My Scathing Criticism of the CFL/TSN/ESPN

Since this is a public forum about a public event I feel that I can freely post my opinions on the CFL for which I have been an avid fan of since the early 70’s and now strongly considering not being a fan.

I am in the US and get the CFL through internet streaming via ESPN3. I am not a fan of the NFL. I don’t know if those watching in Canada are subjected to the same excessive amount of tasteless commercials, such as those being shown on ESPN3 during CFL games. This is my main complaint.

Often when the broadcast is resumed after the commercials, I see that I have missed a play or two, as if somehow mysteriously been cut out. Often it is a scoring play. Good job TSN/ESPN. Yes I know, the advertisers pay for the sport to be shown. I also pay for my internet connection.

I have figured out how TSN/ESPN crams all those commercials. The game I am watching is actually delayed by at least two plays from the live game. I have seen this by trying simultaneously playing the ESPN3 feed and a radio streaming feed, to somehow try to block out those obnoxious TSN announcers. No such luck, several minutes of delay in between.

And how about those penalty challenges, why do they replay the challenged call 5, 6, 7 or more times. And repeat the same flipping comment over and over. I have even seen unchallenged routine incomplete passes replayed 3, 4, and 5 times, what the heck. Can someone please get rid of the monkey operating the switches.

And those stupid interviews, during live play, that are shown in full screen, interrupting the broadcast, aren’t the commercials bad enough. The camera cuts away from the play and shows an interview in full screen. Is it that we have to appeal to the woman fans who want to see what the guy looks like. It’s like the women want to see how the guy is dressed for the interview. The actual broadcast of football becomes secondary. As if to go more in line with modern television, like it's all about personalities now.

Furthermore, to appeal to the women fans how about all the numerous close-ups of the guys on the sidelines. I want to see the guys on the field, where they line up, where are they looking before the snap. To heck with the sideline close-ups, and all the ebonic ghetto hood talk . Is this football for idiots.

And the tasteless production brought about by the people who work for TSN. What’s with the spinning TSN logo graphic, complete with sound effect, covering the whole screen, before and after commercials and often during live broadcast. It is all fast becoming unwatchable. Cool graphics, good job again TSN/ESPN.

With regards to CFL football itself, the lack of professionalism in players is at an all time high. Such as the stupid show boating by players, they are always taunting the opposition after they make a good play. When they make a good play, for example, an interception, they, including the coaches all jump around like five year olds. Congratulate yourselves after the game for crissakes.

Oh I can just imagine the shills responding to this post defending their beloved CFL, that’s to be expected. I repeat, I am NOT a fan of American football in general and don’t tell me to go watch some other boring sport.

Very simple solution , don't watch ! TSN is the reason the CFL is alive and healthy. Your over the top anger at the CFL and TSN is laughable. Life must be pretty good if this is your biggest concern !

I haven't noticed this problem on TSN. Perhaps it's an ESPN issue of misjudging when to come back from commercial to the TSN feed?

I stream a lot of games off ESPN 3 feeds, never noticed an issue. Also to the original poster...of course the radio is going to be a few minutes ahead of your internet stream, just how it works. I can't talk to Bobo on the phone at all during games because he is always ahead of me on his super duper cable TV, and radio is even father ahead than that.

The late return from commercials does sound like an ESPN issue, as it almost never happens on the source TSN broadcast. The delay again is an issue with the ESPN streaming process. Not sure what can be done about either problem short of complaining to ESPN.

The annoying TSN commentators? Uh, yeah. We complain about them up here too, but some of us have sort of gotten used to them.

Not liking replays? Now your "not a fan of [North] American football" comment is showing. (Or were you just referring to NFL and NCAA?) Replays are a part of the game, or at least part of the football broadcast culture. Helps fill in the time between plays. Without them, the games would seem almost as slow as baseball. :wink:

Challenges, on the other hand, well, just take a look through the forum and you'll see at least one thread a week started about that topic. At least now, the TV broadcast will (eventually) break for commercials while the play is being reviewed. It used to be much, much worse.

