TV Coverage in the US for the 2009 CFL Season??

Does anyone know if the CFL re-negotiated its TV contract for coverage in the US this year (please tell me that they cut AmericaOne and ZOOM loose!)?

I remember last year the coverage was spotty at best, with NO DirecTV coverage to be found (except, apparently, the Grey Cup on Versus - I didn't know. my son and I were in Montreal watching it live!).

Any insight would be welcome!

I'm a HUGE CFL fan down here in Phoenix, Arizona (where there are PLENTY of Canadians down here - especially in the winter!).

Amen to that! The time for the league to act is NOW, not six days before the season starts.

After the way Trajectory Sports mismanaged the U.S. TV coverage, there's no way the league can justify retaining them as the rights holder. First, they gave EXCLUSIVE Friday Night Football rights to VOOM WorldSport, a channel that almost no one can receive. Then they demanded distribution deals from the American regional sports networks that caused ALL of them to drop their CFL telecasts.

Now I see that the new United Football League is going to be broadcast on Versus every Thursday night this season. It's a FOUR-team league! Are you kidding me?!?! If the CFL can't get on ANY American cable network or RSN, they're obviously doing something wrong.

I thought VOOM was out of business (God, I HOPE that is the case!)? But you are right, hardly ANYONE outside of VOOM's coverage in New Jersey and upstate New York received CFL HD telecasts.

Man, I was hoping Versus would be our savior here in the States for CFL coverage this year, but I guess not, with the 4-team UFL contract in place.

TSN and ESPN are related, so you would THINK we could get games on ESPN2 or ESPNU...That ESPN360 deal is just too restrictive + I hate trying to watch football streaming live over my laptop screen.

I'm crossing my fingers, but I wonder how committed the CFL really is to expanding the brand down south this year.


I was just coming here to see if anyone else had noticed this. It seems unlikely that Versus would carry both the UFL and the CFL.

The CFL should have beaten the UFL to the punch for the obvious US channel to carry their games, assuming they want to be in the US market.

I hear you PChuck & OhioBro, I'm really beginning to wonder if the CFL DOES care about a TV market that is 10 times larger than their own that just happens to be right across their southern border...I remember RonEstes and his insightful posts from LAST YEAR'S thread on the very same issue...well, here we go again!

Next will come select Canadian posters that will tell us that it's all the American networks' collective fault, that Americans don't give a crap about the CFL in the first place, and that the CFL is completetly BLAMELESS for this travesty.

Look, Trajectory Sports screwed up the broadcasting rights SO BAD last year (and, as it looks so far, this year), that the organization that hired them in the first place, THE CFL, should embark on a time honored American tradition and SUE THE B*STARDS (for breach of contract)!

Versus was probably our best bet. The way things are going here in the States, I don't know if that new league will be viable by the time their season is supposed to start, so maybe all hope is not yet lost for a CFL TV contract here in the U.S.A.

Well isnt that what you are now saying?
It was the US networks fault and the CFL is Blameless?
Must be if you think the CFL should now sue!

LOL, I was WAITING for you to chime in Ro! Let me break this down for you:

The BLAME Game (who gets/shares the blame for screwing up American TV coverage of the CFL):

Trajectory Sports? YES (for failing to obtain agreements with American Regional Sports Networks that had previously carried CFL games [as late as the 2007 season])
American RSN's? PARTIAL (when Trajectory came to them with unreasonable and unworkable [financial] arrangements to carry the CFL, they collectively took a pass. Good for the RSN's [I guess], but TOTALLY messed up for American viewers AND the CFL)
The CFL: YES (who hired Trajectory? THE CFL!!!!)

No matter how you slice it Ro, the CFL does NOT come away from this with clean hands. They are at least PARTIALLY responsible for THEIR LEAGUE not being on American TV sets last year (and probably this year, too!)

We can go back and forth like last year over whether the contracts were in place when Cohon took over, blah blah blah, but the point is that LAST YEAR: NO AMERICAN CFL COVERAGE (at least not on any appreciable scale). If Trajectory dropped the ball, then the CFL looks for a way out (there HAS to be a termination clause in the contract, and "non performance" is an almost universal "out" for a party looking to GET out of a contract), then the CFL signs someone else up that can GET THEM ON AMERICAN TV SETS DURING THE SEASON.

Is that too much to ask of a League? Is that not part of what a professional sports league is supposed to do? Expand the fan base? Promote the League? Grow the brand? Get it on TV WHEREVER THEY CAN?

Collectively, I do not believe that we - American CFL Fans - are asking too much of "YOUR" league! WE JUST WANT TO WATCH GAMES ON TV DOWN HERE!

Does anyone know, historically, how many viewers the CFL tends to get in the States?

Sorry but we will never agree.
The only error the CFL MAY have made was in contracting out to Trajectory. You have the impression that the US is banging on the doors willing the pay anything to broadcast the games and the CFL is ignoring them....
I on the other hand feel that there is just no interest(or at least little) in the US to show the games and the CFL cant sell something if no-one wants to buy.

I am quite certain the CFL wants the games to be seen in the states, but if no one is interested in showing them, there is nothing they can do.

Sad but true. Looks like another season of treasure hunting to find the CFL on TV/Internet. :cry:

Don't know if you've seen my petition, if you haven't you can sign it and maybe get other CFL fans in Arizona to sign it as well.

