CFL on NBC 1982..What could have been..

Interesting archive material..

During the 1982 NFL strike, NBC aired 3 weeks of CFL games on it's network, although ceased broadcasting these games 2 weeks later mainly due to uninspired/mundane play and mediocre ratings.

Commissioner Jake Gaudaur was disappointed that the games shown lacked the typical excitement of CFL ball as he wished to grow the game beyond the Canadian border.

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more info:

"The decision to carry CFL games on U.S. networks was greeted enthusiastically by both the CFL and by the network. Jake Gaudaur has always felt that U.S. exposure is essential in helping the CFL recruit players. While the all-sports ESPN network has been carrying the game for two seasons and had built a respectable following, the NBC coverage promised to bring the Canadian game into more U.S. homes than ever before. As for the networks they were only happy to pick up the only real professional football being played in North America at the time. The fact they were picking it up for a bargain $50,000 a game made it even more attractive."

"It was disappointing," said CFL director of administration Ken Derrett. "The problems was the timing, If the players had gone on strike two or three weeks earlier we would have had some great TV games, like ...36-35 game between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. The timing was just off."

"And in show business, that's the difference between a hit and a miss."

I have been looking for actual game tapes from the NBC broadcasts for decades. Unfortunately, not many people had VCRs in 1982. At this point I don't know if any tapes still exist. If anyone knows different, please PM me.

Interesting. Yea if we had that NBC deal in Baltimore we may still be there. In the end I think its better we stay all Canadian. We're the only all Canadian Team league. Even the CHL has Seattle and Lewiston, and Portland as well, among others.

I don't believe Gaudaur had any real intentions of broaching U.S. franchise expansion, yet more likely to expand the CFL brand to the American viewer in terms of TV/broadcast revenue for the league.

The NFL basically reaches all homes in Canada, thus I see no reason why the CFL cannot reach at least a decent number of U.S. homes.

Once exposure permeates, the game will sell itself.