The interviews between plays, I don't mind, as long as they cut back to show the actual plays. Part of the attraction of the CFL, in my opinion, is that the players are real people and accessible. Practices are usually open, and players interact with the fans that come out. Rosters are relatively small, from a football perspective, and there aren't many teams, so fans actually get to know the players in a sense. The interviews with players contributes to that.

I do understand, however, that it would be good to see the formations pre-snap. Perhaps TSN should start using a picture-in-picture approach to the interviews and player close-ups. The problem with that is now people are starting to watch on smaller screens again - laptops, tablets, smartphones.

I agree that celebrations should be reserved for truly big plays - scoring plays, turnovers, sacks, huge gains. Some of these guys tend to take it a bit far. As one player (Barry Sanders?) once said, "When you score, don't act like it's you first time or your last." (Something like that, anyway.) But I can see the excitement of the play taking over.

I actually understand and sympathize with some of what you said, so I want to address each point individually.

As someone already mentioned, this is not really a problem on TSN. There is a delay between TV and radio, but that’s not the fault of either network. It’s just the difference between how the two media are transmitted.

Well, they replay the challenged play to show the various angles that are being reviewed by the command centre. This allows fans to make their own judgement calls. This doesn’t slow down the flow of the game at all; the challenge is over when the command centre informs the referee of their decision, whether the play has been shown 10 times or not at all.

I agree with you 100% about this one. Usually the play resumes and they’re showing it while still listening to some coach talk about how much he likes his quarterback. Really? You do? So THAT’S why he’s playing!

After a big play, like a score, I don’t really mind this. I DON’T like when Winnipeg has the ball and the camera is showing Ricky Ray standing on the sideline picking his nose. (BTW, please keep an eye on comments that could be considered racist.)

I don’t like the graphic when they are going into or out of one of those interviews, because it makes it less likely that the interview will be over before the snap.

Unfortunately, this is the way professional sports seem to be leaning. I understand that you don’t like it, and I agree that it can get over the top. But I think we have to hold our nose and live with it; maybe in time this will die out.

Bleh, my only criticism of TSN/CFL is their scheduling of games three hours apart on the same day. With the new rules and coaches challenges games can sometimes take four hours to complete. It's like catching an movie a hour half in. I just don't get into it.

Otherwise, I think personally TSN has done a terrific job.

But when the contract runs out if everyone isn't settled I guess we could always go back to CBC.

I honestly haven't noticed missing action on ESPN, and frankly, I'm very grateful to the network and its advertisers for making every game available to me. I can put up with a few glitches here and there as ESPN tries to filter out Cancon for UScon. However, I also don't like excessive graphical whiz bangs as it makes it more about the presentation than the actual content, but I'll put up with it if that's what it takes to see the games. I also tend to multitask while the game is on, and I often don't focus on every. single. down. or every. single. word.

I think ESPN, TSN and the CFL do a decent job of presenting the games. I honestly hope ESPN can sell more ads, not only because the same ones over and over are really boring, but because it will help ensure I can continue to see all the games - many of which I can watch at the office - something that in past years has been often impossible to do.

I get your frustrations, and suggest that maybe a break from watching for a week or two might stoke your interest a bit.

Someone doesn't post all season, then insults the players because they don't speak the way he does due to enormous social issues is wrong.

Here are the advertisers from Friday's game. I watched one half live. Other half was the on-demand version.

nissan rogue
intel
dick's sports
tecate
pizza hut
intel
android
taco bell


irish spring
arby's
toyota camry

autozone
ameritrade
snapple
espn
mazda
american express
gatorade
wrangler
cadillac
bose
under armour
gmc arcadia
chase for business
covergirl mascara
walmart
stok ice coffee
suicide squad movie
bacardi
gorilla tape
mccormick seasoning
carrabbas
starbucks
wendys
cialis
nexen tire
chevy
sec network

CFL is quite frankly fortunate that there are even ads. In previous years, there were tons on Sports Center ads and just the plain ESPN Commerical Break screen. These are national and reputable advertisers. Excessive amount of "tasteless commecials"? Only if you are overly sensitive and can find fault in everything.

