CFL Schedule Manifesto

Are you listening ...

Prior to Labour Day - one Thursday night game (8 ET), two Friday night games (7 ET and preferably 10:30 ET), one Saturday night game (7 ET).

September after Labour Day - one Friday night game (8 ET), one Saturday night game (7 ET). two Sunday afternoon games (1ET and 4 ET).

October/November - two Friday night games (7 ET and preferably 10:30 ET), two Sunday afternoon games (1ET and 4 ET).

Work the start times to accommodate East/West geography. If the odd game overlaps the other on a Friday night, that's okay. If the early game is done early, you can switch to the late game. If the early game is a thriller, you will want to stick around for the late game.


  • Continue successful Friday night "franchise" night.
  • Thursday is good TV night.
  • Warm up Saturday nights for HNIC.
  • Sunday is for football. NFL presence will draw football viewers. The more the merrier.
  • Consistent consistent consistent! Days and start times.

Saturday afternoon is a poor time for football. Don't worry about NFL competition. If we can't compete, we don't belong.

Sorry, I disagree, especially about Sunday games during the NFL season. I'm sure I'll killed for this, but I like both leagues and would rather be able to watch as much football as possible. The CFL playing games on Sunday in the fall ruins that. I'm forced to flip back and forth between multiple games and I usually settle on whichever game is best (the majority of the time it is an NFL contest). If the CFL plays games on days without NFL competition (at least for me), I will watch all the way through regardless of how bad the game is. I watched Friday's debacle in Edmonton and last Sunday's borefest in Regina. If there was another football game that was even remotely close to being entertaining, I would have flipped channels.

What I really don't understand is why you'd want to avoid the NHL, but go head-to-head with the NFL. I would think, and this is nothing but a guess from me, that there is likely to be more fan crossover between the NFL and CFL than the NHL and CFL. I know I haven't watched a full hockey game since before the 2004-2005 lockout. I would much rather be able to turn on a CFL game on a Saturday night in October than have no option at all.

You also have to understand that the league cannot just say, "These are the dates we are having these games." Teams have to deal with the stadia they play in and certain dates might not be open. This mainly deals with the Argos, who are forced to pick from just a handful of dates because they share their facility with the Blue Jays. That's the reason why we get a game this Wednesday.

I would also think that if the league could have instituted a set schedule like the one you propose, they would have done so already. Having games on specific days means people will always know when they are on. That's one reason the NFL has achieved their level of popularity (well, that and gambling). But if it could be done it already would be done. There are obviously forces that stop this from happening.

Good points by and large, Oskee. NHL on Saturday night is appointment viewing for most sports fans (many/most football fans in the country are also hockey fans). Saturday night is a good night for sports programming in Canada. So exploit it.

As for Sunday afternoons, I agree that many people will choose NFL, but there are also a lot of casual TV viewers who will choose CFL. Why? Sunday afternoon is a good time to relax and watch TV. Saturday afternoon is not. As it is, these viewers have no option and will by default watch NFL. Even if you tune in and tune out of each game, at least you have some exposure and more often than not the NFL game is not the more exciting choice. Point is ... CFL is out of sight and out of mind when many people like to relax and watch TV. I also think competition for viewers is healthy for the CFL.

This is my dream CFL schedule this weekend. Bombers / Ti-cats Friday night (was at the game, awesome!), Lions / Eskies last night (Saturday - good finish - too bad Leos won), two great games today (TOR/MTL, SSK/CGY). No Saturday afternoon crap.

Love it.

I'm on the west coast. Sunday afternoons start at 10 freaking am for me. I hate those.

And the only reason that I would ever get cable would be for TSN. That would cost me 50-60 bucks a month, just to watch a few football games and a car race or two. So I watch a lot of football at the bar. Try getting a CFL game on the tube in the bar on NFL Sunday.

Sunday afternoons after LD? No thanks!

I'll stick my neck out here by saying that the CFL has been doing this for so long now that it knows exactly which times/days produce the biggest gate and TV audience. I'm fairly certain that scheduling is based on science, not by gosh by golly.

