Any Given Sunday was on TV the other day, and the team in that is the Miami Sharks, if you'll recall, wearing black and white. I was reminded that Clive Doucet called the LL group "sharks" when they made their initial announcement and thought that might send a nice little message too.

Don't say we didn't think of you, Clive!

And Mr. Melnyk isn't a Biovail "shark"? Forgot that one eh Clive? You're smart Clive, look it up on Google.

I was totally against the name Ottawa FC … until I saw that justification for it!! :lol: :lol:

So let me get this straight…one of the top guys at the completely disfunctional Canadian Soccer Association (what’s our world ranking this week…90th?) says Ottawa city council made a mistake not building a soccer specific stadium in Ottawa, because soccor is the country’s fastest growing sport.

Well I have a few stats for you Pete: 400,000 television viewers/game, 2 million fans/season in the stadium, metoric rise in teen-aged viewers, massive double digit growth in 18-35 viewers (the guys with the cash), 4 million Grey Cup viewers…when soccer hits those kind of numbers in Canada, let’s talk, Until then, shut up.

As an aside, he’s critical of a council that approached Melnyk with A) the idea of bidding on both the CFL team and MLS and B) asked if he would share the Landsdowne site with the CFL (which the CFL group endorsed). What more could the city have done??? Sour grapes or what!

CSA bigwig thinks city erred in not backing soccer bid … 6-sun.html

One of Canada’s top soccer officials believes city council dropped the ball with its decision to pass on supporting a 20,000-seat stadium in Kanata to house an MLS expansion franchise.

Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association, said last night that he’s “disappointed” council sided with the Lansdowne Live proposal to revitalize Frank Clair Stadium in an attempt to bring the CFL back to Ottawa.

The soccer proposal by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been put on hold until the city has completed negotiations with local developers for the Lansdowne Live proposal.

“(Soccer is) the fastest-growing sport in Canada and we’ve got the numbers to prove it,” said Montopoli, a Kanata resident. "We’ve been working with the Senators on the aspects of their bid and we’ve been supportive right from the beginning.

“We’ll be supportive no matter what happens down the road. (A stadium) would be great for the development of soccer in this area and also for Canada. We’re seeing a proportionate growth for soccer in Canada.”

If the city doesn’t reach a deal with the Lansdowne group, council could attempt to renegotiate with Melnyk. The MLS has been bullish on Ottawa and if the go-ahead is given for a stadium, it has promised to deliver an expansion franchise.


A request yesterday to speak with MLS commissioner Don Garber was declined.

“After speaking with our executives, we have elected to refrain from commenting on this topic,” Dan Courtemanche, senior VP of communications and marketing for the MLS, said in an e-mail last night.

While there’s only a 60-day window to get a deal in place with the city to make the Lansdowne Live proposal a reality, local businessmen Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy, Bill Shenkman and Jeff Hunt have agreed to put formal talks with the city on hold until next week.

After winning support from council with a 14-9 decision Wednesday, Greenberg and city manager Kent Kirkpatrick – who will have to negotiate the agreement that will go before council in two months for final approval – agreed to step back for a few days.

“We will likely meet early next week to chart a course of action,” Greenberg said in an e-mail.


If you ask me the Ottawa city council have made the right decision taking the bird in hand (there was no guarantee they would get an MLS franchise). But please don't say soccer never had those type of numbers in Canada.

- TSN's live average audience over 31 games is 524,000 viewers, a 57 per cent increase over the 1998 average (the previous high) - Sportsnet's live average audience over 32 games is 495,000 viewers, a 48 per cent increase over the 1998 average (the previous high).
That's an average of 509,000 per game over 63 games or 545,000 per game over 64 games, including the final.

Given that many of the games were shown in morning timeslot and the Canadian national team was not involved these numbers are nothing to sneeze at. Last year's European Cup also averaged close to 350,000 per game over 34 games in Canada. I'm not comparing these to CFL numbers or anything. Just saying that soccer draws much better ratings in North America than many people are aware of.

Kind of apples to oranges. CFL to EPL or Champions League etc.

This Soccer Canada guy was talking about MLS, so that's what I was referencing.

Now show me MLS numbers.

Rocket, I'm assuming those numbers refer to the World Cup... which is in a league of its own. I love soccer, and it's great to see numbers like that from Canada. But I'm betting that other than the World Cup (and the Euros), soccer doesn't get near those ratings in Canada. Still, you're right, those are great numbers for soccer in Canada.

I have to agree that the CSA is crying sour grapes though. With Lansdowne, they will still end up with a stadium available to them, and one that will likely be better supported than a soccer-only stadium in Kanata.

You said soccer. If you're gonna show the biggest numbers Canadian football draws in Canada it's only fair to show the biggest numbers soccer draws there. But I get your point. Comparing CFL to MLS is also kind of apples to oranges though, as there's only one Canadian team in MLS and 8 in CFL.

Forgot what else I was going to say. I'm sure that every 4 years, large numbers of people watch sprinting, pole vault, swimming, bobsled, luge, speed skating, etc. But I would not consider any of these sports to have a huge following in Canada.

