Revenue ideas to keep the Cats and CFL afloat

Having not much else to do without any CFL action and having read this in the Off-season football talk thread:

"I'm kind of interested in a pay per view bundle from TSN. I'm sure they could make it work from a content and ad source point of view. Combine that with limited seating at the venues it might be workable."

from @Garney_26 I thought a new thread was required to ensure people can spitball their ideas and possibly save the only pro league I care about.

I personally would be willing to buy a pay per view bundle (even if it seemed overpriced). I think the league with TSN could experiment and see how many people would put down a $100.00 refundable down-payment on such a plan (with an annual price in the $500.00 range - or whatever the league and team might think is necessary). STH would retain their rights to the seats they are not renewing in lieu of buying the PPV package.

Now it is up to everyone to poke holes in this idea, or, hopefully improve on it.

The one downside would be how TSN would stream it. I wouldn’t want to watch on a mobile streaming device and not all “smart” TV’s or media devices (ie Roku, etc) have a TSN app to be able to stream to your big screen. Even trying to “cast” from a mobile device to a TV is challenging without a newer TV or a said device (ie, chrome cast).
I’d be willing to pay your suggested price to help the CFL.
The bigger issue is still COVID-19 challenges with players and movement. With no real possibility of a readily available vaccine early next year, I don’t think a CFL season in any way will happen. Without government $$ I’m not sure how the league survives unless there is a billionaire who wants to buy the entire league and wait until 2022 to turn it on again.
Sad state of affairs...


I posted this a couple of days ago and have had little (1) response. I am sure it is not from apathy on the fans part. Is it a lack of ideas?

If TSN were willing to change their deal with the league for a lockdown year (rather than having no season at all and thus no games to broadcast), it could work.

One idea that was bandied about in the spring was having cameras set up in each section of the stadium. And ST holders would have special access to the camera set up in their ST section (in addition to the main TSN broadcast camera angles).

Didn't MLB have fans able to purchase cardboard cutouts to be placed in their seats?

Something like that could add revenue, though I think it'd probably be better to explore ways to do this virtually rather than creating cardboard cutouts. Couldn't green tarps be placed over seats and crowds with real fans' photos be superimposed for a fee?

Maybe they could sell virtual sections to local businesses so the employees faces are in the seats along with advertising banners for that business.

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I think most hardcore fans would be willing to put up some extra cash whether it’s pay per view, digital fan display etc. The tough thing with pay per view is do you now lose some of the casual fans who might otherwise tune in if it’s free? I think the league needs all the eyeballs on it that it can get.

If there is some return to partially filled stadiums, say 4000-6000 per game, maybe fans would be willing to pay double ticket price or some type of premium for one year in order to help the team boost revenues. Assuming there is some lottery and season ticket holders can only get into 2-3 games in such a scenario, they may be willing to pony up a bit more to help out - whether that’s in the form of an added payment or just taken out of season ticket credits.

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The Grey Cup fan base is one way fans can essentially pay a premium to help the league boost revenues. I'm not sure exactly how the league plans to divvy up that revenue, but some of it I assume would make its way to each team.

Greater advertising on uniforms is another potential revenue stream. I'm not sure how much more they could get from more visible ads on the uniforms, but it'd be something.

It would be nice to get title sponsors for the divisional semis and finals too. Perhaps the league has been asking too much for such sponsorship of late? The last branding on these that I can remember is Scotiabank, and that was several years ago IIRC.

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In-Game Gambling in real time. Either take in action during each quarters through a gambling app while take a piece of the vig or lease the gambling for a set term to a gambling site like DraftKings or Fan Duel. Let them do the work. The Chicago Fire has a $100 million deal with DraftKings for 10 years. The CFL could easily make a deal like this with SportInteraction or Leo Vegas

Promote the gambling cash rewards instead of worthless fantasy points of players. The gambling app would also promote gambling addiction like the Provinces do at casinos to protect the consumer

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Can someone please help me out with an explanation of what the heck this idea even means?

TSN starts charging pay-per-view for CFL games. Presumably this means the games are not available to everyone else on the regular TSN channels. Meaning:

  • Less exposure for the league
  • CFL does not collect on its regular TSN contract of approx. $50 million per year based on a full season of play, instead collecting some portion of the PPV revenues.
  • TSN has big holes in its regular broadcast schedule
  • Advertisers walk away and allocate that portion of their ad budgets elsewhere
  • Everyone who pays for TSN through their cable subscription will get something less than they expected

Is this what we're talking about here?

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Agree completely.
PPV for additional content? More camera angles, Skycam, panel talking during the game? Sure. But the league is in no position to cut a single person off from viewing the games.

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You and ExPat are both 100% correct. Those touting this PPV idea have never explained (that I've seen, at least) how such an idea fits with an existing contract signed in good faith by both TSN and the league, to the presumed benefit of both parties.


Some good thoughts ! I agree with the idea that under normal circumstances PPV would not be the way to go but for one season to help patch the damage the pandemic has wrought it's good for us core fans.

I'm not a fan of the PPV idea either, but I think it only would only be even considered if the league is in a position to have to cancel the season again.

Yes, both TSN and the league would lose out on some exposure by having PPV instead of their regular open broadcasts, but both would benefit more with PPV than with no games to broadcast at all.


My understanding is the league had a temporary contract with TSN for a shortened season what was going to pay more per game than their current one. Not 100% sure of the amount but where does that leave room for PPV revenue?

The league has an agreement with CDIC to air some classic playoff/Grey Cup games in a 40 minute format. Though small it is additional content from their exclusive TSN contract

Don't think it's much money but would still be more than what PPV can offer

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One way they can do something like this is to have a premium 4K streaming service for those who have cut the cord. Also, there is no reason that every game on the schedule shouldn't be in 4K/UHD.

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Not sure I'd pay anything to hear the normal sports broadcaster types, but count me in if it's a country music recording star - or someone married to a super-famous actress. I'll even pay double if it's both, and triple if he's watching his first-ever CFL game.


I'm glad that holes were poked in my idea. It is stirring up other ideas though I hope. Now if only there was a place to share those ideas......

Maybe there's a market for a PPV post-game "ShowerCam".

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Jerome Messam agrees.


The league kind of already has a PPV option. TSN offers, through their website or APP, 24 hour subscriptions that start at $5 for 24 hours access. So if you only want to watch Ticat away games ( for example) that would cost you about $50 bucks for the season, one game at a time.
I think the league and TSN do a poor job of advertising their $5 a day option since people seem to talk like it doesn't exist. I remember at the Commissioner virtual town hall people were asking him, "How come the CFL doesn't have a streaming option" and he very politely had to mention that they already do through TSN GO.


Maybe trying some American investors would be a good idea, i.e. American Team Owners. Don't know if living South of the Border would mix well but there is money here. I remember Donald Trump trying to get in the NFL with his old USFL team. Maybe if he's unemployed down here you guys are welcome to him up there. Just a thought.

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