Will there EVER be a US TV deal?

Hey Folks,
Hope everyone is doing well in anticipation of the 2010 CFL season. I am from the States and I love football of all stripes. NFL, NCAA, CIS, CFL, Indoor, High School, and even Pop Warner… I guess it’s that time of year again because I hate to say it… but as sure as there’s cold in February, the topic comes up to those of us south of the 49th: (I write this in the hope that someone in the League offices reads this) Is there a deal for the CFL to air on a U.S. national or regional network? I understand that their focus is on Canada since its your game and that’s fine. But c’mon folks, I mean the only network that they have in the States to air (only 2 games per week) CFL football is America One. The problem is that A1 has some affiliates in 45 of the 50 states, but most of those affiliates don’t always air the CFL. They prefer local programming. And to top that off, A1 is not available on satellite… I suppose I can sit at my computer again but for cryin’ out loud, there are more than enough channels for them air four games a week. What’s a yank to do for a CFL fix? While on the topic television broadcasts… Since we can’t get TSN down here, do they show a lot of CIS football up there nationally? Or is it mostly on local cable outlet channels? I would think building the CIS audience like they have the CFL audience would only build up the talent base of players and give the CFL a boost in Canadian talent. Just wondering…

Well, money talks, and I'm sure the CFL would love to have every game simulcast on big networks that are widely available in the USA, the trouble is:

Big networks like ESPN fill their coverage with wall-to-wall ratings-aggressive content, and the CFL doesn't quite fit the bill (yet). And smaller lower-profile networks looking to fill airtime will look at the CFL, however they just don't have the wide reach.

Also, the CFL is not a mystery in terms of the audience numbers it draws in the US, so it is no longer a gamble, however it may not be desirable, especially in drawing sponsors. It is very difficult to find a home for the CFL game on American airwaves.

All I can recommend is writing a letter to a network (NFL Network?) and requesting they look at broadcasting CFL games. Letter campaigns still carry a lot of weight with broadcasters.

In the meantime, I believe CFL games are streamed on TSN.com. It's too bad you don't enjoy the full coverage we do up here.

As for the CIS, they don't get much national airtime until the playoffs begin-- and then they are The Score and TSN. They might get some regional broadcasts.

hey dave, since you havnt been working on the video game, its nice to see you posting on some other threads.

Still working on it technically. Threw a hail mary pass to the CIS and a few former players. No word yet.

From another fan south of the border, I agree. I'll probably be watching on my laptop, but it's amazing Fox Sports or Versus or one of the other million other cable channels doesn't pick these up.

well i hope to see you posting on here. always nice to have some more objective posters.

Yeah, I'm thinking I'm going to be stuck watching it online (well, I'm grateful I have at least that)... I even dropped a line to the new NBC Universal Sports channel but haven't heard a word from them. I visited the A1 website and each state they have listed has only a handful of towns that are listed as affiliates. Problem is that most of them are low power stations and about 3 to 5 of each of those in each state aren't even A1 affiliates anymore. Such is life. Most folks think of Versus and NFL Network or one of the Regional networks. Heck why not the CW or MY-TV... but of course I'm just dreaming. There are tons of stations that air sports in the states that aren't 24/7 sports intensive that could do it. But so far, nothing...

:thup: :thup:

Pro football would not fit the demographics of the CW Network, so they are out. NBC Universal Sports is dedicated to Olympic sports only and as long as Gridiron Football is not an Olympic sport, they won't show it. I would think that the NFL Network would hop on board because they need programming. They really don't need to repeat the same NFL Total Access 50 times daily. It's why they got the TV rights to the Arena League and have been mentioned as a possible TV partner for the United Football League and ACC College Football.

having lived in the states the last 10 years (just recently moved back to Canada), I also wished the CFL was more readily available. I used to have DISH network with the multiregional sports network package. The package was $5 extra a month and you got access to Comcast, NESN, MSG, and other regional sports networks across the US which carried different games. Not all games were available on those channels but I would estimate I was able to see at least 3 of the weekly games on one of those channels, the other one I would catch online on espn360 if available or the CFL website. TSN.ca broadcasts are not available outside of the US.

VS would have been a good channel to carry the games but they are locked in now with the UFL.

NFL network is a good idea. They might be more receptive with the increasing numbers of CFL players getting NFL contracts, even if they only end up being training camp fodder. The problem is what happens come the fall when the NFL and CFL seasons overlap and the CFL tends to have more Sunday games after Labor day. Convicing them to continue broadcasting CFL games live at that point might not be easy.

