Poll: A Bird In TSN's Hand OR 2 In Rogers/Amazon's Bush?

If you were on the CFL Board Of Governors and TSN offered $80M/yr, starting in 2022, for exclusive rights to the CFL for 8 years, would you take it or would you pass and negotiate with Rogers, Shaw, the CBC, Amazon, Facebook, etc?

The catch : TSN said that IF you negotiate with others, their best offer will drop to $60M/yr and they will not, under any circumstances, go above that.

Would you :

A) Take the TSN deal at $80M/yr?
B) Take your chances and see if you could do better negotiating with others?

Keeping in mind that the deal is 8 years LONG and $80M might look like peanuts in 2029 - just like $40M looks like peanuts now, while in 2013, we thought the offer was GREAT.

I take it this is purely hypothetical as I can't see a partner and partial owner play that kind of hardball.

So suppose that circumstance is another network(s) giving the league 80 million or more. Would it not be worth the extra 20 mil/year anymore and risking losing the Canadian content?

Worst case scenario, the CFL gets 60 million a year which is still about a 50% increase but I would like to think the league will have a better handle on the landscape by then.

Of course. Purely hypothetical.

You say $60M is a 50% increase but can you imagine how little $60M will appear in 2029? The CFL will be saying, “Our current deal pays only 50% more than we got 15 years ago. We’re getting killed!”


Nope. Just those 2 options. :slight_smile:


With a salary cap that's not tied to revenues? I guess 80 million wouldn't be that much either locking in that long. Part of shopping around doesn't just take into how much, but how long.

If another network can offer that with a shorter term, then depending on where the business is at that could be an advantage looking around. I think how much they'll get for the next US deal can help play a factor as it's up after this season.

Interesting question. If I were a BOG member, I’d be looking very closely at what the Argos rep has to say about it.

My first impulse is to say take the money, but 8 years is a long time and there are aspects of TSN’s treatment of the league I would want improved.

So I’m voting for B, take your chances. Especially if there is a tenth team (or soon to be one), I think they could do better than 60 on a shorter term deal(s) with other broadcasters. Open the field and see what Rogers, Shaw, and CBC would offer up.

You nailed it, Mightygoose.
This is happening in the middle of a CBA negotiation.
This is not going to end well for the league.

Also, if you’re TSN and this is really the tactic they’re going to take what makes more sense for their business.

a) Overpay the contract by 20 million per year…otherwise they would be certain it’s worth 60/year


b) Risk losing Canadian content. They’ll have no CFL, no Jays, only NHL regional coverage for certain teams, about half the Raptors and MLS where the Canadian based teams where they’ll need perfect storms to get good ratings.

It’s the ONLY kind I’m capable of coming up with. :wink:

Care to elaborate? Is this based on the CBA negotiations or the US TV rights?

Yes but they’d be playing on the CFL’s greed and insecurity.

Greed : $80M looks like a TON now but, again, in 2029, I could see the CFL cringing at such a small amount.

Insecurity : The CFL has always seen itself as small time and happy with whatever others (TSN) offered. Would this continue?

If I was TSN, I’d be thrilled with $80M from 2022 until 2029.

The Amazon bush image was a stroke of genius. You really nailed it this time.

I’d say the worst case senario is a loss of $160,000.000.00 in league TV revenues over the next eight years.

Take the TSN money and run!

But there is no guarantee anyone else even wants the CFL. Maybe the CFL shops but no one buys. Then the CFL passed on a big $80M/yr payday.


So... You'd choose TSN?

If nothing else, I am clever. :slight_smile:

US TV rights.
If the league takes an offer for anything past 2021, they will have boxed themselves in regard
to selling themselves for global rights.

CFL signs a deal with ESPN for $10 million a year till 2023.The league has less
negotiating leverage when TSN deal ends in 2021.The big media players, who will push
for global rights, will only offer less.

So if no one else wants the CFL, Bell would look pretty silly offering 20 million, more than they can really pay, no?

Playing in a position of strength and paying 33% more? And the shareholders at BCE will be pleased?