CFL (and other sports) TV Ratings

Or just don't put it behind a paywall? :man_shrugging:

1 Like

It's not the CFL's choice. ESPN put them there to be buried and forgotten

1 Like

If anything ,The CFL did 27 percent better on a SUNDAY later in the year just last season , against the same NFL .

As we go deeper into the cooler weather people are not out and about as much on a Sunday afternoon and are sitting inside looking for entertainment to watch .

I really enjoyed the playoffs last year and so far this years as well .

The path best chosen is getting a few more teams and more stories
to watch thru the season and the ratings will be higher because of interest .

But I see a real hunger for pro fall football which is the actual tradition of Canadian Football for a hundred years .


Of course it was the CFL's choice. They were the ones who agreed to terms with ESPN. CFL probably knew at the start of the season which of the ESPN properties would air about 95% of the games.

If CFL decided to go with Netflix (unlikely), they would still be behind a paywall & competing against the NFL during the CFL post-season.

During the time of the West Finals, the Women's Basketball game on ESPN2 did not do well as it was a blowout. Women's Volleyball though, did do reasonably well getting 226,000 on the Big 10 Network. NFL Gameday Live on the NFL Network was seen by 451,000. USA v Germany Women's Soccer on ESPN got 337,000. NHRA got 282,000 on FS1. My guess is that the CFL West Final was watched by somewhere around 35,000-45,000 in America.

1 Like

The CFL also has a choice to walk away from ESPN and shop it's rights to a better media partner that will promote the league that cares for it's product.

How do you know Netflix will reject the CFL? You sit on the board? They gave huge deals to no talent hacks like Adam Sandler and Meaghan and Harry. But knowing Netflix is looking for sport content, the CFL can always use that as leverage in any negotiations with a potential bidder on CFL rights.

Netflix is re-structing it's business model. It's going to offer ads in it's viewing so to pay for it's channel won't be as much as it is now. It already has a fixed subscriber base. It revitalized F1 through docu-series, it bring back the CFL from the Abyss through live action


Go Genius Sports: Netflix and Paramount+

I will cross-post here after referencing the broader context.

Given the facts on the ground, the two best bets for the CFL for simulcast of games on streaming globally when otherwise on a regular TV channel, preferably on free TV though of course we understand that free TV won't be for every single game in our modern viewing era, look like as follows:

Netflix's looming new live sports presence and

There's a fine thread about the matter of Netflix on the forum for more details on that front, and here's a summary of how the top streaming services other than Netflix and those involved in live sports are doing in the US and worldwide.

Wherever the CFL goes for global video access and as we fans have advised here for years now, the CFL cannot remain confined to a cable television or other television paywall.

Almost all live sports now, including even niche sports, have a global streaming presence with routine programming.


Arash Madani said today that there is no reason why the CFL cannot get a $40-50 million US tv contract.

Really? From $200,000 to $40-50 million a year? I find that hard to believe that such a increase is even remotely plausible.


As do I.


If he's willing to pay that much, why not?

1 Like

Arash isn't a reliable CFL source. Dave Naylor quoted 10 million so we'll see what happens in six months to a year.

I would just like to know what the numbers were for the E&W Finals , usually 3DN is all over weekly tv numbers , especially when they are bad .

1 Like

I can come up with reasons why they can't get that much, but who knows. I'd very gladly be wrong about that.


I'll do you one better. $20,000,000 over 5 years with Netflix, for a billion dollar package. That is dirt cheap in comparison to what the NFL gets. Lot's of spinoff content for Netflix like Weekly previews, pre and postgame shows, fantasy, betting, draft, the combine for year round content like the NFL Network.

Football lives on Netflix. You heard it here first.


Do tell.

Nothing secret or earth-shattering. I just don't think enough people will watch to attract the advertising revenue to justify that amount of payout from any network.



Mike Mitchell wrote that the East Final drew 40,000 on ESPN2. Considering the West Final was on ESPNews, I doubt the number was significantly better.

Farhan Lalji said the new US tv deal is not going to be game-changing or to the level of the TSN contract. He thinks the amount will be 3 to 4 times more than the current amount.

If we do the math, 3 to 4 times the current amount would mean $600,000 to $800,000 USD per season.

1 Like

That sounds like a win to me. Maybe Genius Sports can help negotiate a clause that increases payment if certain ratings numbers are met.


Add what Jeff Hamilton wrote to what Farhan Lalji previously said:

"The TV broadcast deal with TSN expires in 2026 and while it might be too early to predict what will happen next, it will mark an interesting crossroads for the league. The U.S. TV deal with ESPN is in the process of being renewed, with the goal of having it expire at the same time as the TSN’ contract."

We can conclude that the ESPN Networks will continue broadcasting the games in America for the next 3 seasons (2023, 2024, and 2025) while paying the league somewhere between $600,000-$800,000 per season.