CFL territorial rights

During Buffalo Bills GM,s press conference, The Bills GM stated that Southern Ontario and Toronto were a part of the NFL teams regional territory.

This is not the case as the CFL has two longstanding franchises in this region.

Consider the fact that Hamilton cannot gain entry into the NHL because Buffalo will not allow a team in Hamilton because they own the territorial rights to Hamilton.

Taking this into consideration, Who owns the Gridiron football rights in Southern Ontario and Toronto?

It is clearly the territory of the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Toronto Argonauts!!

If the NFL Bills are claiming territorial rights in Ontario they should be compensating the CFL TigerCats and Argonauts for encroachment in they're territory!!

NFL encroachment into CFL territory has hurt the CFL financially for 40 years.

It is long overdue that the CFL stand up to this threat to its survival in Southern Ontario and stop pandering to the NFL shark!!

But there is nothing legally binding I don't think. Sort of like Russia and Crimea, you challenge something and what is anyone going to do about it? That is what happened I think when the Bills first started playing in Toronto, Ralph Wilson didn't respect the CFL in any way, nor Ted Rogers, and the NFL really didn't want to go agains't one of the oldest and longer owners in the league. :?

RE: "But there is nothing legally binding I don't think"

Yes Earl a precedent has to be established.

There's no such thing as territorial rights between different sports/leagues. Only within one specific sport league.

To determine who has territorial rights between different sports/leagues would be a legal nightmare. Who has original rights? The oldest franchise? Oldest league? Oldest franchise in a league? Defunct franchises? Defunct leagues? Only professional leagues/franchises? Who determines continuing entity?

Just imagine if precedent was set ... imagine the legal battle and $'s awarded and exchanged in marketplaces like New York & Chicago & LA etc, etc.

Simply can't be done. Not across leagues and especially not across borders.

The CFL most certainly could claim Southern Ontario rights in Canadian court, since the NFL is a foreign entity, just like any business has territorial rights.

The interesting thing that the Bills GM stated is that the Bills depend on southern Ontario to stay solvent in Buffalo! Take southern Ontario out of their economic pie and they would move to another U.S city.
This would be best for Both the Argos and the TiCats

I played hockey in Calgary long before the Flames came here - maybe they should be paying ME!!!!!!

Have you been smoking crack with Rob Ford? When you say "just like any business has territorial rights" NAME ONE BUSINESS that has territorial rights over another (unrelated) business... think hard

Franchise (or business) operators have the right to dictate how close another one of their RELATED businesses are - i.e. McDonalds can dictate that they won't put another McDonalds within xx kms of another McDonalds, but they can't say "I don't want Burger King to put one of their restaurants within xx kms of my McDonalds - I own the territory for burgers here". Thats just silly.

The whole "Bills-In-Toronto" endeavor was/is to do with territoriality ... defining their territory ... which is to include Southern Ontario. ... in determining their franchise value ... for the ultimate time when the franchise his sold by Ralph Wilson. Operate in southern ontario ... which they have ... they can now claim southern ontario as their territory ... which they have ... which puts there franchise value higher and entitles them to a compensation/transfer fee should anyone else establish an NFL franchise in the southern ontario market. (Other than the Bills or course or an entity including Rogers which could waive the fee)

I don't see how the Bills moving to another US City is best for the Argos and TiCats. I don't see how the Bills have any impact upon the Argos or TiCats what-so-ever. I've never met anyone that says they don't attend/watch Argo/TiCat/CFL games because of the one Bills game a year in Toronto or because of the NFL in Buffalo period. There are various and multiple reasons that people don't go to or watch Argo/TiCat games ... I don't think it has anything to do with the Bills ... If it does ... it's WAY down the list!

Do the Seahawks detract from the BC Lions?

Is Vancouver continuously inundated with rumors of a NFL team setting up there??

The NFL and the BILLS have had a huge negative impact on the CFL in southern Ontario, the constant CFL bashing in the Media who's only goal is to kill the CFL so they can hob nob with NFL is the ONLY reason the CFL's weakest market is southern Ontario. NFL out and stay out!

I honestly don't see it that way. I see it as a long string of mismanagement & poor decisions by both franchises ... but's it's far easier to blame the Big Bad Bills, the Big Bad NFL & Big Bad Media.

I may be naive or blind to how the NFL/Bills have had a huge negative impact on the CFL? But of course am open to your argument/position/opinion. How is it that the Bills playing 1 game in TDot a year ... or rumours of them moving to TDot ... how does that keep someone ... anyone ... from buying a ticket to an Argo or TiCat game or watching the CFL on TV?

I honestly don't get it?

Once again ... it's far too easy to blame the competition for your failings ... and it's very rarely the case ... it's the management of your own business. Of course in a highly competitive market ... it's even more imperative that you are well managed and execute on a good business plan crisply and concisely. But to blame competition is just an excuse of poor management and poor decisions and poor business practices in general.

One of the biggest reason there are more NFL fans than CFL fans in Toronto - is because there is an entire age group of football fans who would be likely ticket buying age now 35 - 55 years old - who grew up in Southern Ontario watching Buffalo Bills games (and other NFL teams' games) every Sunday afternoon and Monday night on TV through the 1970's and 1980's.

At the same time all home games for both the Argos and Ti-Cats were blacked out in all of Southern Ontario. So you would be lucky to get five Argos games a year on local TV here in Southern Ontario. Labour Day in a sold out Ivor Wynne Stadium - blacked out in Southern Ontario through the 70's and 80's when the NFL was growing its fan base through TV in Southern Ontario.

Even Eastern finals would be blacked out if played in Hamilton or Toronto. That amazing early 80's Eastern Final battle between the Dieter Brock led Ti-Cats and Holloway led Argos in front of over 54,000 fans at Exhibition Stadium - blacked out in all of Southern Ontario. They ended up replaying it at midnight after the local news that night.

