov 10, 2022 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hawrylyshyn (Post 9787039)
I still stand by the idea that improving the product on the field is one of the most important aspects of improving popularity, more so than marketing gimmicks. People won't spend if they don't feel they're getting their money/time's worth in terms of quality.

However, whenever I suggest this I get shit on for "hating the CFL"

I will say, things have improved over the past few seasons in the sense that games are moving faster and not subject to as many interminable coach's challenges. That's one area of improvement, although those improvements have basically brought the game back to where it was a decade or so ago.

Hawrylyshyn Nov 10, 2022 3:41 PM

Yup, that's been a huge improvement. I remember the days when coaches would constantly challenge pass interference, in hopes that a player that it may be called on someone, even uninvolved in the play and on the other side of the field, to try to get a free first down.

I know people say "don't make the league like the NFL!", but I also think they should adopt a similar play clock. Having to wait for the refs to start the play clock actually 1) slows down the game (I'll try and find it, but the average amount of time between plays ends up being less in the NFL) and 2) inhibits teams from utilizing a true hurry up offence

manny_santos Nov 10, 2022 6:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9786666)
Those TV numbers for the CFL are disappointing.

In 2022, the east semi-final drew 110,000 less viewers than 2019 - 516,000 before RDS compared to 626,000 before RDS.

The west semi-final drew a whopping 450,000 less viewers than 2019 - 753,000 vs. 1.1 million.

The overall numbers for the regular season have also declined from 2019 (the last pre-covid season).

Combined with the lowest attendance in the past 50 years and it hasn't exactly been a banner season for the league.

Considering these games are on cable and cable/satellite subscribers tend to be older, this is not a good sign for the long-term for the league.

I was at the west semi-final game, it was a large crowd and there were people younger than me there, but the vast majority were 50+.

jonny24 Nov 10, 2022 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hawrylyshyn (Post 9787053)
I know people say "don't make the league like the NFL!", but I also think they should adopt a similar play clock. Having to wait for the refs to start the play clock actually 1) slows down the game (I'll try and find it, but the average amount of time between plays ends up being less in the NFL) and 2) inhibits teams from utilizing a true hurry up offence

I wouldn't be opposed to that.

To me, the game is perfectly fine between the snaps. It's the downtime in between that could be improved.

I wrote an extensive idea about finding a way to make "hurry up" offense the default, I think back in 2020 when the league was deciding whether to play or not.

The problem with changing things is that half the people want it to be more unique (I'm in this camp), half the people the people want it be more like the NFL, and half the people won't accept any change at all. Yes that's 3 halves... that how difficult it is to get anyone on the same page.

Hackslack Nov 10, 2022 7:15 PM

Has anyone hear how betting has improved the CFL, if at all? How much revenue has it generated?… I know the CFL was a big pusher for it.

esquire Nov 10, 2022 7:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 9787291)
Has anyone hear how betting has improved the CFL, if at all? How much revenue has it generated?… I know the CFL was a big pusher for it.

Good question. There must be some money being made given that just about everything CFL-related (teams, games, events, shows, podcasts) seems to have a betting sponsor.

thurmas Nov 10, 2022 8:10 PM

Getting revenue numbers from cfl head office has always been very difficult to get. Most honest and open numbers you can get are from the 3 community owned teams when they put out their annual financial numbers showing the breakdowns of revenue from league office. I mean heck cfl says it has revenue sharing again but still hasn't said how much or what percentage of gate receipts are divided to home and opposing teams if there is revenue sharing.

thurmas Nov 10, 2022 8:34 PM

Argos seem to be selling the first 5 rows of the upper deck at a time right now sales seem to be moving around 1000 tickets a day which isnt too bad considering how little promotional work MLSE puts in the team. My prediction for attendance now I will go with 22377 on sunday

https://www.ticketmaster.ca/cfl-east...005C72C76D48AA

blueandgoldguy Nov 10, 2022 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VANRIDERFAN (Post 9787034)
I'm going to try to get a question in during the Q&A between the fans and Ambrosie during Grey Cup. Basically it'll be: There has been declining interest in the league ever since TSN took over, so what is your path to recovery because nothing you've tried has worked yet.

