CFL considering testing ‘direct-to-consumer’ streaming in US market

:thinking: :unamused:

“considering testing”

6 Likes

Noting what The Masters has done this weekend, I was thinking about this topic hours ago and will do a post about it this week.

Essentially any league could just stream their games live to certain markets directly from their website too.

Of course unlike The Masters, one would have to sign into the site whether free or not.

They are figuring out ways to make it easier, for Pirate Sports Network certainly is still a strong competitor.

3 Likes

Knowing the CFL penchant for shooting a foot off ... they will charge so much money for the service that only billionaires will be be able afford it

6 Likes

Yes this is an exaggeration. But not by too much.

4 Likes

Sounds like you seen this movie before......
Would be smarter to share the CFL at a low low price, build a larger international fan base.....then a few years later shoot themselves in the foot by increasing the prices so high they loose that very new international fan base :woozy_face::upside_down_face:

2 Likes

Yup common sense dictates give it away at very little profit to grow the brand. Only problem is people will tend balk at any price increase in the future. A bit of a delema but not earth shakingly so. Net Flix hurt them selves with their increases
by asking too high a price and combined it cuts in content.

5 Likes

I just did a post about this in the streaming thread.

This is Business 101. No consumers like price increases, but most will understand and accept modest ones and very few private businesses, such as the NFL, get away with the hikes.

But act like cable and increase prices and then decrease content (i.e. new "tiers", channel shifting, content shifting stuffed with informercials in a programming time slot, et cetera), especially for existing paid customers, well now it's war.

The streaming companies seem to be repeating the mistakes of cable and satellite, but often this is because the heads in charge who need to roll also used to work in the cable business and have needed to go years ago.

7 Likes

I have watched CFL here in the States for 40 years (off-and-on). I watched when ESPN had it as "filler" content in the early 1980s, had it on my cable system in upstate New York (thanks, CKWS, Kingston) in the late 80s - early 90s, saw the foray into the USA (what a juggernaut Baltimore was - and saw a great new QB named Anthony Calvillo with Las Vegas). and have been able to watch for the past 20 years beginning with independent providers, and finally returning to ESPN and ESPN+. NOW... Ambrosie and Co. want to fix something that isn't broken?? D-T-C is an unwise concept. Besides, the previous CFL commissioner had experience growing the footprint of a sports league (NBA), and wasn't even given a chance to operate up there (mysteriously ousted in less than a year). We sports fans already pay a-la-carte for streaming services (I have to pay for ESPN+ in order to see most of the CFL games); bringing more into the mix will leave us with choices to make....and Ambrosie may regret choosing to go D-T-C if that's his wont.

8 Likes

Great perspective. And welcome to the forum.

1 Like

Or amongst many options, they could just eliminate ESPN+, and perhaps also ESPN, and make it easy via other options including free. That would save you the ESPN+ trouble, if not also ESPN altogether, and that cable bill. Of course if you must watch SEC football or the NBA, well I get it but many more than ever don't care about the rest on ESPN.

great post. welcome!

Thank you, Jon. Great to be able to post. Eager to get into the 2023 season!

3 Likes

Thank you, GG! Cannot wait for the first 129-yard missed field goal return of the season!

5 Likes

There is much about ESPN that annoys me, going back to the 1990s. I don't watch much NBA, just some baseball, CFL :wink: , and score updates. I use ESPN+ for CFL, curling, and New Zealand cricket. It's still inexpensive, but adding MORE pay services will make me face some hard choices.

4 Likes

CFL is not going Direct-to-Consumer in the US.

If the CFL went direct-to-consumer, that would essentially mean that the league was unable to secure a media rights deal in America. No media rights deal in a region represents every part of the world other than Canada, US, and UK. The authorized way to view CFL games in those areas is via Visaic/Yare. Yare charges $100 USD for the whole season.

Besides, at least one part of US media rights deal is almost done. Randy Ambroise used the term "anchor partner", so there could be more than one network involved as previously stated by Dave Naylor. Farhan Lalji believes ESPN will still be involved.

Not only does the CFL have too many games to be televised live on a linear channel, roughly half their season runs into the time of the year where NCAA and NFL are on the minds of potential viewers in the US. Point is, I would expect the majority of the games under any new deal(s) to be streaming-only as has been the case for over a decade now. Just not on Yare or equivalent.

4 Likes

I certainly don't agree on this part at all. Games are televised just fine, for any league, on a linear channel and simulcast to streaming.

Your dated premise and assumption that a league must choose one or the other for all games is flawed, much as shown by other leagues.

3 Likes

They have to continue with ESPN+, $9.99 for the service and all games are on ESPN+ can't beat it.
They said that ESPN+ has picked up 10 MILLION subscribers in the past 2 years and up to 24 million subscribers.
Streaming is the future

Long ago, when Pinball was coach of the Argos, you could purchase a game from the CFL for something like $4.95. I did it on our Columbus Day and your Thanksgiving. It was a nice way to spend the day. Now you can watch most of the games on ESPN and ESPN+. Trouble is that they always shift the Eastern and Western finals to ESPN News, which is the only station not included in my package. Being able to get around that by purchasing the games would be great. During my entire life, watching the games, listening to the games and reading about the league have always been difficult.

4 Likes

No there are no CFL games on ESPN, just a limited number on ESPN2 if you have an ESPN subscription you don't get ESPN2 unless you add it.
Yes you can see all CFL games on ESPN+, is not cable or satellite - it's streaming

3 Likes

I was inferring that you can watch on ESPN2 because I have been doing so for years. Do you think I don't know what I am watching? I remember CFL Monthly back in the 60s, watching games any way I could. And as for not getting ESPN2 unless you add it, the cable package I have gives me everything except ESPN News, which, of course means I miss the Eastern or Wester final every year. I guess it is my reward for being a loyal fan, huh? ESPN 2 has always been part of the package and I have NEVER had to add it. A few years I even got the NEWS channel, but that was long ago.

2 Likes