Big Brother

Years ago, under another name, I came on this site and recommended the CFL use the TV show Big Brother to promote the League - this was before Big Brother Canada which started in 2013. I said, "The CFL should put up the prize money ($100K) and sponsor the show". In other words, if you lived in Toronto and wanted to be on the show, you would have to buy tickets to one of the 2 Argo games from which the contestants would be chosen. Preference would be given to (in the following order) :

  1. Season Ticket Holders;
  2. People who attended the Sponsored Game;
  3. People who bought a ticket.

Each team would be allowed to provide 2 Big Brother contestants.

The turn out would be huge. They would also be young - the perfect demographic. However, when I recommended it here, I was handed my hat. Unfazed, I sent the idea to the CFL. They never responded.

They could still do it. The show is on annually, the $100K would only cost each team $11,000 (they would easily cover that and make huge profits from the ticket sales) and, when the contestants enter the Big Brother house, they could wear the uniforms of their team.


If the idea doesn't work, fine, but I'm not sure why the CFL can't think outside the box to attract younger people. Does anyone else have any other ideas?

How many sports leagues do you know of that sponsor TV programs unrelated to the league?

And I find your dismissal of the potential failure of such an idea a bit too cavalier.
I don't think it would be "fine" for the league's image if such an "outside the box" venture failed.

I've seen enough comments on this forum about changes to the current league rules and practices leaving it vulnerable to being labelled "bush league" or "XFL"-like.
I don't think the CFL wants that.

I disagree. Besides, what is the worst thing that could happen? They throw $100K party and no one shows up.

There would, of course, have to be rules. They would have to ensure someone like David Braley didn't charge $200/ticket. But, if they had it against teams that didn't draw well, I have no doubt a bunch of young people would show up trying to get on the show.

Besides, if you watch the TV ratings for a show like Big Brother, you know it is VERY popular in Canada and it would attract exactly the demographics the League craves. Plus, how much sillier is it than Wendy's Kick for a Million? I bet a lot of people scoffed at that at first. Fans probably thought, "That's what they do at minor league hockey games. Someone shoot for a truck". Look how that turned out.

If the CFL wants to make some fan-based reality show, great, but this is far too gimmicky for me and reeks of desperation. Beyond that, BB does pretty extensive screening and is unlikely to desire to be tied down to say the 5k from each venue that would actually be interested. To each their own though.

They could easily associate themselves to some sort of physical activity / football related reality show though.

If I recall correctly, the CFL had two players who tried to get onto the Amazing Race Canada (though I don't know what's so amazing about it when they don't even leave the country), but they unfortunately didn't make the cut.

If anything, the CFL should push for something like that. Why take on the cost of a show when they could just have a couple of player/contestants and reap the same benefits?

Anyway, I don't think professional sports should be in the business of funding reality television. I think we have enough of that.

It was Ti-Cats Brian Bulke and Greg Wojt who tried to get on the race last season. The Amazing Race Canada did go to Hong Kong, Macau and France last year - not just stay within Canada.

Here is the CFL players audition video. It is pretty funny.


Oh, they did? That’s good. I’ve always thought viewers wanted to see exotic places, not Kelowna.

Will check out the video.

Interestingly enough, there is a backup QB from the University of Regina who is a contestant on this year’s Big Brother Canada. One of the other contestants said last week that winning a particular luxury competition felt like winning the Grey Cup. Also, the Argos’ cheerleaders made an appearance two years ago on Season 1 of the show so there has been a bit of CFL and Canadian football tie-in to BB Canada.

Oh, and one other thing - the NFL was involved in a competition to promote its Thursday night telecasts on CBS during last season’s American Big Brother so there is some precedent for the CFL to have some involvement in a popular program such as this one.

:thup: :thup:

The first situation is an individual going into it. He was not essentially representing a league.
The others are cameos as advertising, decked out in uniform for an appearance. That is fine. They do this all the time, it is just generally not seen on TV or at least by a mass audience. It is not a league pushing to basically be the show. Massive difference.

When I say they could simply do their own thing, I look at the NHL's "Making the cut" as an example. I think it would be pretty cool for a club to do something like take 8 Canadian QBs and one team offer the winner a 1 year deal. Huge PR and something a lot of people may tune into in the off-season. It also promotes a Canadian QB.

At the end of the day, the League needs to start thinking outside the box to attract young fans. No idea should be discarded because a purist fan dislikes it.