Well if you actually get to ask that question he will probably sidestep it and give an answer like, "the league has seen tremendous growth in interest outside of North America with our CFL 2.0 initiative. Participation in our global camps has increased by X percent and we believe we are closing in on a substantial media deal with multiple countries."

He will probably also boast about their partnership with Genius Sports all the great exposure and potential revenue involved with them without actually providing any hard numbers. Offhand, I seem to remember a few tweets from earlier this year or last year that estimated each club may receive between $1.5 - $2 million through the partnership.

blueandgoldguy Nov 10, 2022 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9787043)
I wonder what TSN's stance is on the way things are with respect to the CFL? They bought in when the CFL was riding pretty high, at a time when attendance and viewership was way up and there was a general resurgence of interest in the league. It feels like it kind of peaked about 10-12 years ago.

You would think they'd have a vested interest in maintaining that interest considering the money they're paying. But CFL coverage on TSN is starting to feel like NLL or wrestling, which gets their couple hours of live action of week but no other coverage to speak of.

They appear to be more interested in the NFL and key matchups than the CFL. I swear during Sportscentre there is more time spent with talking heads discussing the NFL than there is for the CFL.

blueandgoldguy Nov 10, 2022 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hawrylyshyn (Post 9787053)
Yup, that's been a huge improvement. I remember the days when coaches would constantly challenge pass interference, in hopes that a player that it may be called on someone, even uninvolved in the play and on the other side of the field, to try to get a free first down.

I know people say "don't make the league like the NFL!", but I also think they should adopt a similar play clock. Having to wait for the refs to start the play clock actually 1) slows down the game (I'll try and find it, but the average amount of time between plays ends up being less in the NFL) and 2) inhibits teams from utilizing a true hurry up offence

Yes, for several years now, the average number of offensive plays per team per game have actually been higher in the NFL than in the CFL. This is the result of those interminable defensive substitutions that have become commonplace in the CFL over the past few decades. Nowadays it's pretty common for nearly 40 seconds to come off the clock between plays.

thurmas Nov 10, 2022 11:50 PM

Bettman while in Winnipeg this week said Winnipeg is in contention to host either an upcoming entry draft or all star game once the 5th stage of True North Square is complete which will be a 5 star hotel. Chipman seems to be wanting a entry draft more than an all star game.

blueandgoldguy Nov 10, 2022 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9787633)
Bettman while in Winnipeg this week said Winnipeg is in contention to host either an upcoming entry draft or all star game once the 5th stage of True North Square is complete which will be a 5 star hotel. Chipman seems to be wanting a entry draft more than an all star game.

Yes, I remember hearing this a year or two ago - Chipman being more interested in the draft than the all star game - as the draft would bring in a lot more people and thus be of greater economic impact to the city and province. Hundreds of prospects and thousands of family members over 2 - 3 days staying at hotels, attending events and restaurants.

esquire Nov 11, 2022 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9787623)
They appear to be more interested in the NFL and key matchups than the CFL. I swear during Sportscentre there is more time spent with talking heads discussing the NFL than there is for the CFL.

I think that is without question the case. Watch SC immediately after a NFL game, e.g. SC with Jay Onrait immediately after Thursday Night Football or whatever. SC effectively acts as a post-game show with extended discussion and analysis, with coach interviews, etc. No other sport to my knowledge gets that treatment... not the NHL, the CFL, MLS, whatever. I don't begrudge the NFL that attention but it would be nice to see a little more post-game coverage than what exists now.


Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9787636)
Yes, I remember hearing this a year or two ago - Chipman being more interested in the draft than the all star game - as the draft would bring in a lot more people and thus be of greater economic impact to the city and province. Hundreds of prospects and thousands of family members over 2 - 3 days staying at hotels, attending events and restaurants.