This is truly sad for Versus. There is absolutely no press down here for ANY of these startup leagues and believe me no one will be watching! All my friends are (NFL) fans and they said it's such a waste of time!

I signed the petition and want CFL broadcast on a readily available basis in the whole USA if I can get it. I have supported EVERY competing league of the NFL available to me over the years, from AFL football in the 60's, through the original WFL of the 1970's, the USFL of the 80's and the XFL of 2001 (which was terrible, and I did give up on this one, the only league I turned my back on.) , not to mention the on again off again Arena Football League from 1987 onward as they appeared and disappeared at times from TV availability. I will be watching the UFL if I can get it from my local cable provider, and I would love the chance to see the CFL regularly again, for the first time in many years. I hope it happens....

For several years I always got the sports pack on DirecTV and Dish Network to watch CFL games here in Dallas. I just loved to watch more football - Cowboys, NFL, NCAA, and especially my Texas A&M Aggies. I was born and raised here in Texas, but really liked the CFL too. It was very disappointing not to be able to watch last year. I believe with a little more promotion (especially of former American college players), the CFL could find a following here. I have friends who liked it a lot once they actually watched it. The different nuances of the game were appealing – as well as pro football in the summer!

It will just take some promotion over the years, an investment in building the audience - like European (EPL) has built their brand and grown in popularity here in the U.S. I hope the CFL finds a way to get the games on here. Versus or NFL Net would be awesome - maybe even Spike TV. It just seems that with SO MANY American networks, the CFL could find a home.

"It just seems that with SO MANY American networks, the CFL could find a home."
I completely agree which is why i started my petition to Versus. But...i have to say that just because of the fact that there are so many channels in the U.S. that maybe there's a conspiracy to not let the CFL onto american airwaves. It's been down here many times over the years and has gotten good viewership from what i have read over those years. But...maybe the NFL feels threatened and has found a way through the back door to put up some kind of wall that regional networks are not willing to cross.

I don't know! Just a theory,but the fact remains, the U.S. has more channels on the airwaves then any other nation, and yet i can't watch the CFL? But POKER is on ESPN??? ANd Versus puts Bull Riding on in prime time in NYC...Chicago...Boston? Lets get real!! :roll:

It's interesting to note that both this UFL (which sounds like a reincarnation of the XFL without the WWE cross-promotion) and the Arena Football League (who announced this week that they WILL be back in 2010) announced that TV deals are in place as they go forward.

American professional sports leagues (and many European leagues as well) realize that the money in their profession lies primarily with the revenue that TELEVISION brings in. The CFL is primarily a gate receipt driven league, which partially explains why players' salaries aren't anywhere near their counterparts in the NFL. The NFL was primarily a gate receipt driven league too, from its inception to the late 60s-early 70s, when they realized where the future really was.

It's great that the CFL has locked up the Canadian TV market, but it is only 1/10 of the size of the American market. That doesn't mean that 9/10 of Americans would watch the CFL if it were on TV here, but if 1/2 of 1/10 of the American TV market watched it, bought products advertised on it, bought CFL & team merchandise, who benefits? EVERYONE!

I'm sure that Versus and ESPN paid nearly zilch for the rights to the UFL and AFL, respectively. Like Geo365 noted in an earlier post, there is an absolute DEARTH of TV programming on here in the States during the dog days of summer. There has GOT to be a national, regional sports network (and not some hokey rural based "Hee Haw" outfit like AmericaOne) that would pay for American TV rights to the CFL. At the same time, there should be a full-time CFL employee employed to secure those rights (and, perhaps, world wide rights as well - I remember several European based fans on this board last year decrying the lack of the CFL in Europe after seeing it in 2007). I wonder if Canadian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan can watch anything other than the Grey Cup over there.

There has GOT to be a solution for this.

Golly, not this topic again! I guess it's the annual, where the heck is the CFL in the U.S. thread? The sad fact is there are probably more CFL fans in the U.S., than in Canada. This was the assertion of the Trajectory Sports agent, after beaming CFL games into 70 million U.S. homes for several years.

The problem is, other than the VOOM deal, it didn't earn the CFL diddly-squat. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were watching the CFL each week, but they are so spread out they were hard to quantify...or sell products and services to.

It seems the CFL has given up on the U.S. While it is a huge market, they have resigned themselves to the fact they can't make any money there. It is a shame, as we have so many passionate U.S. fans who have basically been abandoned.

Ideally, the CFL should offer a pay cable service. I bet they could garner thousands of subscribers across the U.S. and Canada who would pony up to $150 to see all the games. Heck, I'd pay $99 and I've got season's tickets!

This would make sense, with $$ going directly to the CFL. In a country of 307 million I bet you could get 50,000 people to subscribe and at $100 that would be $5 mil to the CFL, enough to provide payroll for a team with change. :cowboy:

I bet they could get 50,000 ex-pat Rider fans alone subscribing from the U.S? You could probably get a sizable numbers from Phoenix, S.D., L.A., S.F. and perhaps L.V. & Reno. Not sure about out East?

A little birdie told me: "There are reportedly over 1 million ex-Canadians living in the L.A. area alone, but after seeing the ratings there, I know why they left Canada...they hated the CFL! :lol: