CFL Blackout Policy

There have been several questions regarding this so here is the answer:

The standard CFL blackout policy is as follows:
The blackout pattern for CFL games is 56 km radius from the stadium for cable television and 120 kms for conventional (CBC). There is one exception to this rule. The Province of Saskatchewan is subject to full provincial blackouts.

Notice to Bell ExpressVu Customers regarding Game Blackouts:

It has recently come to the attention of the CFL and Bell ExpressVu that a number of eligible customers are experiencing blackouts of their local CFL games.

Previously, ExpressVu managed blackouts by a six-digit postal code. Recently, Bell ExpressVu has changed their blackout procedures and it now employs only the first three digits of the postal code which has resulted in a wider blackout net than that mandated by the CFL.

If you are experiencing a blackout in your area, but are outside the 56km territory, please call your Bell ExpressVu customer service representative. Bell ExpressVu is currently working towards a solution.

We have no blackouts in Ottawa for Home games. I'm a Rogers subscriber.

TSN has been blacked out for a few Mtl games last year even thought they are not supposed to be. The funny thing is that you can see the game on the TSN blackout alternate channel :shock:

Ok, this is nice BUT could you please post the all the blackout rules!! Such as on how blackouts are lifted!!! For example, is there a rule that says blackouts must be lifted if 90% of tickets are sold 48 hours before game time?

I have been asking for years and all I get is the info you provided, not the whole rules!!!

I’m beginning to think that they might not be lifted, it’s a permanant blackout rule if you’re close to the stadium. I searched and searched, and found nothing regarding the lifting of a CFL blackout

I wouldn't know personally, since I'm at every Stamps home game ... but I've heard that each team is allowed to choose one game to NOT black out, regardless of attendance, and that the team may also black out a game if ticket sales top 90% (or something) early enough ...

Actually I think its 2 games for which the blackout must be lifted, although I could be wrong. For the remainder, there is no hard and fast rule for lifting blackouts. Individual teams decide if they want to lift it or not. For instance, BC and Toronto has no blackouts while Calgary only lifts the minimum.

The exception for Saskatchewan in a joke. I am a Riders season ticket holder, but I feel for people four hours or more away in Prince Albert, Maple Creek, Lloydminster, North Batteford, etc. Those people normally can only afford to get to a couple of games, why punish them?

I heard that, as part of the contract with TSN, each team MUST lift the blackout for two games. They may also lift the blackout for other games if ticket sales reach a certain level, but whether they are REQUIRED to do so or not I am not sure.

I know that last year the blackout was lifted for every Ticat game, and also for the first game this year.

Blackouts are supposed to help attendance, but during the 80s where blackouts were hardly ever lifted, attendance dropped consistently, and the CFL lost an entire generation of fans. Now that blackouts are lifted attendance has been going up. It goes to show that it's always best to get the TV exposure, and the whole idea of the TV blackout is an antiquated notion that should be put out of its misery, and soon.

i feel for those riders fans blackout for the hole province, OUCH! that sucks

Yes indeed Big Dave is correct and I agree 100% with him. I can’t see why a team wouldn’t want to lift a blackout if enough tix are sold. Lifted Blackouts, as Dave mentioned, are mainly done to attract the viewers at home that going to the game is better, and therefore attract more fans to the stadium. If there weren’t so many topics in this forum, I might of posted earlier than BigDave and I would have been the hero. =)

They never used 6-digit postal codes. They are actually using a 5-digit zip code. Really! The ExpressVu system is a copy from USA's DISH network and both work on 5-digit zip codes. ExpressVu "converts" postal codes to "fake" zip codes.

Anyway, result is the same. blackouts are wider now.

I never had a montreal alouettes' game blackout and I,m within the 56km radius.


I live over 400 km from the nearest CFL franchise. Even though we get to as many football games as we can, it's not feasible to hire a sitter and make an eight hour round trip for all nine football games. Gotta love the Saskatchewan blackout policy!!

Not sure what the answer is to this one. Any team other than the Riders and they would have a million people in the 56 - 120 km zone (ok, winnipeg would have 700,000 - 800,000). That same zone from Taylor Field would be about 220,000.

I understand that, leeing, but I completely agree with the suggestion that a few other posters have made - how about lifting the blackout if a certain percentage of tickets are sold at a predetermined time prior to kickoff? In the big scheme of things, it's really not a big deal. I'd just like to see all nine home games, rather than half of them. :slight_smile:

As a CFL fan living in Victoria on Vancouver Island, the strangest thing about blackouts with regard to games in Vancouver is that if the game is on TSN, I can watch on TV, but if it is on CBC - it is blacked out.

As for the blacked out games on CBC, I would love to go to the games but the ferry system and having to usually stay overnight in Vanvouver is a timely and expensive option...I guess there is always the radio...

Speaking of the radio...that is how I tuned into the BC Toronto game on Friday - I am still baffled that the game was not televised. It's not that the Winnipeg Edmonton game should not have been on TV, but the schedulers should have planned better on this one...ALL CFL GAMES SHOULD BE ON TV!

They just started showing the CFL games in the Baltimore Maryland area again. It's been awhile (since the Stallions went back to Montreal). I love the CFL and am so glad it's back on tv here. I'm watching the BC Lions beat the Tiger Cats as I write this. Glad to be able to see the CFL again. We've been blacked out since we got the Ravens.

Now if only the NHL wouldn't have added that stupid shootout rule.

I went to the Winnipeg vs. Montreal game was surprised that the blackout was lifted even though there wasn't a sell out. (Maybe 90%) I think we're going to need a little more clarification on the subject

wouldn't Lloydminster be an exeption being half of the city is in Alberta, or is it just the Sask. half of the city being blacked out :?

There was some info on the blackouts in the edmonton journal this week. It said that teams must lift the blackout on a minimum of two games a year. Also the league can force them to lift it up to a max of 5 games but teams get compensation for games over 2 that are forced. Teams can voluntarily lift over two.