Did TSN Get The World's Greatest Bargain With The CFL

(* Others: Feel free to correct my math. *)

The Ottawa Senators just signed a $400M/12 year deal with TSN for their regional games - $33.33M/yr.
That includes 45 regular season games (the regional games average about 200K viewers - in 2012) and 7 LOW rated exhibition games.


The CFL provides TSN with 85 games (NOT including exhibition; including the very highly rated playoffs and Grey Cup) for $43M/yr. The games average about 700K viewers.

Basic Math...

A CFL game averages 3.5 times the TV viewers of a Senator Regional Game = 700,000 / 200,000 = 3.5.
The CFL provides 1.634 times more content than the Senators = Games : 85 / 52 = 1.634 .


You take $33.33M and multiply that by 3.5 and multiply that by 1.634 and you get an annual CFL package worth...


Anyone still think the CFL was lucky to get $43M/yr? Anyone still think we will be lucky to get an increase in 2018?

To be fair the Sens deal gets bigger over the course of the 12 years. They are not getting that much per year now.

But there is no doubt TSN lucked into locking in the deal at just the right time. A year later and the CFL would have been looking at a lot more TV money.

That's fair but the argument could be made that if the CFL/TSN deal had been signed 12 months later, we would be getting at least 9 figures per year.

Apparently during the regular season weeknight Habs games average about 500,000 viewers. RDS is paying about $1.1 million per game for those games. So even if the CFL was getting just that much from TSN - $1.1 million per game (including playoffs and the Grey Cup) that would be something like $94.6 million per year or about double what the current contract is.

Timing is everything in life (and money) - isn't it?

TSN is showing 53 Sens games this year... opposed to 81 for an entire league...

It sure is. Poor CFL. Always getting the short end of the stick. On the positive side, if the teams who are losing money can survive until the new TSN contract is negotiated, it might push all 9 teams into the black.

The 53 games includes about 7 exhibition games so... TSN gets ~45 regular season games. Sportsnet gets ~36.

The CFL seems satisfied to take whatever TSN can pay, not even seeking competitive bids for the TV rights. The league likes the exposure that TSN gives them and has little desire to move to another network. If they got a huge revenue increase the players would just demand commensurately larger salaries (see NHL with nearly half the teams losing money). Most CFL teams are profitable now, so sometimes bigger isn't always better.

Not sure how you can say that with 3 teams losing money - and the Argo losses in the $4M range. That increase could make all the difference in the world. I realize it's spilled milk but I think we just disproved all the posters who believe the CFL was lucky to get $43M/yr.

Could you imagine how bad the quality of play would be if they did get 100 million and expanded rosters to 50 players? You would have second down specials coming in on defense and getting even more penalties because they would have no idea what was going on... It would be more unwatchable than the crap we are watching now.

I am not sure how to answer this post. If you feel that way, next time your boss offers you a raise, tell him you are turning it down because you don't want to pay the extra taxes.

$100M/yr (versus $40M/yr) is the difference between 3 teams losing money and all of the teams making money - including the Argos.

Don't...... please don't....

I don't understand why people keep coming back to this...if if if if if if

when the CFL signed the deal with TSN it was a landmark partnership. When the offer was tabled, Rogers straight up said they were no longer interested.....there is ZERO competition for the CFL...they are damned lucky they got the deal that they did. Things changed dramatically AFTER that when Rogers bid stupid money and drove up hockey's asking price in Canada, essentially killing CBC. It is like saying after a 50 yard pass that if they would have covered the guy it wouldn't have happened. It is a pointless argument.

You mean sort of like half the discussions on a chat board like this.

If only we could have won our first game against the Bombers. If only Collaros had not gotten hurt. If only THF was done on time how much might have that helped the Cats. If only the refs got the call right. If only (fill in blank) hadn't taken that stupid penalty.

It is not gonna change any result - but we all still love to talk about it.

This - no different - although it certainly bodes well for an increase 4 years from now one would think.

Amen, brother. Thanks for the support.

You're missing the point...

Too many posters (you) keep saying we are lucky to get $43M/yr. The CFL cannot do any better. We are unlikely to do better next time.

Those same posters predicted far less than $43M from our recent contract - but we got it. Too much (CFL) small thinking.

I'm saying, in 4 years, just based on market momentum, we can expect a hefty increase - at least $80M/yr and I would not be shocked if we broke 9 figures per year.

I think we've all made it pretty clear we understand that the timing of the TSN deal made it seem fair at the time and there is no point crying over it. But seeing what others have gotten since then does warrant a conversation about how it looks good for a few years from now when it comes time to negotiate the next deal.

And was it 'stupid money' from Rogers when their competition was bidding an almost identical amount? Some might think it is and maybe it is. But we'll have to see what the sports media landscape looks like in a few years before anybody can definitively say that is true or not. They now own what is BY FAR the biggest sports property in Canada for the next 12 years.

The new Sunday night games might be a boon for their CITY TV stations and if after the first four years - which is the length of their arrangement with CBC for Saturday nights and the Stanley Cup finals - they end the CBC part of the deal, Rogers owned stations will potentially be the exclusive home of Hockey Night In Canada and the Stanley Cup. The positive impact of that for Rogers should not be underestimated. It has the potential to have an impact similar to what landing a Sunday games NFL deal did to help vault the Fox network into being a major player on US television.

It is completely understandable why the Rogers-NHL Deal was determined to be the biggest business news story in the country last year.

How many times do I have to explain this? It's not just quantitative (number of eyeballs); it's qualitative (attractiveness of those viewers to advertisers) too. Advertising agencies (SURPRISE! mostly based in Toronto) don't find the CFL as attractive a television property to deliver their clients' message to consumers of their products as perhaps they do some other leagues or shows. Maybe it's because we're largely an older demographic and agencies may be looking for 18-25 year olds with disposable income that they can lure to become lifetime consumers. Or maybe we don't have the household incomes to buy Cadillac or Lincoln automobiles as a case in point. The number of Alcoholics Anonymous public service ads that I saw in yesterday's CFL telecasts spoke volumes to me.

If TSN can't charge as much for ad space for a CFL telecast as they can an NFL or NHL game, the TV rights aren't worth as much (which, by the way, is not chump change for a 9 team league).

I guess we will have to agree to disagree for the next 4 years. As for me, I am betting on a $80M-$100M/yr TSN contract by the end of the decade.

If the TV ratings were to double over the next 5 years and there is bidding with Sportsnet you may be right. But the TV ratings peaked at 800,000 3 years ago and have been between 700k to 760k since. I think that is the CFL audience and no signs that is trending higher. That is still not bad considering the low ratings when the CBC had CFL football.

I disagree. The market momentum will push the numbers into the $80M-$100M range.