I won't readily admit it, but Winnipeg may be an easier sell in July than in January... hence why the focus is on the draft ;)

Fun fact, Winnipeg was slated to host the draft in 1995 but it was moved to Edmonton due to franchise instability at the time (there was concern the Jets would move after the 1995 season, but it was postponed for another year).

blueandgoldguy Nov 11, 2022 8:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9787660)

I won't readily admit it, but Winnipeg may be an easier sell in July than in January... hence why the focus is on the draft ;)

Fun fact, Winnipeg was slated to host the draft in 1995 but it was moved to Edmonton due to franchise instability at the time (there was concern the Jets would move after the 1995 season, but it was postponed for another year).

Ha! That's true regarding the draft vs. the All Star Game. And yes, I do remember the Jets were supposed to host the draft back in '95.

blueandgoldguy Nov 17, 2022 10:56 PM

I just saw Apple's big fail of a plan for MLS. Apple TV subscribers can pay $12.99 a month or $79 a season. In other words, you can pay a fee on top of a fee to have the privilege of watching MLS Soccer. Brilliant!:haha: This is sure to boost MLS popularity in North America.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/...bruary-1-2023/

MLS Season Pass will be home to the most expansive and accessible programming lineup ever for MLS fans, including all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, as well as hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT games during the season. During match days, MLS Season Pass will feature an exclusive live match whip-around show so fans never miss an exciting goal or save, as well as game replays, highlights, and analysis. Starting February 1, fans can subscribe to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season.

esquire Nov 17, 2022 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9793415)
I just saw Apple's big fail of a plan for MLS. Apple TV subscribers can pay $12.99 a month or $79 a season. In other words, you can pay a fee on top of a fee to have the privilege of watching MLS Soccer. Brilliant!:haha: This is sure to boost MLS popularity in North America.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/...bruary-1-2023/

MLS Season Pass will be home to the most expansive and accessible programming lineup ever for MLS fans, including all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, as well as hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT games during the season. During match days, MLS Season Pass will feature an exclusive live match whip-around show so fans never miss an exciting goal or save, as well as game replays, highlights, and analysis. Starting February 1, fans can subscribe to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season.

The logical conclusion of this is that we will one day live in a world where 1,000 rich guys are paying $10,000,000 each to watch their favourite leagues and the rest of us will go take up new hobbies or something.

thurmas Nov 18, 2022 5:51 PM

Cfl west final drew 1.2 million viewers. East final only 629,000 on tsn no French language rds numbers released. East and west final numbers down 17% to last year. Ambrosie announced today league will have playoff games on Saturday next year instead of Sunday outside of the grey cup to avoid conflict with nfl games to please tsn.

blueandgoldguy Nov 18, 2022 8:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9794141)
Cfl west final drew 1.2 million viewers. East final only 629,000 on tsn no French language rds numbers released. East and west final numbers down 17% to last year. Ambrosie announced today league will have playoff games on Saturday next year instead of Sunday outside of the grey cup to avoid conflict with nfl games to please tsn.

Did he actually say that - "to please TSN?"

I don't think it's a good idea to switch playoff games to Saturdays. In 2008, during the middle of the CFL's last heyday, they league switched their playoff games to Saturdays and it was a disaster. Ratings decreased by 30-50% collectively. The following year, the league switched the playoff games (division semi-finals and finals) to Sundays and the ratings increased back to 2007 levels.

esquire Nov 18, 2022 8:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9794322)
Did he actually say that - "to please TSN?"

I don't think it's a good idea to switch playoff games to Saturdays. In 2008, during the middle of the CFL's last heyday, they league switched their playoff games to Saturdays and it was a disaster. Ratings decreased by 30-50% collectively. The following year, the league switched the playoff games (division semi-finals and finals) to Sundays and the ratings increased back to 2007 levels.

