CFL re-ups rights deal with ESPN

I think you can have your cake and eat it too .

They can still have ESPN but any games not on ESPN , ESPN2 and ESPN news they should be able to sell to another traditional cable or sat network and the rest place on ESPN + or DAZN etc … .

And if you are ESPN you tell them to pound sand and potentially have them walk.

“hey, we know you want to put a big chunk of this on your online platform, but we would just like that primary money for airing on TV and then we want to sell the remaining games off…but thanks for building the market for us”

Oh, and I do recall now that it wasOrridge who basically gave ESPN the rights for a season. They had been dumped by whomever (CBS??) and actually couldn’t get anyone to pick it up. He handed it to ESPN for either free or chump change and basically retorted to people that the CFL was making the mistake of trying to market the league as Canadians in America and it wasn’t working, and that it was time for someone with established roots there to do it. The premise was that they could do a better job growing it in the US than the CFL could. They would get it for cheap to roll the dice on it and that would afford the network the resources to promote it. If it grew then everyone won, and the CFL would get rewarded later. Big piece of a small pie vs a smaller chunk of a big pie. Say what one wants aboutOrridge, but he did a few good things, and he was bang on and big picture visioned on this one.

Based on that agreement, I would say basic ethics likely means that they should be staying with ESPN for a while.

But it was on ESPN before and had roots there from the beginning but after the US experiment it fell out of grace .

I think ESPN plus is not that important to ESPN right now in terms of the CFL and Don’t think they really would care if the CFL put the product on other stations as they may get a residual effect for the 20 games , div finals and Grey Cup if there was more exposure and interest generated with other networks .

I think ESPN , NBC , CBS and Fox kinda feed off each other and help with the hype of the NFL .

Amazon , Dazn has Thursday night football and the traditional rights holder FOX plus it’s simulcast on the NFL network all broadcast the game . It all works out so I don’t see a problem with getting more exposure for the CFL on top of ESPN plus for those games not on ESPN TV .

American DAZN or Amazon, You Tube etc… would be all good streaming choices for a game of the week .

NBCSN , FOX sports , Paramount Network etc … maybe alternatives for traditional cable or sat stations that could use some product infusion and could handle a game of the week .

CFL did partner with NFL Network and NBC Sports Network in the past. Then, they came back to exclusivity with ESPN.

To be honest, the CFL in the US is just seen as nothing more than filler programming that is watched during a time when people starting craving for football, and the NCAA & NFL have not started yet.
CFL games are an afterthought even during the days they air on ESPN2 or ESPNews. Regular daily programs like SportsCenter will have better ratings than CFL games. CFL peaks ratings-wise are typically for something other than people wanting to watch the matchup. A high number that happens because of an overrun due to weather or them waiting for the show coming up afterwards. Duron Carter’s bump did well, and Johnny Manziel’s debut did record numbers. But how often can that happen?

If the CFL had better ratings, than there would have been competition for their rights. There is just not that much demand for the product. Right now, the CFL would still be considered a niche product. That is why 60 games ended up on ESPN+. ESPN+ is a way to monetize niche content.

A shoddy service that was so bad the NFL had to tear up their exclusivity agreement?
Search DaznSucks on Twitter if you want to see what Dazn is all about.
European frame rates and no telephone number.
No thanks

The ratings are only going to grow if there is a consistent, year after year place to watch the games.

I disagree. Unfortunately I believe rpaege is correct in their assessment. What needs to happen is for something to grab more interest from US viewers so they are entertained by the CFL on a level that is more than just “filler”. Once that happens, that person will seek out where they can watch the games and watch them wherever.

For example, I enjoy the CFL and it would not matter where I have to go to watch a game, i actively seek them out. If that means NFL Network, ESPN2, streamed on amazon, on a private site behind a pay wall, etc I would actively seek it out and weigh the benefit of watching the games vs the cost. This is because the CFL to me isn’t filler, it is interesting football that I want to watch.

Once there are more like me, and the ratings grow, that is when the CFL will have leverage when negotiating television contracts in the US. The more fans that want to watch, the more leverage they will have and can negotiate to put the product in a situation to get more watchers, and then hopefully it grows itself.

To get enough of those new fans, I don’t have any solid ideas on what they can do different. I feel like I am fairly out of touch with the modern american these days.

The more I ponder I wonder is it the ESPN interest in TSN that prevents the CFL from getting a commercial broadcaster for all the other games not broadcast on ESPN’s three commercial networks .

You would think that after the 20 games were reserved by ESPN the CFL could look for another commercial broadcaster in The US . 65 games left in the wilderness of just one million subscribers . Only One divisional final game .

I am sure I am not the only one looking at it and wondering why this TSN property is not resold the scraps left over as the CFL would reserve the rights to all non Canadian markets at fair market value . I am sure in my spare time I could sell half to a Canadian advertisers alone without even tapping the US market .

It’s all gravy as there is no production costs .

