Lack of visibility to attract new fans

Just heard that TSN will show certain MLS games on CTV this year for the first time. Soccer is not a popular sport in Canada but it is growing and placing the games on CTV will only allow more people to watch even if they are not regular fans. I don't understand why TSN does not show at least 1 game a week on CTV. This would allow people to get exposure to the league.

So much talk going about the decline of CFL popularity lately, but at the same time, CFL is not making it easier for new viewers to watch for free before deciding to subscribe to TSN. If contract doesn't allow for games to be shown anywhere except TSN, at least have commercials for CFL games on CTV with exciting highlights. People will watch what the masses watch, so if they are seeing ads for it they will think it's popular and maybe check it out.

CFL business model is not broken, it just doesn't know how to advertise. Marketing needs to focus on getting ads on billboards, buses, etc in the bigger cities and more commercials on radio/tv.


MLS probably paid TSN to show games on the main network since MLS is also hurting from lack of fans to their games

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Cfl needs to spend money to make money, they are looking towards global initiative in the hopes of getting Canadians to follow, if the league becomes more international. Which i think is great but the market in Canada is not saturated. The three big cities have a lot of entertainement competition. More widespread marketing needs to be done in those markets by both the teams and the league.

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I believe the CFL deal is just with TSN and not Bell.

The CFL still needs another tv partner along with TSN.

Sportsnet won't be interested as they have been hostile towards the CFL for years.

It will be a long time before CBC gets involved with the CFL again.

Not a lot of options at the moment.

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NO - the CBC is getting out of the sports business. The Blue Jays went with Sportsnet, the Raptors went with Sportsnet and the NHL went with Sportsnet and the CBC only has the HNIC. TSN and Sportnet are sports networks, the CBC is for non-sports entertainment.
TSN has all rights to CFL games - if you think the CFL needs more eyes then look no further than TSN.
According to their site there are over 9.5 MILLION TSN subscribers and another 2.5 MILLION RDS subscribers - that translates anywhere from 30 MILLION to 34 MILLION potential viewers - they use the 2.5 average viewer per subscriber.
They already have 30 to 34 million people that have TSN/RDS available - if only 420,000 of the 30 MILLION watch the CFL then the answer is to get existing subscribers to watch the CFL, especially the younger crowd.
Too many people that subscribe to TSN aren't watching the CFL they have to change that somehow. But TSN is the only option and TSN doesn't have a lot of sports and they need to hang on to the CFL and the NFL

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What's stopping TSN from advertising cfl games on CTV, or even on TSN itself during non cfl broadcasts, seems to me their advertisements are only directed towards people who already watch cfl instead of potential new fans.
Could advertise upcoming cfl games during nfl commercials for example


There's some cross promotion of the CFL on CTV.

But it would be nice to have them on CTV.

But didn't the CBC broadcast the Vanier Cup just the previous season.

If the CBC does broadcast the CFL, it will be more or less a 10-12 game package starting from Labour Day onwards once a week.

Maybe a playoff game if required.

It's up to TSN to negotiate a sub-licencing deal with CBC if they choose to.

Some of us fans still like to sit down in front of television and watch some football while cracking a cold :beers: one instead of streaming which might be more costly unless you have a really good data plan.

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CBC are out of the huge bidding wars but they are not out of sports .

They would love partnerships with CDN content .


I kind of knew that part as they stated they will no longer bid on sports doesn't mean they won't broadcast sports.

I think the CBC is more comfortable doing a sub-licencing arrangement with other networks than trying to take on the entire cost themselves.

I guess Rogers is finding out the true cost of their contract with the NHL.


TSN also is not controlled by ESPN they would lose their broadcast licence .

ESPN has a interest share only .

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Yes sir .

The CBC would partner up with anybody they made a deal with the sole interest of promoting their programming . Nothing else .

Football can do the exact same thing Saturday's before the HNIC broadcast in the fall and before that on Saturday night .

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I guess some Canadians in Ontario and Quebec really care about the MLS on TV?

Here in the US, well the answer has been "no" for years with regards to TV viewership but for a small few regional examples perhaps like Seattle.


I'm reading between the lines here, TSN/CTV are looking to expand the growth of soccer in Canada, they see the potential with the popularity in younger generations. I'm worried it might leave less room for growth of the CFL in that same generation of sports fans


Kind of makes me wonder if TSN truly wants the CFL to be successful.

Or it be a corporate thing with Bell.

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Well..........considering that:

  1. soccer is the most popular sport, by youth participation numbers in this sport;

  2. we will be co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup;

  3. the decline of participation in football due to all the injury concerns, especially head injuries, and parents not wanting their kids to play it; and

  4. there are those that have suggested that at some point, football will no longer be considered to be a socially responsible sport

Are you really surprised that there are those that are putting a priority of soccer over football?

BTW - I haven't seen anywhere yet that TSN/CTV are looking to expand the growth of soccer. But wouldn't be surprised if they actually are, with the said world cup coming here!

And if they are, so what? Is that a problem?

It should be noted that both TSN and Sportsnet had the English Premier League, and eventually lost those rights to a streaming only service!

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There is nothing wrong with growing soccer in this country, i actually really enjoy watching the sport. All i am saying is why has TSN not tried to reach new audiences for the CFL? Besides improving the broadcast experience, there has been very little marketing or effort to sub-license the games. Especially for the Grey Cup for example, should be made available on multiple networks.

I think CFL on TSN is great but i feel the blame is often put that popularity of the CFL is declining because of the public but rather i think it's the league's fault for not being more proactive in marketing and making the league more available and widespread. Both NFL and MLS are really pushing hard when they don't really need to.


When one person owned 2 franchises at once and you have your influential figures in the CFL and having community based franchises, any league out there could have trouble trying to grow their business.


There's an interesting article about attendance trends in the CFL over the years.

It compares attendance under community ownership vs private ownership.

Toronto and BC steady decline.