I remember there were Saturday playoff games in 1994 (and possibly 95?) when there were US teams. I went to one, Bombers vs. Eastern Riders. It was one of the few times I ever went to a Bomber game with an announced crowd of under 20,000. Not exactly a box office bonanza as I recall.

I guess we have to go through this exercise once every 15 years?

thurmas Nov 18, 2022 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9794322)
Did he actually say that - "to please TSN?"

I don't think it's a good idea to switch playoff games to Saturdays. In 2008, during the middle of the CFL's last heyday, they league switched their playoff games to Saturdays and it was a disaster. Ratings decreased by 30-50% collectively. The following year, the league switched the playoff games (division semi-finals and finals) to Sundays and the ratings increased back to 2007 levels.

He didn't say to please tsn I added that but as mentioned here i think Saturday games would be a disaster I think Friday night would actually be better than Saturday

thurmas Nov 18, 2022 8:17 PM

Sure feels like tsn treats cfl like curling now and everything revolves around nfl.

esquire Nov 18, 2022 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9794342)
Sure feels like tsn treats cfl like curling now and everything revolves around nfl.

I guess it speaks to the value of the NFL to TSN. I mean, even the NHL takes a backseat to NFL coverage. There is no extended post game press conference coverage for hockey teams, not even for the Leafs and Habs, the way there is for a random Cleveland/Carolina TNF or whatever.

thurmas Nov 18, 2022 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9794361)
I guess it speaks to the value of the NFL to TSN. I mean, even the NHL takes a backseat to NFL coverage. There is no extended post game press conference coverage for hockey teams, not even for the Leafs and Habs, the way there is for a random Cleveland/Carolina TNF or whatever.

Very true and I understand that as the NFL ratings are extremely good. However I see the production value rogers puts into blue jays games and thats something I would like to see tsn do with cfl games rather than the casino regina lounge singer singing Friday night football tonight with the same cheesy theme since 1998.

blueandgoldguy Nov 18, 2022 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9794342)
Sure feels like tsn treats cfl like curling now and everything revolves around nfl.

I have been hearing elsewhere that the CFL was convincing TSN to move the playoff games to Saturdays. Not 100% confirmed of course.

Regardless of who encouraged it, I think it will ultimately result in a decreased tv audience.

esquire Nov 18, 2022 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9794572)
I have been hearing elsewhere that the CFL was convincing TSN to move the playoff games to Saturdays. Not 100% confirmed of course.

Regardless of who encouraged it, I think it will ultimately result in a decreased tv audience.

No NFL competition on Saturdays, but they are generally busier days for most people. If there is one day of the week where you're likely to loaf around and watch football, it's Sunday.

plrh Nov 19, 2022 4:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9794342)
Sure feels like tsn treats cfl like curling now and everything revolves around nfl.

It's weird, the only people I know with TSN have it to watch curling or CFL. But I'm 40 and live in the prairies.

esquire Nov 19, 2022 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plrh (Post 9794706)
It's weird, the only people I know with TSN have it to watch curling or CFL. But I'm 40 and live in the prairies.

I'm in that demographic... TSN is basically tailor made for me... Jets, CFL and even a bit of CHL. Sportsnet basically doesn't exist to me except for those midweek NHL games I put on in the background when I'm doing other stuff.

manny_santos Nov 19, 2022 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 9794322)
Did he actually say that - "to please TSN?"

I don't think it's a good idea to switch playoff games to Saturdays. In 2008, during the middle of the CFL's last heyday, they league switched their playoff games to Saturdays and it was a disaster. Ratings decreased by 30-50% collectively. The following year, the league switched the playoff games (division semi-finals and finals) to Sundays and the ratings increased back to 2007 levels.

That would put the games in competition with the NHL, especially in Western Canada where HNIC starts at 4pm PT.

blueandgoldguy Nov 19, 2022 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plrh (Post 9794706)
It's weird, the only people I know with TSN have it to watch curling or CFL. But I'm 40 and live in the prairies.

