Well, there certainly is some support for local players here, and serious football fans I know actually look forward to June every year because they can get CFL games, at least until the NFL starts.
It's true that the CFL doesn't get a lot of respect from the Dan Marinos of the world, but those in the know (like Warren Moon) and the real football fans actually really like the CFL and see it as pretty good football. Jackie Parker's passing got some play down here for example.
I don't think you can go over the top trying to promote it here but if you included US fans in some contests or offered special packages to US fans in the store I'm betting you'd get some takers.
As an aside, I was watching a program about a school in New Jersey not long ago and one of the kids was wearing a Roughriders jersey.
I just think people need some encouragement. Maybe some over the air stuff during games would help, where you could have a trivia question and invite all fans from anywhere to call in and particpate, or maybe even target the US fans with some trivia about some local imported players, such as what college so-and-so played at - something my friends and me like to try to remember about some of the guys we see.
Another aside - A friend, new to CFL games since they finally started showing them in the Bay Area, noticed Damon Allen for the Argos and was pretty excited to see him play! He had no idea he was even in football.
If you could somehow get a weekly CFL roundup on ESPN that would be awesome, but I know that would likely be quite a challenge - unless they could maybe buy it from TSN and show it on Sunday morning or something.
How about a short feature during games looking back on some of the greats of years gone by that down here would remember?
I'm sure there are marketers out there who are far more imaginative that i'll ever be. I just know that there ARE fans here. The game just needs to be accessible to them. Do anything you can to promote it. If players were doing public appearances I'd certainly go see them. Though I'm not sure in what context that would work. Maybe an exhibition game or two? It would give fans a chance to see some local heroes anyway. It wouldn't matter if it was in a small venue - the ticket prices would be less and I'm betting you'd get some fans, sell a little merch, and build on the fan base.
Games that are blacked out down here - and there were a few last year, are really a drag. How about some links on the CFL site to all the radio streams available for every game?
Steaming the games for pay is a great idea, just fix the stupid Windows only thing - Mac fans have money to spend. I actually spent some money on a game last year that I couldn't watch. That was not good. If it happened to me it probably happened to others. Be first class. Make it happen. That's what fans expect.