Than again I could be totally wrong about that. :expressionless:

Rpaege I can't disagree more with you though to be fair I never have lived in Canada so I probably don't have the complete sports picture.

I do agree with Prairie and other folks on the West Coast though regarding the scheduling of games at 1PM! I hated that when I lived in Las Vegas, but there was no changing it with the NFL before I began to follow the CFL.

At least the CFL has more room to shuffle things around.

In fact, I hate games on Sundays before 4PM on the East Coast too! There is no changing the East Coast bias in media in that regard though.

I like football games best in the early evening or night no matter where I live. Most day time games are like most day time TV. The scheduling for them sucks even if the show is good.

I really like the Sunday morning game.

By and large the schedule is fine. Other than those weird Wed and Thurs games once in a while (usually because of the Blue Jays, but not sure what the Als week 3 excuse was) it's fine.

As for early morning games, I know I said above that I don;t like the 10 am start, but when the country is this big and wide you just have to roll with it. Just wait until the East coast gets a team. A 1 pm start will be 9 am in Vancouver. Drink lots of water with your booze the night before. :wink: And a FNF game in Moncton/Halifax might have to start at 9 pm local. :stuck_out_tongue:

The CFL has gotten that signature Friday night Game which was a great idea and has become the backbone and the one day weekly CFL game that everyone looks forward to and can count one.
Saturday afternoon games are an awesful time for a CFL game to be played. Peolple have other things to do on saturday afternoon and the CFL will not be a priority for the avg fan. Saturday afternoons are for baseball in the summer. In the Winter Saturday afternoons is all about college football. For student and Alumni this is there priority every saturday afternoon,Student and Alumni load the stadiums with an all day experience with tailgating starting before the game and a victory party at night for the winning team. College teams who are away have their students and Alumni glued to the TV at the local watering hole to gathering in the dorms.
Saturday night in the summer are a great time for a CFL game with only the a few MLB games as the option. Also in the Winter a staruday night game may also be a good possibility. there are a limit of college football games and it is the beginning of the Hockey season and Hockey does not gain the attention until late in the season and playoffs so the alternative sports would be limited to watch and the CFL will have to do the necessary things to gain the interest of sports fans.
Sunday is a tough one as the east still controls the TV world with more population the West continues to suffer with the morning games which is completely unfair to those on the west coast. Perhaps a slight switch in game times on sundays from 1 and 4 Eeatern time to 2 and 5 eastern times.
Thursday night games may not be a bad thing either patruicularly in the summer when the whether is still warm.
One thing for sure is that Saturaday afternoon is a very bad time to play a CFL game for various reason that everyone has mentioned and in the Fall college Football rules on sataruday afternoon.
as the whether gets cold as many people have mentioned that sunday afternoon is a perfect relaxing day for people to stay home and tune into some pro football. In the West especially Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg fans will tune into their home team before any NFL game. Same would be said for Montreal. Only people in the GTA and Vancouver may choose some NFL action instead of their home teams do to the proximety of NFL teams in their region.
coming up with a standard time for CFL games to be sheduled each week would give the fans the confort of when the game will be played. Fridat night double header have also couod be a great time for CFL games since Friday is their signature night an early game in the east and a late one in the west

try putting spaces between your paragraphs.

How many people in Canada are doing the NCAA thing hardcore on a Saturday? A few dozen maybe? Personally I know of zero.

Saturday afternoon is a great time for CFL football. Especially in the fall before the hockey game comes on. Certainly better than trying to go head to head with the NFL at 1 eastern on Sunday.