TSN has a lot more than those sports. They have regional NHL games for the Habs, Jets, Leafs and Canadiens, about half the Raptors games, all the grand slam tennis tournaments and other associated tennis tournaments, World Junior Hockey Championships and some of the World Hockey Championships, soccer, tonnes of American NHL hockey, American College basketball and college Football, various NBA teams, PGA golf...

TimB09 Nov 21, 2022 2:41 PM

I guess we'll have to see if the Saturday experiment works.

I like it because I watch NFL on Sundays and would rather the CFL have the football spotlight for their playoff games. And reading on Twitter, it's a mixed bag. I saw one poster say that his son and his buddies love the CFL and NFL but will watch the NFL on Sunday over the CFL. And others say they hate the move.

BUT, some said if we're travelling from out of town, it helps as they can stay the night Saturday and travel back to wherever they are coming from on the Sunday.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

thurmas Nov 22, 2022 12:34 AM

https://3downnation.com/2022/11/21/t...ent-from-2021/

TSN television ratings for Argos’ 109th Grey Cup win up over seven percent from 2021

The 109th Grey Cup in Regina on Sunday drew a larger television audience than last year’s CFL title game in Hamilton.

The Toronto Argonauts’ one-point victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers drew an average audience of 3,121,000 on TSN, an increase of 7.5 percent. Over eight million Canadian viewers watched a portion of the game, while the audience peaked at 4.7 million late in the fourth quarter.

Janarion Grant set a Grey Cup record with a 102-yard punt return for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, kicking off one of the wildest finishes in the recent memory of the league’s championship game. The Argos overcame a nine-point deficit the rest of the way to win by a score of 24-23.

Chad Kelly entered the game after McLeod Bethel-Thompson suffered what he later described as a dislocated thumb. The nephew of NFL legend Jim Kelly completed four-of-six pass attempts for 43 yards and scrambled for an iconic 20-yard run to convert on second-and-15 late in the fourth quarter.

Veteran linebacker Henoc Muamba was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Canadian after recording three tackles and a key interception in the fourth quarter.

Toronto is planning to celebrate the victory at Maple Leaf Square on Thursday, Nov. 24.

The Blue Bombers were looking to become the first team to win more than two consecutive Grey Cups since the Edmonton Football Team won five in a row from 1978 to 1982. They won the two most recent Grey Cups over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

TSN indicated that their content surrounding the Grey Cup garnered 1.7 million views on Instagram, 525,000 views on TikTok, and more than 1.9 million Twitter impressions.

Grey Cup Sunday TV ratings 2022:

Toronto vs. Winnipeg — 3,121,000

2021 Grey Cup

Winnipeg vs. Hamilton — 2,873,000

2019 Grey Cup

Hamilton vs. Winnipeg — 3,682,600

2018 Grey Cup

Ottawa vs. Calgary — 3,132,000

2017 Grey Cup

Calgary vs. Toronto — 4,100,000

2016 Grey Cup

Calgary vs. Ottawa — 3,600,000

2015 Grey Cup

Ottawa vs. Edmonton — 4,100,000

2014 Grey Cup

Hamilton vs. Calgary — 4,100,000

2013 Grey Cup

Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan — 4,500,000

2012 Grey Cup

Calgary vs. Toronto — 5,500,000

2011 Grey Cup

Winnipeg vs. B.C. — 4,600,000

2010 Grey Cup

Saskatchewan vs. Montreal — 6,040,000

2009 Grey Cup

Saskatchewan vs. Montreal — 6,100,000

Hackslack Nov 22, 2022 12:52 AM

Good numbers, especially considering you need to subscribe to TSN in order to be able to watch the game. I suspect the number would be quite a bit higher if it was played on CTV. Wonder if those numbers include RDS as well.

elly63 Nov 24, 2022 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 9796469)
Good numbers, especially considering you need to subscribe to TSN in order to be able to watch the game. I suspect the number would be quite a bit higher if it was played on CTV. Wonder if those numbers include RDS as well.

