CFL (and other sports) TV Ratings

I'd love to see it on a five-year deal, but I don't see the numbers that high plus I don't know how you arrived at a massive billion with your math there.

Even a three-year deal would be a win in this fragmented media market.

1 Like

Well it's an improvement just for that so long as it involves either Paramount+ or Netflix, which guarantees far more exposure at the start than ESPN dominantly via ESPN+ or NBC via Peacock.

The latter two apps are lousy too anyway.

Farhan Lalji said for the US deal, the league is talking about using a combination of network & streaming.

To me, that sounds like the same as their current arrangement with ESPN. Maybe the only change (if any) in the next 3 seasons is the number of games aired on which network.

1 Like

If they do it better, they simulcast when on a regular channel and even better when the game is not with ESPN, it's over-the-air on occasion.

However the game is on TV, it should be simulcast to a stream not one or the other.

And don't tell me there is not room over-the-air on weekends in the US.

On CBS this afternoon as I flipped channels there was some lumberjack competition on as filler.


Something like this?

1 Like

That multiple of whatever was paid before to the tune of $600K per season, if much at all, is a win no doubt but ...
:thinking: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :unamused: :roll_eyes: :grimacing:

I hope people, including many fans in Canada, understand that right now even with the league in trouble financially for years, ANY efforts to expand media rights or interest outside of Canada should involve a better strategy to expand the brand and capture other revenue streams just like any given other modern league or promotion that is niche in North America has done such as Serie A or Formula 1 as merely two recent examples.

Some key questions for ESPN follow if they are the party making such a higher offer, and we note that Disney no doubt is even large enough to absorb even a massive loss via Disney+ as described in this thread:

Even a large firm like Disney of course does not allow losses for any given new venture to continue indefinitely before often rolling the operation into another unit or re-organizing any given number of other ways, which of course will impact the product.

Questions For ESPN or Others That The CFL Should Ask When Accepting an Offer for Media Rights in the US:

  1. Will you be simulcasting games on cable to streaming as has become modern media practice, or do you insist on slotting content onto merely cable OR streaming unlike some of your competitors that are not NBCU's Peacock?

  2. What will you do differently than you have done to promote the CFL whether it's on ESPN or ESPN+, including especially in the off-season before games start much as you are doing for your investment in the XFL 3.5?

  3. What will you do to make it far easier, and afford far more time, for American fans to find your schedule for airing games? A 48-hour notice and buried on your website after several clicks, for example as evidenced to date for years, is not sufficient or acceptable in modern media.

  4. Why are shows, including not even live action, like cornhole and college softball on your cable channels and not a CFL game? What other contractual obligations prevent you from airing games at such times? How can that situation be changed?

You get the idea. If Genius Sports is doing its damn job, they certainly better be asking ESPN these hard questions and they certainly better be shopping for a better deal BEYOND the mere money!

As the NFL foresaw correctly in 2003 (even launching its own cable network, which Rich Eisen of ESPN wisely joined at the time) and as others like the NBA and the Big 10 in college football have learned the hard way, you do NOT allow Disney and ESPN to shape and define and degrade your brand rather than the other way around.


Wasn't the recruiting of more global players (i.e. from places other than the US) supposed to eventually lead to more interest in those countries?

Ah well that was the objective and of course that was the CFL 2.0 debate and topic, which is distinct from efforts to expand interest and presence in the US of course.

I guess my point was the US is theoretically not the only option for increased presence and television deals. It may be the largest market but it's also pretty saturated with football.

To your point the CFL has had a deal with BT Sport or perhaps it is indirectly done via TSN, and BT Sport has an unofficial deal with the Pirate Sports Network as I have learned with also often a better feed than the ESPN feed, but given also the difference in time zone I doubt there is much interest in the CFL in the UK.

Maybe some traveling or expatriate Canadian fans?

Of course anything done for higher media rights beyond the primary market for gridiron football in the world is gravy right now even with expansion of interest in gridiron football beyond Canada and the US.

1 Like

In today's Grey Cup championship game, there are two official global players (and at least one unofficial one).

Les Maruo of Japan, formerly played in the X-League for Asahi.

John Haggerty of Australia, attended the Prokick Australia before heading to the US for college.

Boris Bede of France, has played for the French national American football team as well as for Marseille in the French Elite D1.

I'd think that the CFL would try to make gridiron football fans of these countries and teams aware that their countrymen and former team reps are taking part, yet I've seen nothing from the league trying to connect to these fans on social media.

Earlier this season, when the Bombers started two Japanese players, Les Maruo took it upon himself to get some acknowledgement from the X-League, but again I saw no initiative from the CFL to spread awareness.


Despite flat to down ratings most of the year, yesterday's Grey Cup bucked that trend a bit

Likely the close game keeping viewers hooked, a bit of an Argo bandwagon effect..and maybe those Rider fans who 'stayed home' :slight_smile:


Hopefully it's trending upward going forward.

In the US, only CFL games broadcast on ESPN2 have ratings. Here are the 2022 viewership numbers for those games and the percentage contributed by the American audience to that total.

6/16: Montreal-Toronto
TSN - 349,100
ESPN2 - 104,000, 0.04 rating
total = 453,100
% from US = 22.9

6/17: Winnipeg-Ottawa
TSN - 517,000
ESPN2 - 83,000, 0.03 rating
total = 600,000
% from US = 13.8

6/24: Hamilton-Winnipeg
TSN - 393,500
ESPN2 - 77,000, 0.04 rating
total = 470,500
% from US = 16.3

6/25: BC-Toronto
TSN - 464,500
ESPN2 - 80,000, 0.03 rating
total = 544,500
% from US = 14.6

6/30: BC-Ottawa
TSN - 302,000
ESPN2 - 136,000, 0.06 rating
total = 438,000
% from US = 31

7/2: Montreal-Saskatchewan
TSN - 623,000
ESPN2 - 155,000, 0.06 rating
total = 788,000
% from US = 19

7/22: Winnipeg- Edmonton
TSN - 451,100
ESPN2 - 118,000, 0.05 rating
total = 569,100
% from US = 20.7

7/29: BC-Saskatchewan:
TSN - 700,500
ESPN2 - 111,000, 0.04 rating
total = 811,500
% from US = 13.6

7/30: Winnipeg-Calgary:
TSN - 607,700
ESPN2 - 144,000, 0.05 rating
total = 751,700
% from US = 19.1

8/26: BC-Saskatchewan:
TSN - 628,000
ESPN2 - 81,000, 0.03 rating
total = 709,000
% from US = 11.4

9/23: Hamilton-Montreal:
TSN - 279,400
ESPN2 - 87,000, 0.03 rating
total = 366,400
% from US = 23.7

9/30: Ottawa-BC:
TSN - 425,200
ESPN2 - 65,000, 0.02 rating
total = 490,200
% from US = 13.2

10/11: Montreal-Ottawa:
TSN - 241,600
ESPN2 - 124,000, 0.05 rating
total = 365,600
% from US = 33.9

East Semi-Final
TSN - 516,000
ESPN2 - 81,000, 0.02 rating
total = 597,000
% from US = 13.5

West Semi-Final
TSN - 754,000
ESPN2 - 66,000, 0.01 rating
total = 820,000
% from US = 8

East Final
TSN - 630,000
ESPN2 - 40,000, 0.01 rating
total = 670,000
% from US = 5

Grey Cup
TSN - 3,121,000
ESPN2 - 158,000, 0.03 rating
total = 3,279,000
% from US = 4


Time to leave the Mouse with those piss-poor numbers emenating from the States

1 Like

Looks like we did way better than last year's Grey Cup in the USA. I'm pleased with the numbers. We definitely should have more country half time shows or singers that Americans know. Next time Metallica or a similar band in Hamilton would be a good choice. :+1:

I think the next half time show act will be Canadian Rock artist. Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee perhaps? They might bring in some American viewers too


They just got rid of the Disney Ceo despite good earnings they were losing money .

The board said no more .

Some said it was a classic go woke go broke but

Bob Iger is also woke .

1 Like

Any interested media group can go with the easy simulcast of the TSN broadcast

as they don't need to host any broadcast work at all it becomes an easy to deal with content

for a Netflix or whoever they can easily pay a cool million or even more and tie up some needed can con on the platform and

spin more off with more CFL supported shows (content ) facilitating needed Canadian requirements while selling it also to foreign Netflix or whatever platform as well .

The CPL and CFL are in a good position to get greater exposure here and abroad if they choose right .

Even a game of the week allows for other platforms to get involved in the product .

This league needs to move past the one sports Channel location and draw new casuals in from other platforms who happen to drop in on the game being shown and come back for more .


The CFL will be a casualty of of an administration change. The low ratings will indicate that..

It appears that the Mouse is more behind the Rock's XFL than a longstanding partner like the CFL

1 Like