A CFL season package available to US carriers like DISH, DirectTV, or the major cable networks might be the best idea, much like the NFL sunday ticket and NHL centre ice. I can't imagine that the costs would be so great to make that available and I'm sure the CFL would be able to cash in a bit on that, when you consider family and some friends of the US born players, transplanted canadians, and american born fans who enjoy the game.

Commissioner Cohon said last year he was going to talk with the NFL network about televising CFL games...and that's the last we've heard about it...so I guess you know their answer. :roll:

Let's not forget that CFL games were broadcast on ESPN for their first 15 years in existence (albeit often on tape delay at Sunday midnight.) So they're probably well aware of the league and it's potential in the U.S. marketplace.

I know the CFL has a million fans or more in the U.S., but they are widely spread out and hard to service/sell ads for, ect.

ESPN is also a 20% owner of TSN, which makes awareness of the CFL even more likely.

The main problem is, is there enough of you? I'm sure the League would love a mainstream US network, but are enough residents interested in watching different canadian rules from cities they've probably never heard of? Once the CFL gets a new TV deal and we can increase the salary cap substantially, it will all become much easier, because name brand players will be able to be signed and the quality of the product will improve, and so on and so forth.

I dont know how they would fit into the american football mind because are sports teams are local.I wouldnt expect a person from toronto too have passion for the Cleveland Browns or The Ohio State Buckeyes when they ar enot from Ohio.The cfl if they would want to be mainstream in America would have too change alot of rules and how they put players on teams for americans too watch it.

Easy solution as I used last year and will use again to watch live CFL action ...www.channelsurfing.net ...also a local affiliate of Comcast here in Philly will carry some games on Friday nights and perhaps otherwise ...I've already met another fan here with whom we will start a small watch party. :thup:

Otherwise I will continue on my quest for all of only NFL,CFL, British and Australian Rugby Union; Serie A, EPL, & La Liga and that is all on my television or online for which I will pay next to nothing if someone does not make it available easily. :rockin:

In the meantime the media folks can haggle amongst themselves as they have been for decades. It's ridiculous that all of us have to hear the push for baseball, college basketball, and the NBA so relentlessly down here when those games have lower popularity than in years, but that's primary the media agenda out of New York in a country in which we are supposed to have "free" media. :thdn:

But it has nothing to do with its marketability as football - there's all kinds of crap on American TV now. Giant men throwing logs, darts, billiards, eleventeenth division soccer, bicycle racing, dog shows, so much poker....it's just one more low-cost alternative program. Instead of showing motoring 2009 for the 3rd time that month, put on a football game that looks a lot the same, but, on further reflection, is a bit of a weird game.

I think a video game...based on the CFL...made available to those in the US...would grow the CFL brand and further the potential US TV audience. People would get accustomed to the rules and the teams and the players and the schedule etc etc.

Crazy idea I know. Try to send the guys with a straight-jacket, I dare ya!

I recommend the CFL also do a 'profit-sharing' arrangement very much like what the NHL and NBC is doing. That may draw out a few suitors. It wouldn't be so much a money earner, just a means of exposure and brand recognition-- which could lead to revenue by creating new fans.

I'm full of crazy ideas.

The CFL has had games in the states before and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we see some sort of tv deal (be it versus, theNFL network, etc.)

It would be beneficial to the league to market it's product in a market 10 larger then it's own. Not to mention the possibility of a lockout looming in the NFL, I'm pretty sure the CFL will try to get games more accessible to American fans.

Artie's right yet again. :thup:

With the cable and satellite businesses hurting more than ever and less money available for the purchase, creation, and production of quality content, we get more low-budget crap programming and informercials than ever. :thdn:

That's also why I have hardly paid anything for cable TV in years and will not ever pay much for it again. :thdn:

Now they are about five years late in stating that they are laying faster pipes so they can try to charge folks more than $ for /month for them again, but as I paid for their old crappy pipes long ago I ain't paying for those either unless they give me everything I want and preferably allow me to shut away easily all the crap like with Artie's examples too. :thdn:

re- art wrote-"on further reflection, is a bit of a weird game."---------- Your red, white, and blue game __ Correct :cowboy: P.S are you and P.X engaged or what?? :wink: Back to the thread__ no U.S,_ T.V. deal until there are U.S. CFL team,s in major U.S. markets!IMHO