ESPN use to broadcast the CFL with their own crew . Not anymore .

I doubt the CFL has a rich exclusivity agreement with ESPN to boost ESPN + .

Plus ESPN + format is different than a regular commercial broadcast agreement .

With the market so different than just 5 years ago it has to be something internal and not external that is controlling the US interests .

Hank,
Your on to their master plan.
Such thinking is frowned upon.

You must be very young or haven’t watched CFL very long .

The CFL was on the main channel of ESPN then later on the Deuce .

They used their own panel . Some colour guys were the same as they needed experienced guys .

Dan Kepley was hired by ESPN as a key colour guy for them during expansion south .

He also worked with the CBC separately during those years .

They had their own crew and did not use the CBC . There were cross over guys who worked colour but they worked the play by play separately .

and Even before the US expansion .

When NBC televised the games during the NFL strike they also sent their own crew to work the games .

It’s recently that CFL ESPN telecasts are using TSN crew .Most likely because of ESPN percentage ownership of TSN and it’s dirt cheap .

So if it’s so cheap where are the other 65 games and playoffs .

ESPN most assuredly had their own broadcast crew for CFL games for many years. This goes right back to the 1980’s when the CFL was one of the first properties the fledgling ESPN signed up. More recently ESPN has just used TSN’s broadcast but not in the 80’s and 90’s. I think they did the broadcast from a U.S. studio, not sending the crew to the game.

Hank,
I was agreeing with your previous post.I was using sarcasm
in response to the CFL’s poor handling of their actions.

Mod Note: Hank’s response was actually to a post that has since been removed.

All good I think were on the same page with the CFL under selling the league down south .

Especially when the majority (65) games and most of the playoffs are left to a subscription base of 1 million .

I don’t know how much the CFL makes from its ESPN deal, but I doubt it is undersold. Somebody wrote that ratings have increased steadily since returning to ESPN, even with the paywall now in place for ESPN+, but I haven’t seen any eye-popping numbers. The only reason the numbers have grown at all is because of consistency. People like me know where to find the games, and even though I still find the current arrangement annoying because I need to pay multiple services to be able to get ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNews, and ESPN+ (I use SlingTV with the Sport Extra package, and a separate ESPN+ subscription, in addition to my Comcast account), it’s worth it to me because I’m a CFL fan. Casual viewers I’m sure are less enamoured (or completely ambivalent) with this situation. It would be even worse if suddenly CFL games were on multiple, separate, streaming services. I would simply not bother signing up for any more and miss those games. So, from my perspective, it’s not perfect, but at least I know where the games are.

Maybe the day will come when the CFL gets a high enough average number of viewers, but it’s not now. It needs to stay in the ESPN universe and keep building on that consistency. Tinkering with that formula will fail.

That said, I wish all the ESPN channels were available on Amazon without a silly cable TV subscription.

Looking into Hulu as a viable alternative to SlingTV.

The rights deals to streaming internet and broadcast are different . I am pretty sure I can get someone without looking very hard to take 65 games on a US regular broadcast channel . It’s undersold if you don’t sell it .

You can STILL HAVE the current ESPN deal but sell the rest of the content not on regular broadcast ESPN .

ESPN plus is a Streaming Service to only one million customers .

That deal is separate to the regular broadcast rights where 65 games plus playoffs have NO HOME .

There is NO WAY you can build an audience without broadcasting your content .

If you can’t find a US sports centric one you can go with the umpteen specialty channels available who are looking for live content which is extremely valuable .

Even football leagues with nothing established are getting deals with the big 4 .
The AAF has made a deal with CBS and CBS sports to broadcast the games .

CFL needs just one hungry salesman just one and get out of his/her way .

ESPN+ has more subscribers now because 568,000 signed up just this past weekend so they could watch UFC. The event itself was watched by an average of 1.95 million viewers. Whatever the number ESPN+ viewers still pales in comparison with ESPN2 which reaches over 80 million. ESPNews is probably around 70 million.

The AAF was rumored to be talking to the NFL Network about carrying a few games.

XFL is supposedly talking to ESPN and Fox. That could mean anything from airing on their over-the-air broadcast channels to being farmed out to their less popular sports outlets.

As with all these deals, more important than the distribution is the money exchanged. We do not know what the leagues are getting (if anything).

Randy Ambrosie did an interview with Justin Dunk that was released yesterday. In it, Ambrosie said the ESPN deal in the US has nothing to do with what is going to happen with the league’s deal with TSN in Canada when that expires in a couple years. However, Ambrosie says he is happy with both ESPN and TSN and wants the relationships to keep going.

This pretty much tell us that the CFL is not changing tv partners anytime soon. Knowing this before negotiations even begin, can the CFL realistically expect more than a modest increase in rights fees from TSN?

NBC broadcasters in 82 were jerks .

here’s a look

It’s rumored to be going down, actually.

‘rumored’ two years in advance of the contract ending?

just silly.