Problem is the ESPN app when you are watching the replay. Sometimes it pauses for no reason. Other times it keeps playing ads and does not return to the action properly. Live feed seems to be okay. When live, the ads typically end before the alloted commercial break.

Interviews are rare. They only have them when somebody is being honored. No harm showing the interview. TSN usually does it during a time when the game is getting dull. The interview might even help retain the viewer who might have been bored and was thinking of switching channels.

Who even thinks like that? Camera shots of the sidelines are just there to get women stimulated??? Not only do you insult women, you insult African Americans in the same paragraph.

There hasn't even been an unusually large number of celebration penalites this year. Did you even watch the Winnipeg/Calgary game? Glen Suitor was mentioning how the attitude of the Stamps congratulating each other after plays were more representative of a winning team. Bombers on the other hand played with no emotion.

Right. Whatever you believe in must be true. Anybody who find your ramblings strange and borderline scary is a shill.

...yeah, this is the part where the OP's ramblings losses all cred in my opinion...it's fine to have a beef and to air it publicly, but to then say that if you disagree with said opinion you're nothing but a mindless robot is a complete fail....

One thing I got to thinking the other day... why doesn't Jesse Palmer cover the CFL? One should think also covering the northern league would be a prerequisite for being a football analyst on TSN, but I guess not.

The complaint I hear most often on TSN's telecast of the CFL is the online talent. Well, all I am saying is if there was more talent for the CFL to chose from, that could only be to the league's benefit.

Maybe Jesse Palmer no good, but it would be a start, for the growth of the league, if football analysts on TSN had to know both brands of football to get employment.

I agree there is too much immature showboating. When a player does his job he should act like he has done it before, not like a 7 year old who just caught his first 3 ounce perch. Where do all these showboaters come from?

As for the rest of the thread authors complaint I say, "Take a chill pill. We do things our way in our country, other countries can only dream to be us.

Interesting watching Banks tonight. He had a few big plays, and rather than celebrate his achievement, he seemed to display disappointment that he had been stopped.

Here is my scathing criticism:

The comedy clown acts.

Suitor and Rashaug with the Pokeman skit. - Not funny at all . Just lame and childish .

The panel with musical chairs, the push ups ,and the singing. Stop just stop. :oops:

Cuthbert, just call the game and stop being an Eskimo fan boy.

If I want comedy, I will watch Seinfeld.

What is going on ? Never noticed any of this crap last season.

Is this something TSN management has come up with ?

" lets act foolish, it will be great fun entertainment "

BTW, these guys are not funny. Cut the clown act and act like pros.

If they are trying to appeal to a younger hip audience, they are dropping the ball. :thdn:

The OP watches games for free on the net, and doesn't monetarily support the CFL in any manner, so they have no reason to complain.

Same goes for all American fans. Love/hate the CFL all you guys want, but we don't need your support.

The OP pays for ESPN. ESPN pays TSN for the rights to rebroadcast the games. TSN pays the CFL for the rights to broadcast the games.

If you're saying that we don't need the American fans because they don't contribute to the league, then you could say the same about people who only watch games on TSN. Like me.

Is that what you're saying?

ESPN owns about 20% of TSN, and they pay next to nothing for the right to broadcast it. You on the other had pay TSN directly through your TV service via whatever Canadian TV provider you use.

Americans are often very entitled people, and the OP is no exception. I would prefer they all (other than a players family/friends) not tune in at all, because most of them are ignorant to the differences, like Snoop showed recently, and they simply just don't get our football culture.

Most Americans have no idea that all 4 of the major North American sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey) were invented by Canadians, and they then take said ignorance and embarrass themselves; like the OP.

The only Americans the CFL needs are the players. Fact.

Your telling me that we should not have spent the money to fly up and watch last nights game, you don't need it or apparently you don't want it.
One thing, with your attitude I can assure you that we don't need your support in any way, shape or form for US Sports!

Don't worry, because I don't follow any American sports at all. Why? Because I'm not the typical follower of all things American like many Canadians are.