The CFL and ESPN made an announcement to air games all season, and a schedule is out for the first three weekends for those of us in the US. Apparently only 20 games plus most of the playoffs will be aired on regular ESPN channels.

An unanswered question remains if the rest will be exclusively on ESPN+, or if at the very least some will be on ESPN3. Or perhaps ESPN seeks to phase out ESPN3 anyway.

If you are in the UK, you have some access via BT Sport as well but I’m not sure about their schedule.

Unfortunately, most games are being pushed to that piece of crap ESPN+. Why folks would pay for something of the same or somewhat inferior streaming quality that’s been available to those of us in the know for free since 2010 is most baffling. I like my free options.

Even keeping the games on ESPN3 would help greatly for those of us with cable who already have a subscription that pays ESPN, but oh no there go ESPN again with their attempt to innovate despite quite the record of failure in this millennium but for college football (especially if you are an SEC or B1G fan or homer) and to some degree the NBA (though their coverage of that stinks greatly).

Most alarmingly and for the first time in almost a decade, opening night is not on a regular ESPN network for all to see! What is the CFL doing! That’s the moment to seize! As if anything else is going on on TV on a Thursday night in June in the US!

The rest of the slate in Week 1 will be on ESPN channels, but one is on dreadful and obsolete ESPNews that few have any more.

All others not on ESPN+ are on ESPN 2.

We’ll see what happens for July and beyond.


Well, I’m one of the idiots that pays for ESPN+. And the only reason I have it is CFL.

I believe ESPN3 was changed to ESPN+ a couple of years back.

I have the opposite problem. If it’s on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPN News, it’s not on ESPN+. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, my cable system doesn’t have ESPN News, so I’ll miss out on any games broadcast there. So the upshot is I’m paying the same monthly fee, to see fewer games.

And I’ve had this complaint before…My first year of watching CFL was in 2017. ESPN+ didn’t charge a fee, so I watched the games for free. Because I usually watch the stream on demand the next day, there were very few commercials. Last year, after I started paying, there were a LOT more commercials on the rebroadcasts. This year, so far, they’re interminable!!! Commercials every time a referee stops to blow his nose. And it’s the same 4 commercials, over and over and over and over.

End rant.

Well it’s your choice and if it works out for you, it’s okay. I think it’s a rip-off, but then again so is most cable or satellite any more.

No, ESPN 3 is still there and it was not changed though might be phased out. There’s not as much on there any more, but it’s still there. It’s included On Demand on your system if you have ESPN or ESPN2, or you can get it via any device as well if you have those. You don’t have to subscribe to it like ESPN+ if you already have ESPN.

Yes the ESPNews thing is BS as is that channel’s existence any more.

In prior years the games were all on ESPN3, for ESPN+ was new in 2018.

It’s no surprise that ESPN stocks ESPN+ with ads. ESPN has screwed up most anything it touches in this millennium.

It’s not the same experience on ESPN3, but it does not look like ESPN will use ESPN3 for any CFL games any more. I hope to be wrong on that front, but we shall see.

I agree with the Rip-Off, particularly having to PAY for the service and still getting bombarded with commercials. (One of the things I LOVE about Netflix and Amazon Prime, both of which I pay for…No Commercials!)

However, I love the CFL, and would get to see about 10 games a year without ESPN+. So I’ll continue to pay and complain until they fix ESPN+, or until the CFL comes up with a better option. I still believe their own streaming channel would be a terrific idea. Capture their own subscriptions, and sell their own advertising.

I also agree…ESPN has screwed up just about everything it touches these days.

I also subscribe to ESPN+.

I don’t have cable, but subscribe to PS Vue during the NFL football season then usually cancel in the off season. We have prime for shipments (I live on a small island and so, amazon delivery is where I do most of my shopping rather than have to drive to neighbor islands or go to the mainland)

I was unable to see most CFL games last year because I did not have ESPN+. This year I subscribed to ESPN+ to watch it’s coverage of Rugby 7s. I was about to cancel but saw the list of CFL games I could catch if I continued to sub. While it is not ideal seeing as the only thing I will watch is CFL, I will deal with it.

I do wish they would pick one place or the other and broadcast all the CFL games in one place. Right now unless you go several directions at once, you miss out on games.

Everyone has that idea these days…

Fortunately, content providers are realizing it takes having more than one or two shows to have a successful streaming platform.

For me it’s Netflix, sometimes Amazon (instead of paying for shipping), sports and that’s it. The rest will have to be supported by ads.

We went through all thislast year. Games not on ESPN2 or ESPNews will be exclusive to ESPN+. That would be both the live broadcasts and on-demand replays.

