Still think that the US is the market to expand coverage in. Although the TV coverage is there, it doesn’t sound consistent. I just checked ESPN’s website and they do not have a page dedicated to the CFL. I’m sure any of the football print media in the US include nothing on the CFL. This is an area CFL marketing needs to work on. Find the niche market for the CFL in the US.
I think a lot of people would watch CFL in the US myself included.
The CFL telecasts are going into 70,000,000 million homes now in the US.
A good night for the CFL on Canadian TV is about 400,000 viewers. I don't know how many homes the CBC goes into (maybe 10,000,000)?
TSN would be less. But they are paying the CFL 15-16 million a year.
Wouldn't it be safe to say that there would be 2-3 million US viewers of CFL games out of those 70,000,000 homes. The CFL teams should be getting twice as much money from their US broadcasts as they are getting in Canada. It would still be a bargain for the US networks IMO. All the teams should be in the black as far as I'm concerned with those numbers.
Wouldn't it be safe to say that there would be 2-3 million US viewers of CFL games out of those 70,000,000 homes.That's probably an reasonable estimate. The CFL's U.S. cable agent said that more Americans watch the CFL than Canadians. But they are spread out all over republic and have few resourses to bind them together...other than sites like this.
As far as generating revenue from U.S. viewers. I know they sell Friday Night Football to Dish HDTV. They also sell ads on CFL broadcasts on several cable networks, substituting the Canadian ads on the broadcast.
The CFL is also available on several European, Middle East (yep, the CFL is hot in Lebanon) and S. American sports cable services. Games are also broadcast to the Canadian and U.S. Armed Forces network in over 160 countries.
2-3 million viewers? Try not even CLOSE. Some Stanley Cup Finals games didn't even draw a million US viewers! And that's hockey! A league with established US history with the majority of teams based in the country. If those kind of numbers were true, then some network would be willing to offer at least SOMETHING for TV rights. No US teams, no US interest.
EVM I would agree with you that hockey doesn't draw flies in the US. But we're talking Football here, something Americans know and care a little bit about.
I remember reading once that a CFL game in Nashville got similar numbers to their own Preds game on TV there! That I found very interesting.
Given the number of American footbal stars playing in the CFL, you would think that generating revenues in the US would be a snap. Again, promotion has to be a part of the whole package, print, radio, and tv.
There is little question that the CFL outdraws the NHL in the U.S. Even in Canada the CFL Western Final usually outdraws the Stanley Cup Final series. The Grey Cup blows away the Stanley Cup Final Game 7 in terms of TV ratings.
Perhaps 2-3 million is a bit of a stretch. Probably more like 600-800k, but still larger than the typical Canadian audience. But who really knows? Maybe not even the CFL. It might be impossible to get reliable ratings from fractions of rating points scattered across America from a multitude of cable and satellite networks.
I emailed William Huston who covers T.V. for the Globe and asked him what he thought the audience was in the U.S. He estimated that it was about the same as the Canadian audience from the figures he had, but in certain markets especially in the southern states the CFL does very well. Atlanta for example the CFL outdraws the NHL two to one. There were other southern markets where the CFL outdrew hockey even though the market had NHL teams. Also Glen Suitor has said that there are advertisers in the U.S. that would be willing to sponsor CFL football if the right network could be found.
Not sure about anywhere else, but on Comcast Sportsnet West in my area the CFL cablecasts are sponsored by the US Army and Enzyte. LOL
As I said, there is a market for generating revenues in the US, but the CFL has been slow to exploit it.
It's a shame that there is not a greater CFL TV presence down here. I get one game a week on Comcast Philadelphia until the end of August and then nothing until the Grey Cup. With ESPN having a share in TSN you'd think they'd at least show some games, but haven't since 1997.
I'm not so sure the CFL would fly so well in the U.S.
Americans like American stuff - Case in point, they don't like FIFA soccer, and when it comes to auto racing, it's redneck or nothing. They support NASCAR because it all U.S. Good Ol' Boys, but they won't support any of the open wheel series because there are too many Europeans and a few Canadians - in other words ... non-Americans.
Plus they would look at the different rules and think they are stupid - that is the American way, if it ain't from the U.S., it ain't worth Sh!t
I do believe that the CFL is dropping the ball big time with their patchwork coverage in the U.S. With a nation of 300 million it is well within the realm of possibility that there are 2-3 million CFL fans here, probably not much more, but at least that many.
Also there is a strong but non-vocal market for F1, IRL, soccer, lacrosse, cycling,and gymnastics. These sports do not dominate the headlines, but they are all on American TV all the time, so there is a market here for just about any sport whose league has good media guys.
Yes, the CFL will never DOMINATE the U.S. TV market but it does not have to. It will probably never be considered main-stream, but it can at least make money.
What do you suggest they do about it?
If there were that many fans (there aren't), games wouldn't be patchwork coverage. Rather, it would have a regular time slot on a network. It's not like its the leagues choice to show their games like this. Rather, its the networks who won't carry them. You can't force someone to buy or show something they don't want.
If there were that many fans (there aren't), games wouldn't be patchwork coverage. Rather, it would have a regular time slot on a network. It's not like its the leagues choice to show their games like this. Rather, its the networks who won't carry them. You can't force someone to buy or show something they don't want.There are a lot more CFL fans down here than you think. The CFL took a chance on a channel called The Football Network a few years back in the hopes of gaining nationwide coverage but that channel fizzled out. At this point it becomes an issue of the league not being very motivated or not hiring good sales people, heck I have seen little league football on fox sports before. [/quote]
I have to agree, the marketing of the CFL in the States is just bad, I have more to say on this, but not enough time right now. Who is Trajectory Sports? anyhow, I've never even heard of them except on here.
What PROOF do you have to back any of this up? How do you know the league doesn't hire good sales people? How do you know the league hasn't tried to get games on network television? Isn't one of the main reasons channels "fizzle" is that nobody's watching? You can't just assume the league hasn't tried selling games down south...cause it has...for a long time...