Canadian Football Network (CFN) 1987-1990

apparently the CFL did have it's own Network between 1987-1990 but suspended operations due to high costs...

[b]The CFL then decided to produce its own games by creating the 'Canadian Football Network'. A syndicate of Canadian television stations was formed to produce and televise CFL games airing games on Friday evenings and Sundays after Labour Day. Games were also sold to CBC for Saturday and Sunday telecasts and TSN bought games that were mostly played on Thursday evenings.

CFN lasted from 1987 to 1990 but after the CFL deemed CFN too expensive to operate, the league tried and failed to find a major rights-holder for 1991. Eventually, for the 1991 season, the CBC obtained rights to telecast 25 regular season games with exclusivity for playoff games and the Grey Cup. The CFL also sold rights to TSN for 28 regular season games.

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I assume most posters will already know this, but in case anyone is too young, "Network" did not mean a 24-hour CFL channel; it meant a group (network) of independent stations that showed some games. You can still some of these games from time to time on ESPN Classic. Great play-by-play from Dave Hodge and Bob Irving. Colour was mostly Neil Lumsden (OK) and Nick Bastaja (meh).

These were sad, desperate days for the CFL.

Great calls by Hodge and Irving in 87 and the 88 GC games. I watch the old games for those two alone . I think TSN could use a little more spark in the booth on all fronts. All very polished and fine broadcasters , just a tad dry.

Agreed. The league got low-balled by broadcasters & decided to try things out on their own. Unfortunately they had to sell their own advertising and that didn’t go so well. (big surprise there :roll: )
Truly bad times for the league. It sure has come a long, LONG way…

Yeh I remember that. NO ONE willing to bid a reasonable amount for TV rights and the league had to go out and solicit stations (and probably buy airtime) and sell their own ad's that was an indication of a serious, serious problem.