With RDS the total was 3.3 million

thurmas Nov 25, 2022 3:25 PM

https://3downnation.com/2022/11/25/o...ts-beyond-tsn/

Opinion: the CFL should be looking to expand national media rights beyond TSN
By Joel Gasson


There was a time not too long ago when sports media pundits thought there would be a ceiling for how much companies would be willing to pay leagues for the right to broadcast their games.

It’s now 2022 and if there is one, that ceiling doesn’t appear to be nearing. Despite massive changes to the industry, media companies still have a strong desire for live sports.

In the last couple of years, two major college conferences — the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Big Ten — have signed landmark deals with broadcasters like ESPN, FOX, CBS, and NBC. Other conferences are expected to sign similar agreements in the coming months.

The NFL recently signed new deals with all of their broadcast partners as well, which included massive increases over what the networks were previously paying.

We’re still a few years away from the CFL potentially getting in on the action, as their current deal with TSN doesn’t expire until 2026. While none of us would expect the three-down league to be in that same financial stratosphere when their time comes, the trend suggests a fairly large increase should still be in order.

Based on CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s state of the league address last week, I think it’s safe to say it’s something that is on the league’s mind.

“We’re looking toward our media rights that expire at the end of 2026,” he said. “Everything that we’re focused on is how do we make sure we’re poised to harness the biggest global media rights opportunity when our current deal with TSN expires in 2026.”

Ambrosie did make it sound like an announcement could be coming in the not-too-distant future regarding an improved American media rights package, but he wasn’t able to go into much more detail than that.

Currently, games are broadcast on ESPN’s various platforms, mostly their streaming service ESPN+ with some games appearing on either the main network or ESPN2. It’s believed that ESPN is paying very little for those rights.

Ambrosie did suggest the new stateside deal will run until 2026, to align with the current TSN deal. What the league does in four years’ time will be far more interesting, however.

I believe the CFL acted far earlier than it had to when it signed its current contract with TSN during the 2019 season. The previous deal was set to expire at the end of the 2021 season. In the end, the security was nice, but no one could have predicted the 2020 season wasn’t going to be played when that decision was being made.

The league would have been wise to let the process play out a little longer, putting some pressure on Bell Media to spend more to keep their exclusive rights or see what else might have been out there.

During his address, Ambrosie suggested a few times that people these days want access to content when and where they want it. He’s right. However, their current deal with TSN doesn’t exactly allow for that. Game content remains owned by TSN and their streaming options are lacklustre compared to others.

The league needs to get as many eyeballs as possible on their core product while also obtaining the most money for the right to broadcast it. While TSN has been a great partner for the league, the time has come for the league to expand its horizons.

The CFL not only needs more cooks in the kitchen to increase revenue but to create competition to make the broadcasts better. Frankly, TSN’s broadcast hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years.

Ambrosie was asked by 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk if the league would explore options outside of TSN — including airing some games on CTV in the meantime — when the current deal expires, but he more or less danced around the question.

An interesting wrinkle to this whole scenario is the NHL’s deal with Rogers is also set to expire in 2026. What goes down there could go a long way toward determining who might have an interest in the CFL outside of TSN. I believe that Rogers and Bell will end up sharing those rights, but that’s another story for another website.

If Ambrosie is serious about wanting the league’s content to be available in more ways for fans, then the league’s next media rights deal will have to look significantly different.

Putting your core product exclusively on cable with an uninspiring streaming option isn’t going to cut it. In a perfect world, the CFL should be seeking a mixture of traditional broadcast TV, cable, and streaming in their next deal.

Whether they land all three remains to be seen but it would be pivotal in making the league more attractive to casual fans — while increasing revenue at the same time.

q12 Dec 6, 2022 2:42 PM

All team Canada WJHC pre-tournament, round-robin, potential Canada quarter-final, semi-finals and Gold medal game(s) are now officially sold-out this morning (after the few remaining individual seats went on sale) that take place at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax this December/January.

esquire Dec 6, 2022 4:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by q12 (Post 9808065)
All team Canada WJHC pre-tournament, round-robin, potential Canada quarter-final, semi-finals and Gold medal game(s) are now officially sold-out this morning (after the few remaining individual seats went on sale) that take place at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax this December/January.

Interesting to see how the WJHC has bounced back after being pitifully attended last time out. Probably an easier sell in December than in August ;)

Acajack Dec 13, 2022 8:46 PM

RDS announced during the Argentina-Croatia game that they would be broadcasting MLS games (incl. CF Montréal) in 2023.

There was some controversy in Quebec when it seemed like MLS was going to be going to streaming only with Apple TV.

thurmas Dec 13, 2022 8:50 PM

Cf montreal is a mess they lost their coach again this off-season not sure if the team will have long term stability in montreal with how badly run they are.

elly63 Dec 13, 2022 9:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9814643)
Cf montreal is a mess they lost their coach again this off-season not sure if the team will have long term stability in montreal with how badly run they are.

A bit hyperbolic don't ya think, considering how much young Canadian talent they supplied to the NT and their placement in MLS last year and the amount of money that will be coming in from transfers, players playing in the WC etc

Acajack Dec 19, 2022 9:56 PM

Sports TV ratings guru Adam Seaborn says more people watched Canada-Croatia than the World Cup final.

JHikka Dec 19, 2022 10:14 PM

I wouldn't call Seaborn any sort of guru - he just copy/pastes ratings numbers onto twitter.

The 3.9M number for the WC Final is pretty good but speaks mostly to how good the 4.4M Canada/Croatia number was.

It's not really indicative of much but I can't help but notice how many views TSN's videos on youtube get for the World Cup compared to most other videos they upload. Hundreds of thousands versus tens of thousands. :hmmm:

Acajack Dec 19, 2022 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9820153)
I wouldn't call Seaborn any sort of guru - he just copy/pastes ratings numbers onto twitter.

The 3.9M number for the WC Final is pretty good but speaks mostly to how good the 4.4M Canada/Croatia number was.

It's not really indicative of much but I can't help but notice how many views TSN's videos on youtube get for the World Cup compared to most other videos they upload. Hundreds of thousands versus tens of thousands. :hmmm:

I was thinking "amazing for a weekday afternoon", but then I remembered Canada-Croatia was a Sunday game too.

JHikka Dec 19, 2022 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 9820157)
I was thinking "amazing for a weekday afternoon", but then I remembered Canada-Croatia was a Sunday game too.

For context, the quarterfinal matches ranged from 1.2M to 1.9M. The Argentina/Netherlands match drew more on the Friday than Portugal/Morocco on the Saturday. Combined with select group matches getting up in the high 700/800/900k that bodes pretty well for the product on the whole, especially given that 2026 will be in Canadian timezones with more matches in total being played.

q12 Dec 21, 2022 3:47 PM

Some pictures from the first pre-tournament game last night at Scotiabank Centre. 4,400 in attendance to watch Czechia beat Latvia 6-3.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkdLTbWW...pg&name=medium

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkdLTbZX...pg&name=medium

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkdLTbUX...pg&name=medium

https://twitter.com/AustinMacD97/sta...34598191390726

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkeAyDSW...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/AustinMacD97/sta...93404971683840

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkeYpjTX...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/OndrejKalat/stat...19635519758338



And some pictures from Monday night's near sellout of Avenir Centre (over 8,500) in Moncton for the first pre-tournament game between Team Canada and the Swiss (6-0).

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkX_9oAX...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/GMillerTSN/statu...70283181522944

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkZ6LsMW...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/Ordinarygrape/st...04661127495681

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkY1JaKX...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/xody23/status/1605028758800547842

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FkYnlxzW...pg&name=medium
https://twitter.com/station_nation/s...13851791138818


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