It has been bad for the past few years and I have especially noticed them this year.
At today’s Als/Argos game, with 3:02 left in the second quarter, there was a TV time out. This is just before the three minute warning which is a natural time out in the game and a clear opportunity to go to commercials.
As I told my friend would happen, the game restarted after the TV time out and they ran one play, leading to the three minute warning. Off to another TV time out.
These are full TV time outs, not a quick one commercial break.
A few more plays and another TV time out with 2:22 left on the game clock.
This crap is going to turn me into a baseball fan - and I hate baseball because it is boring and slow.
Smarten up TSN and CFL! You are ruining the games! >:(
This seems to be an epidemic affecting all of football right now. The league is aware of the problem. But will they do anything about it? Probably not anything anytime soon. People forget, but the league is run by ordinary people with ordinary lives. So unsurprisingly everything around at the head office happens at a snail's pace.
As much as we all like being arm chair commissioners, which is frustrating because we all love this league so much, but we all can't be geniuses.
There are a predetermined number of ads in each quarter, and the league will not interrupt a possession to show them (except in the case of an injury time-out). So if a team ends a possession with 3:02 left in the half, there is going to be a commercial break, followed by another as soon as the clock has run below 3:00. The one with 2:22 left was almost certainly because the full allotment for the quarter had not been shown due to long possessions earlier.
The ads TSN sells allow it to pay the CFL $40M per year (or whatever it is). Without that revenue, we either have a lower salary cap or higher ticket prices, neither of which would go over very well with most fans.
After thinking about this couldn’t the league be more creative when it comes to having TV breaks? I mean we don’t have to see the refs getting together to make a call. That seems like it would be the best time to quickly show an add or two. Maybe show them more in small spurts.
It’s interesting because soccer, rugby, cricket, aussie rules and F1 (not as it is broadcast on TSN) all play commercial free in leagues across the world.
This isn’t just the top leagues. Lesser leagues in smaller countries themselves have TV broadcasts. Canadian carriers themselves pay big bucks to showcase events like World Cup without commercials during play.
There is clearly a business model that can pay the bills for TV broadcasts of leagues on the economic scale of the CFL. I think North American broadcasters are milking the fact that North Americans are just used to their sports presented this way. I spend a lot of time away from home. When I do come back it strikes me how discontinuous sports broadcasts are in Canada and the USA.
Things are changing though and it can’t go on forever.
You’re already seeing ads being put on the screen during the game a la soccer. Unfortunately this hasn’t turned into fewer TV timeouts and I doubt it will. Sportsnet has had virtual advertising on the field for Jays’ games for years and they are doing the same behind the nets or on the glass during hockey games.
I’m the biggest critic of Rod Black and some of the pedantacism creeping into Glen Suitor’s routine, I certainly don’t like the back to back commercial breaks and I’m not impressed by CFL officiating, TSN small-game production of most games, etc.
BUT if TSN is paying CFL and its member 9 teams - 40 mill a season - they should be able to do what they want to do - even if much of it reeks with inexperience compounded by commercial advertiser worship.
Imagine, a CFL with their main media outlet paying only 20 to 25 million? Things would go to hell in a handbasket fairly quickly.
So this cowboy would rather have Rod & his Flubs Forever tour plus the ancillary rubbish than no rubbish at all.
I do think the CFL would be wise (and so would TSN) to bring back CBC into the mix - for their own game-of-the-week. CBC always had a big game feel to their casts - if TSN continued at the 40 mill. level plus CBC added 10 to 12 mill. imagine what the money could be utilized for?
TSN’s $40M for the CFL is pretty small potatoes, covering only 11% to 14% of team expenses (according to the 3 CFL teams which publicly release their Financial Statements.) I don’t believe that gives TSN the right to “do what they want to do” with CFL scheduling.
The CFL thrived when TSN was paying teams only $1.5M a year for CFL rights (not that long ago), about 5% of team’s expenses. Most teams generate much more revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships than the TV contract. That’s who the league should be catering to…the ticket buying fans, not TV.
The CFL hasn't "thrived" since the late 1970s/early 1980s, when there were crowds in the 60s in Montreal and Edmonton, and in the 40s and 50s in Toronto and Vancouver. There hasn't been any thriving, but there has been a hell of a lot of struggle -- and a few periods perilously close to death -- since then. The idea that $40M per year is of lesser importance than catering to the ticket-buying fans? How much would those fans have to spend for tickets if the $40M went away, or went down to say $10M because TSN's opportunities to recoup its costs were reduced?
No, they can't do what they want, as the TSN contract spells out when they can show commercials and for how long. And that contract seems to state that they can show commercials after a scoring play, a turnover, at the three minute warning of each half, between quarters, and a few times during half time. Not sure if the length of commercial breaks changes based on how many breaks there have been up to that point (e.g. an extra ad or two after a long drive), but it's possible.
The case this week is fairly rare, but follows the contract. Perhaps the next contract should include a clause requiring a minimum time between breaks, but it doesn't appear to be there in the current contract.
They might have to introduce the Hot 10 or Hot 15 commercial messages the NFL seems to have glommed onto the last few years.
In a blowout each second of play is less and less precious to the competing teams - both of who are gazing at the clock, hoping against hope to get outta dodge asap.
Regardless of score - every second of commercial time is ultra-precious to the league, its member teams and the paying sponsors. The Hot 10 or 15 springs a surprise on the viewer as they assume there’s enough time to take a pee-break and load up another barley sandwich. What a surprise when they’re half way down the hall and the game is back in play . . . .