I am not going to complain about the commercials because that means some company is interested in spending money advertising to CFL viewers in the US. Nothing worse than having 3 quarters of house ads during the broadcast.

Yeah it sucks that you have to pay for ESPN and ESPN+ to see all the games. On the bright side, 6 months is only additional $30. If you are going to pay for ESPN anyway, having a CFL standalone service would certainly cost more than $30.

ESPN3 is not going anywhere. They just have a lower tier of programs compared to ESPN+.
By the way, ESPN has found a way to get people to subscribe to ESPN+ as those who follow the UFC are required to pay for the service just to have to honor of buying the PPV’s.

ESPNews is useful for overflow games, especially during college football season.

I agree ESPN+ is a PITA, but it’s pretty inexpensive. What costs me far more is HULU, and my ISP, both of which I need if I want to get all the games.

I know games are on ESPN+, but what about the ESPN networks? Any sked out?

June 13: ESPN+
June 14: ESPN2
June 15: ESPNEWS then ESPN2

June 20: ESPN+
June 21: ESPN2
June 22: ESPN+

June 27: ESPN2
June 28: ESPN2
June 29: ESPN+
July 01: ESPN+

July 04: ESPN+
July 05: ESPN+
July 06: ESPN+ (both games)

July 11: ESPN+

That’s as far as the schedule goes for now. I will try to remember to update this list later.

Here is the skinny on the new Mex TV deal,

baby steps I guess.

Mexican TV deal a first step
The CFL announced a TV deal with MVS of Mexico this week, a toe-in-the-water arrangement that will serve to test the appetite of viewers in that country with a game of the week, plus playoffs and the Grey Cup.
The deal will net the league only about $100,000 ($20,000 of which goes to the players under terms of the recently agreed upon CBA), but there’s a lot more at stake for the CFL than that.
Ambrosie believes the league can create audiences in foreign markets by making global players part of the game, a bold and unproven theory he calls CFL 2.0. If the league can show potential on Mexican TV, it will make it a lot easier for Ambrosie to continue pushing his vision to the owners who employ him and the players he needs as partners.
There was legitimate interest when the CFL held its draft of Mexican players back in January in Mexico City. But whether that can translate into respectable audiences among a nation of 130 million people, well, we’re about to get some clues.

Thanks for posting this, Grover. Hadn’t seen it and it makes me happy. Now the question/challenge is: Is our game good enough to grab just 1% of those eyes?

A good game on TSN gets about 600,000 viewers (about 2% of Canada’s pop). 1% of the Mexican market would be 1.3 million viewers. Even half a percent would be pretty serious.

Yeah, I’m dreaming, but that’s where all great successes start…with a dream…

There’s this:
And this:

And ESPN put the best matchup, Calgary and Ottawa on that plus crap and went with some lame boxing - then they air the flagfest of a game in BC

I doubt there is any serious consultation with TSN or CFL fans, but perhaps they were hopeful for a better game in BC given the veteran QBs.

To make matters even worse…

I pay for ESPN+ because it’s the only way I can see most of the CFL games. When the game was on ESPN2, I couldn’t watch it on ESPN+. Not too big of a deal, but it annoys me I PAY for the service and can’t get a game everyone else with ESPN2 gets.

Then on Saturday night, both games were on ESPN3 or ESPNNews. The good news is I was able to watch on ESPN+. The bad news is that it wouldn’t allow me to pause, rewind, or fast forward. This is a real problem for me, as I need to frequently pause the game to answer the business phone (yes, even on my day off). So I missed big patches of the game.

Dear CFL…please, Please, PLEASE find another partner, or put together your own streaming package. I’ll pay. I just HATE using ESPN.

I can tell you, no matter what…this will be my last season using ESPN+. If I can’t find another alternative next year, I guess I’m out.

Subject to contractual obligations, ESPN and other networks schedule to make the most money possible … boxing may, or may not, be “lame” but it has a longer established viewer base with ESPN than does CVFL football … further, the timing 7 pm versus 10 pm can have a huge influence (i.e., what else is available to show) … not certain what more you expected.

Don’t give up just like that Morris. There are always the pirate seas with the TSN or BT Sport feeds usually.

I can advise via message or on a game thread if the ESPN options fail us again.

You know on the off chance they simulcast the Plus games on ESPN 3 again like that, thanks for reminding us on that.

I had made other plans for the Calgary game anyway, but that might help me.

Thanks, Paolo. I would appreciate it. I’ve been trying to do it the “right” way, but I’m getting pretty tired of being screwed.