That is the time the NFL became so popular in Southern Ontario - and that helps explain why in Toronto almost 1/3 of football fans don't care about the CFL. They grew up watching the NFL on TV and rarely got to see the home CFL team - so they did not become fans. When they started having kids - not being Argos fans themselves - they were unlikely to take their kids to Argos games. Instead they take them to Leafs and Jays games. The kids sort of have to discover the Argos on their own. A couple of years ago the Argos did their home pre-season game on a school day afternoon and had thousands of school kids at the game. Smart move! Get 'em while they are young.

And back to this being Bills territory, that fact is often used as a point in the 'Yes to NFL in Toronto' column if somebody was making a list of reasons why and reasons why not the NFL would ever end up in Toronto. I say that because recently the NFL has indicated they are very averse to a team moving from one region to another - Buffalo to Los Angeles for example. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers both are considered to serve the Los Angeles region so if one of those moves there - no big deal to the NFL. If Toronto is considered part of the Bills region - were they to move here - the NFL would not consider that a move 'from' the Bills region. And on another note Toronto clearly is considered part of the Bills region because the local CTV station is not allowed to show the Bills home game if it is blacked out on the local Buffalo CBS or Fox station if the game is not sold out. So clearly we are in the 'Bills region'.

Many of the NFL "fans" in Toronto are just casual fans who might watch a game on TV or follow the league because of office pools and Pro-Line bets. Those aren't real NFL fans, who support their team by buying seasons tickets, tailgating before the games and live and die with their team like in real American Rogers has amply discovered with the complete and utter failure of NFL regular season games in Toronto.

MLB is actually more popular than the NFL in Ontario, which is in a statistical tie with the CFL by fans who follow the leagues "very closely" or "fairly closely" (according to the recent Angus Reid Sports Survey). Not sure what all those NFL fans are doing on Sundays because the NFL ratings on Canadian TV are much lower than the CFL?

One good thing about the Bills series was it confirmed Toronto as part of Buffalo's regional market. So no NFL team can ever relocate to Toronto as long as the Bills remain in Buffalo. :thup:

What the NFL and Toronto media and the NFL in Toronto proponents(Rogers, P.G.) have done is created a Negative stigma about the CFL. This has been on going for 40 years. It is a miracle the CFL is still operating, particularly in Southern Ontario. Blaming the CFL for bad management is a cop out, Look at the other CFL cities, all thriving without NFL propaganda inundating their markets!

Massdestruction wrote: It is a miracle the CFL is still operating
In S Ontario that's for sure and not only that, with a new stadium in Hamilton that is actually closer to Buffalo than Toronto! And another in Ottawa! I'm sure Ed Rogers, Phil Lind and Keith Pelley never imagined that, or Larry Tanenbaum for that matter. It's actually very, very cool that Hamilton and Ottawa are going up as we speak with Toronto still wallowing in what to do. :thup:

You misunderstand "territorial rights".

The Bills have NFL and only NFL territorial rights. The Ti-Cats and Argo's have CFL and only CFL territorial rights. It is completely an internal league matter amongst their respective teams only. Neither league has exclusive pro football rights for ANY territory in either country.

Never blamed the CFL for bad management. I was specific to the Hamilton & Toronto franchises. Do I believe the CFL, as a league, has had some failings in managing the southern ontario market ... Yes. But I would lay most of the blame on the franchises. It's micro ... not macro factors.

For example ... Ottawa Roughriders failed then the Renegades failed miserably ... had nothing to do with the NFL or pro NFL media ... it was mismanagement at the franchise level. Montreal's earlier failures ... same ... franchise mismanagement.

And if it's been going on for 40 years ... Since the '70's as you say ... I don't remember The Bills playing in Southern Ontario nor the Toronto Media being proponents of the NFL in the '70's/'80's or '90's for that matter. Correct me if I'm wrong?

And if the CFL/Argos/TiCats have had poor relations with the media ... then I put as much of that on them for not managing the media properly.

In the end ... then problems in Southern Ontario ... With Hamilton & Toronto ... With the media & fans ... Has been the following:

  1. Constant revolving door of ownership & management & coaching
  2. Inconsistent product on the field ... Ie; Winning
  3. Stadium issues

That makes up for 80% of the problems these franchises and the CFL has had in Southern Ontario.

They've been referred to as "Mickey Mouse" by media and potential fans because they HAVE been Mickey Mouse for many years.

That's changing in Hamilton and Toronto and in Southern Ontario as a whole ... But it's been a clown show for many years and it takes time to change that perception.

Personally, if you ask me, I think the NFL is getting to big for it's own breetches... The NFL needs to take few steps back and realize there are other leagues on this planet besides just them.

There are no gridiron football rights. There are NFL rights and CFL rights. The laws of either land (US or Canada) do not recognize any of the se 'rights' other than how they pertain to contract law. The NFL rights only control other NFL teams from setting up shop in southern Ontario. They cannot stop a team in any other league gridiron or not from playing there. It's just like a Tim Horton's opening up across the street from another Tim Horton's stealing business from each other. So Tim Horton's has their own contract rules so that the individual franchises don't step on each other's toes. But there's nothing they can do to stop a Starbucks from opening up next door and steal business from Timmy's.

Hamilton has London and Windsor over to St Catherine's and Niagara and up to Kitchener and Oakville.

Ottawa gets Everything from Kingston East.

Toronto has Mississauga on up through Sudbury and over to Thunder Bay.

Dryden and Kenora are Bomber turf.


That's the same as saying the Sabres are infringing on the Bills' territory in Buffalo.