Not that the CIS is any competition for the CFL games but it has been metioned by many on here that they tend to have plans for a saturday geeping them from watching or going to CFL games and my comments about College fooball NCAA is the staruday outing for students and Alumni aking that work.
If indeed that the CFL would draw bigger crownds and have better TV attendance then they should schedule two cames on saturday. I thing people everyday lives keep them from wayching on saturdays where sundays are pro football days where fans come to the stadium and people tend to stay home on sundays more so then saturdays

When we have a discussion on ratings and start comparing football playoffs, Super Bowl, Grey Cup we always have people saying that there is too much competition on Canadian TV and without the competition, the CFL would get higher ratings.
Yet the CFL schedules double headers head to head with NFL football.
Does that mean that TSN and the CFL are not worried at all about fans watching the NFL? People watching NFL will not watch the CFL and vice versa and the numbers are negligible.
If TSN and the CFL were worried about competition for football ratings they wouldn't schedule games for Sunday.

Here's my ideal scheduling once we get into September and October, but of course I am not a hockey fan not that the NHL looks to matter this year either:

Thursday night: CFL game optional | NFL game on but often lame and seldom a top match-up

Friday night: CFL game to start no later than 9:30PM ET or double-header with first game starting 6:30PM ET

CFL game to start 7PM ET | the NCAA is only for alumni and most of the American hilljack South and is largely a game of guys with pro talent on a field cluttered with guys with inferior athletic ability; this is exposed more than ever when there is an athletic QB involved who in turn usually is not CFL or NFL material

CFL game starting 4:30PM ET | the NFL is on too, but usually unlike this Sunday there is only one interesting game on at this time and then it's a matter of flipping channels and screens as do I

Basically either stick the fourth game on Thursday night or on Friday night in the double header to leave one each for Saturday and Sunday.

Also as we saw the last Monday in August, I like a CFL game on Monday night starting at either 7PM or at 9PM, but I know most Canadians won't go for that.

The NFL Monday night football match-up is often not that great anyway, and the Sunday night football has been better for years than the crap telecast by ESPN as ruins about everything it touches.

Yeah. For people who don't like the afternoon games because they're early on the West Coast, a 7PM start in BC is 11PM for me and essentially unwatchable.

Pretty hard to win with this many timezones in one country.

I like the looks of this kind of schedule. It seems that the CFL already does the thursday night thing before labor day already. I agree saturday afternoon is just a bad time as those in the summer or winter choose to do other things on saturday after noon. Two games on sunday afternoon in the fall is when pro football was meant to be played anyway. I like the saturday night game also.
It looks as though the CFL does attemped to do some of the things that you said just not always consistant week in week out.
Football fans are creatures of habit. The CFL has everyone trained for friday night football. Two sunday afternoon games aftr labor day for sure to go along with the friday night game each week. The current schedule has a lot more sat games than sunday after labor day I imagine because of the NFL but I can not imagine any one in saskatchewan would watch an NFL game over the Riders on a sunday nor anyone in Alberta choosing the NFL over an Edmonton or Calgary game and with games. Winnipeg the same. Quebec broadcast on RDS the same would be said for Montreal games. The GTA may choose the NFL over the CFL and same with vancouver possibily with the proximety of vancouver to the seahawks.
For the most part CFL fans will will watch at leas there CFL team over an NFL game

I wish they would dump the Sunday game...except perhaps on long weekends. Why compete with the NFL?

In looking at the schedule this year the CFL has shyed away from sunday games this season. after week 13 in which ther wher two sunday games 1 and 4 there are only two more sunday games left on the schedule. The 1:00 saturday game ssems to be the one that most people have issue with as being to early as people have other things to do on early saturday afternoons. Maybe on saturday a late after noon and night game may be better times and when their is a hockey seaon move the games up to lad into saturday hockey night in Canada.
I do not know what the solution is and there will always be competition withother sports but choosing the same times each week would be beneficial as football fans are creatures of habit. In the CFL everyone knows that there will be friday night football and gear their schedules around the game

The CFL schedule seems to have set there schedule times in the fall to every friday night with a couple of friday night Doubleheders. and a late saturady afternoon game and a late night game from the coast. seems like they scheduled the CFL games around the prime time saturaday night NHL games to link the sports audience around the NHL games on sat one before and one after. with a few exceptions for the last 6 games of the season.
This appears to be the grrove that they have found to work for 3 of the four games at least