It all has little to do with "purists" because it has nothing to do directly with the game. It has more to do with reality, and the reality is that Big Brother is not going to sell a season for an insulting 100k and forge such a strong alliance with the CFL when much of the youth does not see the CFL as "cool". That could potentially hurt their ratings in key demographics and kill a PILE of sponsorship and advertising money cold in it's tracks. They are not going to commit to taking 2 people from the few thousand from each eligible that might be interested in it. A great number of game day fans are over well over 30, so that eliminates a significant amount of the people they would be interested in right there. Big Brother is pretty content with what is a pretty good screening process. Simply, there is little to nothing in it for BB, especially when the mother networks are not the same...that is a darned fast way for people to lose jobs.

Beyond that, the CFL needs to attempt a lot of things that are closer to their core before taking such wild measures. They have begun exploring a lot of CFL shows that are becoming more and more popular, showing behind the scenes action through the season. Probably the single biggest thing the league needs to do to attract youth is come out with a GOOD CFL video game for multiple systems. Video games are the fastest growing entertainment medium and has surpassed the movie theater and music industry combined. This is exposure that is stunning they are not in on. Beyond the exposure, it is a potential revenue stream.

I think they need to concentrate on the obvious stuff like that...the proven, yet untapped market....before they dive off the deep-end and spend their new found money on something drastic. Let's see if they can actually diversify in their already expanding TV market and then video games first.

I think it’s a great idea. The CFL when it comes to T.O needs to be more visable. Even when Scotia Bank was a sponser, at least you would see CFL branding all over the bank and ATM. You can now walk every inch of T.O and NOT SEE ! CFL RELATED BRANDING IMAGE ANYWHERE, so out of sight out of mind

Thank you.

I am amazed some posters think it is a bad idea for the CFL yet the NFL has ties to the U.S. version of the show. In other words, it too low brow and amateurish for the CFL but the NFL jumps in with both feet? That kind of thinking is what is wrong with this League.

The League needs to evolve or slowly die. Having the "purists" hold their noses while the CFL ties itself to shows/content that is relatable to young people is what is needed. The "purists" will just need to suck it up.

First, if you didn't mention it, I would have no idea that the NFL has anything to do with the show "Big Brother". Did the NFL sponsor the show with prize money as you suggest? Did they make part of the show's premise tie in directly with the NFL as you suggest for the CFL? It doesn't sound like it.
I am amazed that you think your suggestion is such a GOOD idea.

Second, get off your self-defined "purist" rant. You lose credibility every time you toss it out as some sort of disparagement. Just because people here disagree with your ideas doesn't make them some sort of unthinking Neanderthal. It doesn't make them a CFL "purist", whatever that is supposed to mean. It makes them someone who disagrees with your opinion.
YOU "just need to suck it up".

yeah, exactly. Involving the CFL in some manner is fine...great even...just as I agreed the involvement of the cheerleaders was during the show last year. What I find funny is is when someone lays out fairly well why the idea will not work and there is no reply or the reply is essentially 'it is a good idea' yet they think that people are going to pile on to their idea.At the end of the day it is not on the same networks. The exec that tables it is looking for new work. And well stated about the "purist" thing. It is a little bit I said...this has ZERO to do with the game, thus the "purist" aspect has no merit in the conversation. Further, I explained why the idea will not work and it had ZERO to do with any form of purist perspective or using it just makes the poster look like a fool. It is a desperate attempt for validation from to grasp at a case when all other merit is lost on a point of view.

Nice to see a new poster come in an tell someone who has been posting for years how to interact. Not only that but to be so aggressive about it.

It is sad to see the term “purist” get under your skin to the point it did.

First, when I suggested it, Big Brother Canada did not exist. I could have easily found a home on any network.

Second, I expected more of you than to thro around a term like “fool” to describe another poster. I guess I was wrong. I guess when someone disagrees with you, a posters true colours come out.

Third, I supported someone who supported me. Too bad you took it to heart and personal.

Last, I really don’t care if my idea isn’t supported. However, I dislike the fact that so many “purists” resist the idea of anything new that catering to someone unlike themselves. Sadly, this thinking has hurt the League.

I don't know enough about Big Brother to have an opinion either way about that show specifically. But the Argos tried a few years ago to increase attendance by having celebrities at games, such as Muhammad Ali.

I don't recall if that was successful at all, but perhaps in broader terms Kevin's idea might have some merit. Instead of trying to have people come by to see a celebrity from another show, appear in as many places as you can manage and improve/increase your image and exposure.

Thanks, CRF. That's fair. :thup: