A gate driven league but does it matter any more?

Ok, I've heard that leagues like the CFL and NHL are gate driven leagues meaning that most of the revenue generated is by fans attending the games. But I'm wondering how much this matters any longer. It seems that TV numbers are most the important numbers spoken about these days, that if the numbers are there, well that's the most important thing. For example, the "NFL only counts" fans out there point to the excellent TV numbers the NFL gets in Canada (even if they are generally lower than CFL numbers) and then make the argument that the NFL is so important.

I personally say hogwash. To me, TV along with betting and computer games on screens are all fantasy whereas actually having 8 teams play on Canadian soil in Canadian stadiums as opposed to 0 for the NFL in Canada, means something tangible, not fantasy but real life. But "NFL only counts" fans never make this argument and just point out TV. I love my TV but it is not the real thing. I think we should point this out to these people from time to time to get them back into reality. Virtual reality is not reality IMHO.

Financially, the NFL differs from the CFL. The NFL receives a greater portion of revenue from broadcasts so TV markets are important. Many fans cannot attend games at stadiums but should be counted. However the CFL receives less TV revenue and must depend more on gate revenue.

And I suppose every league would like to have the TV revenue as the NFL does. But I guess the point I was trying to make was that TV - the revenues from it, the presentation of it on TV etc. seems to be such a huge factor, and it is, especially as you say in the NFL. But my point is so what if there are no teams in the country you live in, that should matter I think to everyone but it doesn't so it seems. I think a lot of society is turning into what I might call virtual reality type people, what you see on the TV screen is basically all that matters. I don't know, something I just don't like about all the new technology and that today. I guess you can see I'm over 50.

IF Canada had a population even half of that of the USA, the NHL would be the the number one league in North America revenue wise, and the cFL would be at least the equal of baseball or the NBA.

But becuase we have one tenth the population, the TV money is just not there. IT is a fact of life. Those who point to the money the NFL gets as a sign of its popularity just don't get it.

The NFL gets the TV money becuase its the number one sport of a country of 300 million. Hockey and the CFL are the most popular sports in a country of 30 million. Its economies of scale. GEt it?

So TV numbers really are just a statistic that really doesn't tell us nearly the whole story, right? Good take on this berezin.

They give you the story of how popular a league is, but not necessarily how good.

(1) The TV numbers are just counting how many people watched, not how many ‘enjoyed’.

(2) There is a whole nother standard for TV in Canada and the US. For example 1 million viewers in Canada would be an accomplishment, but 1 million in the US is grounds for a show being cancelled.

I like that also TIMY, your no. 1 is talking about quality not quantity, and quality based analysis is equally as important as quantity based analysis.

And no. 2, yes, you need to look at the entire picture, a systems look if you will. Excellent points.

Gate revenue leagues, actually need people to show up to the games.
The NFL TV deals and marketing deals, allow the NFL owners to make money even if nobody shows up. That is why during late 80's and 90's, when the saints were god awful, and only 15,000 people showed up to games wearing bags on their heads, there was still no talk of folding. The TV deals have only gotten bigger since then.

Earl, the problem is with Canadian broadcasters such as Bell GlobeMedia, they are unwilling to take losses such as Viacom or News Corporation. Disney did not want do take anymore gigantic losses on ABC. Disney moved to Monday Night Football to ESPN. NBC came back to Sunday Night Football. The broadcasters in Canada are the main reason why the
CFL is not getting a large television money. Canadian broadcasters are unwilling to pay billions of dollars as their U.S. counterparts. If Canadian broadcasters were willing to billions of dollars in hockey then hockey would really be a big 4 sport in the United States in the U.S. television market.

I wish that CFL is not gate driven league. The CFL should emphasis the television first and the gate receipts second. By using a 14 game schedule where the 8 team league played every other team twice, the television people from CBC and TSN could televise 56 games in 14 weeks. If you are a television executive would you like to produce 72 games or 56 games? I think Canadian television executives would probably answer 56 games. TSN is capable of producing 14 games in 14 weeks probably on their favorite night, Friday. Unfortunately, the CBC is not willing to produce 42 games in a regional package on Sunday or Monday to the Canadian public. A major television network has to control the television package and not a cable channel such as TSN.

Thanks for that info RKoyama, you obviously know a lot more about the television industry than I do. I see your point about wishing that the CFL was gate driven but in some ways, it does make owners more accountable for how they operate their teams. For example, teams like Arizona in the NFL where they have had a bad team for so many years and averaged for many years about 35,000 a game, didn't have that incentive to improve, they still made loads of money from the huge NFL TV deals. In the CFL, no such luxury, if you don't win a bit, like Ottawa, fans may not show up and your out of business, not as much of a free ride for owners who just want to sit on the TV deal laurels.
That being said, I would like to see more TV money for the CFL though, enough that it would make more people want to invest in teams here. Unfortunate about the CBC not willing to take on more games as you say.

I'd rather it forcus be on the Gate than TV. What's the point if a game is on TV w/o anybody at the staduim? would like to see the CFL get more from the TV, but still put more on the gate.