Please tell me if any of those sports you mentioned were shown anywhere close to 64 times (or 98 times over 4 years) and still maintained the high ratings.

How about we add NFL numbers then, to compare football to soccer and see what turns up? :?

I'll admit to not knowing enough about the similarities and differences between the the two sports (American football and Canadian football), but I'm curious to know how well the NFL does in Canada in terms of TV ratings and how many games are televised every year.

Throwing out World Cup numbers as evidence of soccer viewership in Canada is retarded. That's an Olympic-type event that transcends the sport. It's akin to taking the Kentucky Derby numbers and saying they represent the horse racing market in Canada, or taking The Masters viewership as justification for spending massive dollars on promotion of another golf event in Canada.

MLS TV ratings are abysmal.

There are dozen different soccer leagues and competitions that divide the soccer audience in North America. So you never have one soccer league that draws vast majority of the fans the way NFL, NHL, or even CFL does. World Cup is the event where all different groups of soccer fans come together to watch the same competition and gives you a good idea of how many soccer fans there are or how many are willing to watch soccer. If the event consisted of only a handful of games like some sports have in the Olympics one could take the numbers lightly but when 64 games have high ratings (I should say 98 games to include the European cup) to not take them seriously is just being in denial.

MLS TV ratings maybe lower than CFL's but again, there is only one young Canadian team in MLS compared to 8 in CFL. In the US, they have two sets of fans that watch on two different platforms (English and Spanish language channel), each with roughly 250,000 viewers per game with little overlap. And they have a great 18-34 demo base that helps the league generate close to $20 mil in rights fees per year and hundreds of millions in sponsorship deals. MLS' average attendance may not be anywhere near what CFL has but MLS teams hold nearly twice the amount of games in their stadiums. When added up the numbers are not as bad. That along with national team games and some different soccer competitions and different sports events that are held in their stadiums help them generate a profit (although some are very good at hiding them under different umbrellas like 'stadium management', LLC and Soccer United Marketing, LLC).

Well, here's the thing.....I, from time to time, will watch a little world cup soccer....and I loathe soccer. It's like the Olympics - we all watch sports that could otherwise drop off the planet and we could care less. That is not a gauge of the soccer audience, that's a gauge of the EVENT audience. Two different things.

MLS ratings in the US in 2008 scored a 0.2 on ESPN. Yes, a zero-point-two. That just narrowly edges out the test pattern on an empty station. Soccer is big as a recreational sport in Canada, at both the child and adult level. But that has never transcended into viewership of the game played at the pro level, be it live or especially on TV. That's just a fact.

I’d rather watch the test pattern. :wink:

Every sports have games and events that draw in casual fans and curious viewers. NFL does during the Superbowl, NHL does during the Stanley Cup playoffs and finals (I'm watching this year even though I have no interest in hockey but you can bet they will happily count me in the number), CFL does with the Grey Cup. Soccer is no different in that they get their share of those viewers at it's highest level event, the World Cup. But the majority of the World Cup viewers are hardcore and casual soccer fans that follow many different soccer leagues.

Right, so you therefore agree it would be wrong to treat those figures as a fair representation of average weekly viewership. And, from that, it is also wrong to try and compare World Cup TV numbers with CFL (or any other pro league) regular season numbers. Because that is what was done - someone took the week-in, week-out CFL figures and compared them to World Cup numbers. My only point was, that was an inappropriate comparison.

What part of this "But the majority of the World Cup viewers are hardcore and casual soccer fans that follow many different soccer leagues." did you not understand? CFL's weekly numbers are not comparable with any soccer league because there are too many of them (soccer leagues) competing for soccer ratings. I'll give you a demostration.... lets say CFL has 15 followers and MLS has 6, Champions league has 6, English league has 6, Italian and Spanish leagues have 4 each, German Bundesliga and Mexican league have 3 each, two different South American leagues have 2 each and half a dozen smaller European leagues all have 1 each with very small overlap between all. Now when you compare any one of these soccer leagues and the numbers with CFL they may not stack up against CFL's numbers but thats not because soccer has less fans. When you add all the numbers of soccer fans (thats what you get with the World cup numbers) following all different leagues they hold their own against CFL.

There is also a huge group of potential soccer fans (some already are fans) in North America who grew up playing the sport that are not following the sport regularly because they are used to following the best in sports (NFL, NHL all represent the best in their sport) that is local (i.e. not in some other coutries thousands miles away) and they will wait til MLS' level improves and the league matures to start supporting it. For some of them a pro soccer league doesn't exist but that doesn't mean they are not fans of the sport. in 2004 there was no major hockey league in the US and Canada (due to lockout) so hockey ratings didn't exist or were very low (from lower tier leagues) but not because there were no fans. Little different analogy but same point.

Since the MLS is a North American league, they have two countries to gather viewers from. The only game that compares ratings wise to ANY CFL game is the weekly prime time game, most games are not even televised nationally because of such a huge lack of interest. No matter how many North American viewers all these "soccer league's" have even if you combine them all, it does not even come close to the sport of football(NFL, CFL and AFL combined). Heck, I doubt all these league's combined have that many more viewers than the CFL alone.