From Dan Barnes:
It appears the Canadian Football League and TSN have been huddling up at the highest levels and will be announcing a new, long-term partnership before the end of this season.
Well-placed sources say the league and the all-sports television network have agreed on a six-year deal that runs through the 2025 season and should be worth about $50 million to the CFL, though that number could grow significantly as there will be incentives, ratings-based and otherwise, written into the contract.
A TSN spokesperson said in an email that the company does not comment on rights negotiations, while a CFL spokesperson did not immediately respond to Postmedia’s request for comment on Friday.
The current agreement was scheduled to run through 2021 but there was apparently impetus from both the league and TSN to hammer out a long-term arrangement that functions more as a partnership than a rights deal, so it is believed the final two years were reworked and four more were added.
Revenue certainty is obviously preferable to the alternative, so it makes nothing but sense for the CFL to seek an extension, particularly one that will offer a healthy base amount that each of the nine franchises can rely upon, and also leave top-end room if ratings trend upward, as both the CFL and TSN would hope and expect.
It’s especially important if and when the CFL adds an expansion franchise in Halifax. Principals with the Atlantic Schooners are now hopeful of a 2021 kickoff, most likely in an existing stadium in Moncton, before switching to an as-yet-unbuilt venue in Halifax after a season or two.
The CFL will be charging the Schooners’ owners an expansion fee, of course, and a lucrative, long-term TV deal will surely bolster the value of a 10th franchise.